Nothing to do now but pick up the pieces.
In its day, this workboat plied the Chesapeake Bay with pride. Its skipper took it out in all sorts of weather. Sea gulls played in its wake. Its crew dredged oyster beds. The comradery of watermen sharing laughter, anger, anticipation, disappointment, triumph, and brotherhood echoed in its timbers.
One day, probably all too soon for its owners, the boat gave up its seafaring days. Propped up ashore to fade away with dignity, it is remembered by many. Some will never see it again. Few will know what it was like to walk its decks, man its equipment, or store fish in its hold. It has made its contribution.
Life goes on!
This old boat that I photographed decades ago came to mind two weeks ago when I opened an email saying my publisher had suddenly gone out of business. Tate Publishing and Enterprises is no more.
Like the old boat, it can’t be patched up and refloated. The watermark of its presence in the publishing and music world is left to fade into the background. Hopefully, its authors and artists will not!
I have been a Tate author since 2013. I signed on in 2012 when I had polished up a manuscript I had worked on over a twenty-year period. In the confusing world of e-books, self-publishing, and predictions that print media was outdated, the editorial staff at Tate showed me how to lose 40,000 of my 122,000 words, ending up with my first novel, A Change of Heart.
Since then Tate enabled me to develop my Dinkel Island Series, which includes book two, Return of Bliss, and book three, Secrets at Lighthouse Point. When my wife, Sharon, and I had gone through the neurological sidetrack of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), Tate published the book we wrote together: NPH Journey into Dementia and Out Again.
So, what does Tate’s closing mean for us? Is it the end of our books?
We don’t know what’s next, but we’re not ready to have our writing propped up on shore to fade away. Several publishing houses have contacted us. I don’t know if the Dinkel Island Series will continue, or simply be allowed to live on as a trilogy. Sharon and I both have other writing ventures underway. One of my goals is to finish the biography of my mother’s life, Dairyman’s Daughter: Story of One Woman’s Enduring Faith and Courage. I also have another novel partially written.
Once we find a new publishing boat to board, we’ll be underway again. Meanwhile, we have books available for sale. Amazon has both paperback and kindle editions up on their site for all our books. Barnes & Noble has them all up in Nook editions. Soft cover books are still available at Book People in Richmond, and Buford Road Pharmacy in Bon Air.
Sharon and I are grateful to all the people who have bought our books. We also extend our prayers for the Tate family, former employees, and our fellow Tate authors. As we move on from here it’s good to remember that my books are about redemption and hope.
That’s our centerpiece!