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Nova Scotia vanity press Bryler Publications faces possible legal battles

Cynthia McMurray, owner of the Nova Scotia vanity press Bryler Publications and the recently founded Three Dogs Press, is embroiled in several legal disputes “ one of which could involve Indigo Books & Music.

In an article published in Halifax’s Chronicle Herald this morning, several of Bryler’s authors claim not to have been paid royalties, while McMurray says Indigo’s returns and payment policies have left her bankrupt.

McMurray says she is considering taking legal action against Indigo on the grounds of unjust enrichment. McMurray also complained that books often came back too damaged to re-sell, and in some cases were reordered by the same bookstores just days after return.

We are extremely empathetic to the financial difficult this publisher is experiencing, Indigo public relations vice-president Janet Eger wrote in an email to the Herald. [H]owever ¦ their account to you of our business relationship is factually incorrect and potentially defamatory.

Meanwhile, authors published by Bryler are banding together to discuss their options. On her blog, Diane Tibert has chronicled numerous offences.

According to the Herald, Cape Breton fisherman Leif Morrison has received no royalties for his book about his seven-week abduction in Nigeria and has no idea how many copies have been sold. It’s not the monetary value, he says. I feel she stole my story.

Harold Meuse has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and, more recently, the Yarmouth RCMP over $34,000 he alleges he is owed for a book by his late wife, Simone, whose dying wish was to publish a book about angels.

In both cases, McMurray denies that Bryler owes any money to the authors and says she has the paperwork to prove it.

UPDATE: Aug. 26, 2013:

Diane Tibert has issued a public apology to Cynthia McMurray and retracted many of her statements:

I recognize that there is no foundation to these allegations and I regret that they were ever made. Ms. McMurray has not been charged or convicted of any criminal activity, and I and my fellow internet posters should have undertaken diligent inquiries before making such accusatory and damaging statements about Ms. McMurray. I should have contacted Ms. McMurray and undertaken responsible investigative journalism before publishing this false and damaging material… Finally, I have been informed that Ms. McMurray continues to undertake efforts to work with her authors to bring Bryler’s outstanding obligations to a satisfactory close. She is undertaking serious efforts to fix things, and not run away, as I previously “ and inaccurately “ reported.

The full note can be viewed on her blog.