Jane Doe

This took me a little while longer to write than I thought, but the issue with Sam’s Dot Publishing is complicated and I’ve screwed it up enough already.  Time to straighten it out.

Jane Doe’s voice deserves to be heard on this matter because of the number of children’s books published by Sam’s Dot Publishing. Before reading any further, you should go to www.tyreecampbell.com and see for yourself who she is and what she has to say.

I knew about the allegations when I took on Sam’s Dot Publishing, but at first believed the magazines and books were separate from the individual.  I was wrong.  I don’t think that anymore.  The incident described by Jane Doe occurred 30 years ago and I thought this was between the two of them and their family.  A private matter.  I also thought that the former owner was leaving,  but when that didn’t happen I had to deal with it until I sorted out what to do.

When it came out that he had deleted emails she sent to editors at Sam’s Dot Publishing, I wondered who had read what and since the issue was 30 years ago if this was even relevant.  People have the right to make up their own mind.  To the best of my knowledge, nothing ever happened afterward and Sam’s Dot Publishing’s Tyree Campbell has been a model citizen.  The editors seem like great people.  Was this really anything to talk about at all since it was 30 years old?  Tyree Campbell and Sam’s Dot Publishing have given many a writer a place to publish their work.  I was published by them.  Tyree was one of the publishers who, when I notified him that he was about to publish a book by serial plagiarist David Boyer, actually discontinued the book.

But he kept publishing and even emphasizing his desire to publish children’s books.  Even now at his new company Alban Lake.  More children’s books.  He needs to stop.

30 years and no reported incidents is a good thing, I said.  People have to support change for the better.  Redemption is important because during the course of anyone’s life it may be all that’s left to them.  But why all the children’s publications?

But Sam’s Dot Publishing publishes a lot of children’s books and magazines.  Don’t the writers have a right to know who they’re being published by?  How would it effect them when this all came out.  And, eventually, everything always comes out.

I don’t impute a motive to Sam’s Dot Publishing’s publishing children’s magazines and books.  It doesn’t have to mean anything at all.  But how many parents would by these magazines and books if they first went to www.tyreecampbell.com?  And as the new publisher, isn’t it my responsibility to make sure that they know.  The answer to that last question is yes, it is and was my responsibility.  The course I took at Darkness to Light, titled Stewards of Children, made that perfectly clear.

I didn’t know much at all about child sexual abuse, but when two of my staff, themselves victims, began talking to me about their concerns, things started to change.  They were reluctant to work on or have any involvement with Sam’s Dot Publishing materials.  Output slowed to a crawl.

This was something I didn’t know how to handle.  Some health issues for family and friends intruded and I didn’t do well dealing with everything at once.

Other issues began to surface.  The first, and most disturbing, was that I was denied access to Sam’s Dot Publishing emails and not provided with the writers’ contracts.  I began to wonder how many of the others at Sam’s Dot Publishing knew about the situation and why it was never brought up.  Then I realized I had never brought it up, because by that time I was ashamed that there was a situation at all.  So I didn’t know who knew what if anyone at the organization knew anything.  I read that this was the norm for childhood sexual abuse.  That 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before they’re 16 and 1 in 6 boys, and very people know or will admit to knowing about it having happened at all.

I tried to come up exit strategies while I stalled.  With no contracts between myself and the writers for the upcoming publications, no access to the emails between editors and the writers, it was not a tenable situation, and I’d walked willingly into it thinking I could take over the publishing.  I was wrong.  The question my staff kept asking me was why I wasn’t given that access if I now was running the company.  What was being hidden?  Were emails being deleted?  And, of course, why so many children’s publications with Sam’s Dot Publishing considering the prior abuse?  I have kids of my own and this question began to grind on me.  I had to ask more people for advice.

Their input ran from just announce that I’d changed my mind to expose the situation immediately.  Walk out on a lot of writers counting on us at White Cat or risk hurting everyone whose work was ever published by Sam’s Dot Publishing.  One business friend asked me how I could publish the new work without having copies of the contracts.  I started losing a lot sleep.

Eventually I was referred to an organization called Darkness to Light that specialized in educating people on the issue.  There I learned that fear of dealing with such situations is the main contributing cause as to why they continued.  Ignorance of how to deal with them also stops most of us from dealing the issue.

These things can get really messy, I was told, but the parents who buy the children’s magazines need to know about this kind of an allegation and the writers who are submitting their stories need to know, too.  They also need to know

So I’m offering to publish the agreed to stories, but only if I have contracts signed with those writers and White Cat.  All the writers and editors will then be paid as agreed and I will release the funds for same at the end of next week.  I might change the name of certain of the publications before the issues are published because I don’t want the carry-over from Sam’s Dot Publishing.  I’ll post the publication schedule and the new names as they are decided next week.  The name of our imprint Sam’s Dot will be changed shortly.  More on all this over the next few days.

