Posts Tagged ‘sam’s dot publishing’


Jane Doe

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

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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