Publisher runs off with metro Detroit author's money, doesn't publish book

Posted at 9:28 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 05:16:37-04

A local author wants answers, after she says her publisher took thousands of dollars and never published her book.  Now, the publisher is nowhere to be seen.

Tonia Bell signed a contract with Green Iny publishers in 2015. In her contract she had to pay the the company $3,500, to edit and make front and back covers for the book.   

Tonia, paid off the amount in April this year, after that she never heard from them again.

"It was like they disappeared off the face of the earth," said Bell.

Tonia worked on the book for years, often jotting notes in a journal.

"So for two years I worked on it, I jotted down notes I laughed I cried and it turned into a book," said Bell.

Her first book was titled "Peace to That."  She had a front and back cover made, but then everything went quiet.  She didn't hear from the company again.

"They said after you pay us off then we start the book, because we can't start you book and you don't want to pay us and we've wasted time and energy in a book," said Bell.

According to the Better Business Bureau website, Green Ivy Publishing is out of business.

"I'm like oh no what did I do, what happened," said Bell.

Tonia isn't going to let this go.

"They said they would perform a service for me. I have a contract, they didn't live up to that contract, I would like my money back," said Bell.

All Tonia wants is to have her book published.

"I gave them all my money, all my savings that I had borrowing money from people who were excited for me," she says. "I don't have the funds right now to even carry on with this."

Tonia talked to lawyers, most of them told her there is really nothing she can do, except  go to small claims court.  Another lawyer told her he could represent her, but asked for a $1,500 retainer.