Jane Doe is crying out to be heard.  I’ve never met her, and the situation is 30 years old.  Tyree Campbell has never given me any reason to think he’s anything but a man who committed a horrible act 30 years ago and has done his best to live a good life since.  But 30 years old or not, writers and readers of young adult fiction have the right to decide the issue for themselves.  They can’t do that if they don’t know.

Thank you, Jane Doe.

Rick Moore, Publisher
4 May 2013

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10 Responses to “Jane Doe”

  1. Dora Badger Says:

    This wasn’t one horrible act; it was several separate horrible acts over the course of a year and a half. “Thirty years ago” isn’t really the point here; his victim was damaged in ways that will affect her for the rest of her life…so, yes, it does matter. I also doubt very strongly that Jane Doe was the only child Tyree abused. Predators and pedophiles rarely have a single victim.

    Predators are often good citizens in other ways – look at all of the Catholic priests who did ‘good works’ throughout their lives at the same time they were violating children and youth in their parishes; or consider Ted Bundy, who worked on a suicide hotline at the same time he was murdering young women. While I don’t think every single predator is irredeemable, I’d argue that most of them don’t really try to stop. I’d also point out that if you met him while he was in his sixties, natural age-related dysfunction may have meant that he no longer had such desires any longer. That, however, doesn’t diminish the damage that he did in the past nor does it diminish the horror and frustration that Jane Doe must feel to see this man get a personal benefit from children in yet another way.

    It’s good that you have brought this out in the open and that you are working to resolve this; it’s even better that Tyree will no longer have influence over those publications for children.

    I am happy to continue working for you through White Cat, but will be watching this situation as it develops. Sweeping this under the rug would not have been a good strategy; and now that it’s out in the open, dealing with the authors and editors directly and distancing all aspects of the company and its related publications from Tyree will be critical. I appreciate you coming forward with this information, and hope the imprints are made stronger for it moving forward.

  2. Rachel V. Olivier Says:

    I’m one of those authors at Sam’s Dot. I have had two novellas and several short stories published there. Although I agree it’s good to get things out in the open, I’m still concerned about what this means for my work published there. I’m fortunate enough not to be someone with works in limbo, but this still feels to me as if you’re saying that essentially, Sam’s Dot Publishing will be no more. And on the White Cat end, wasn’t this supposed to be a way to save Jim’s ProMart vision?

    I’m not saying action shouldn’t be taken. But, I am concerned about what this means for me and other authors at Sam’s Dot.

  3. admin Says:

    First, this definitely needed to be out in the open. His daughter needs to be heard and acknowledged.

    Second, to be clear, we will publish everyone’s work, but we need to actually see the old contracts and sign new ones. The sooner this is the done, the better. So just mail us copies of what was signed and agreed to, then a letter of cancellation to Sam’s Dot Publishing, and we’ll mail back a new contract and we can all start fresh. Everyone gets taken care of if they choose to.

  4. Dora Badger Says:

    Hello all, I have a note that clarifies a few things. It’s up on Facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dora-badger/sams-dot-and-white-cat-its-a-merger-not-a-throwdown/10151646417791810

    Rick, please take a look and let me know if I’ve missed anything or if there’s anything in there that I misunderstood. I hadn’t added the bit about cancelling the old contracts, I’ll go in and do that now.

  5. admin Says:

    Hello Jimmy. The links are back up again- they goofed up when the server underwent maintenance. Sorry it took so long to repair.

  6. Dora Badger Says:

    The latest updates for contributors and editors are on White Cat’s Facebook page. You can also reach me at contracts@samsdot.com – I’ll be managing the remainder of the transition, for consistency’s sake.

  7. JJ Says:

    Hello Ms. Badger,

    I cannot get to the FB link posted. I just stumbled upon this information and have sent an inquiry about my story accepted for Aoife’s Kiss last September to the contracts@samsdot.com email address. It was supposed to be in the June 2013 issue which is coming up soon.

    Please let me know if you do not receive my email.

    Thanks very much.

  8. Alex Gonzalez Says:

    Hello. I had a story accepted in June 2012 for Aoife’s Kiss June 2013 issue. I have sent a few emails dating back to March 2013 about the status of my story but have received no responses. Thanks for finally posting some information. I have now emailed the contracts@samsdot.com address to hopefully get the ball rolling with a White Cat contract as stated above by Mr. Moore. I hope to hear from someone soon. Thanks for your time. Alex Gonzalez

  9. Matthew Says:

    My only question is does Tyree Campbell still net profits from Sam Dot Publishing or any magazine sales and, if he does, will he moving forward? If he does not then I applaud Sam Dot’s efforts.

  10. admin Says:

    It’s a good question, Matthew, and the answer is that he is complete and totally disconnected from all aspects of Sam’s Dot.

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