A small, independent, self-published author from Calgary has been battling with Canada’s largest bookseller, Indigo, over money she says she’s been owed for months.
Stephanie Browne told Global News she has been immersed in a “David and Goliath” story since July 9 when she read and signed a book at an Indigo location in the city.
Browne said the event and sale went so well, she was asked to send some copies of her very first book, Carrotsa painted nursery rhyme book.
The contract said she would be paid any proceeds within 30 days.
“A month after I did my consignment event, I contacted them and said, ‘Hey, I didn’t receive my check or anything. Is it on its way?’ and she said, ‘Yes, it’s on its way, should be in the mail soon.’
When it didn’t arrive, Browne said she was told there was a problem with her mailing address that needed to be corrected. But months later, she still hasn’t received any payments.
“It’s not like they owe me thousands and thousands of dollars. It’s not a huge amount,” she said. “But that’s the principle of it. It feels like they don’t respond to me, they ignore my phone calls.”
“They made money from the book I put all my time, love and energy into and I didn’t receive a cent.”
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Global News reached out to the Indigo location in question, who told us to contact head office.
We asked Indigo’s corporate team why the delay in payment and responses, as well as what other small writers can expect?
The company sent us a statement advising that after investigating the matter, “We can confirm that payment was posted to Stephanie Browne on November 30, 2022 and should be received shortly. We apologize for the delay. “
Indigo added that it was committed to working with local writers and hoped to have an opportunity to work with Browne again.
Something the Calgary mother of four young children said probably won’t happen.
“I don’t want to do it again. It was a huge headache,” she said.
“I was so excited and now I feel it was way too much trouble to get what I owed.”
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Browne said signing local authors is supposed to be a way to connect with the community — especially after the restrictions of the pandemic.
Instead, she said she felt dismissed and “completely unimportant”.
Still, she is grateful for the opportunity to share her story of how a tree survives thanks to the strength of its support system underground. Especially, she said, because she wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of family and friends.
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