"Let Me Explain" going out of print

See a letter below explaining that the "only" book about DI is going out of print. That book is geared for 6-10 year olds. There is another book available (in spite of what the letter says.)
Go to www.xyandme.com for other storybooks for children conceived in alternative ways.

Subject: A Story about Donor Insemination

Dear Colleagues:

It is with considerable sadness (and frustration) that I announce that Perspectives Press, Inc.: The Infertility and Adoption Publisher will be allowing Let Me Explain: A Story about Donor Insemination by Jane Schnitter to go permanently out of print when our current inventory is depleted this summer. I have spent considerable time over the last year looking for an economical manufacturing option that would allow this book to be reprinted in conservative quantities as a paperback at a unit cost that would allow it to be properly cover-priced for continued distribution through normal book trade channels (amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc.) and have come up empty.

Let Me Explain, published in 1995, was the first--and has been the only--US-published book specifically written for children aged six to ten conceived by donor insemination and being parented by a heterosexual couple. Despite very good reviews (click on Let Me Explain 's web page for links to these) , and despite the fact that statisticians claim that 30,000-50,000 children are conceived by DI each year in North America alone, fewer than one tenth of one percent of these families have purchased LME, with a total sold of just over 3300 copies in ten years, despite the lack of any readily available competition.

As educators, those of us in the field of reproductive medicine claim to have at heart the best interests of the children and families we help to create. For well over a decade mental health professionals have been direct and vocal in their opposition to long-standing advice from physicians for secrecy in DI-conceived families, advocating that parents using collaborative reproductive options need to be prepared to disclose the facts of their alternative conceptions to their children as early as possible. Most medical practitioners and organizations have come around to this belief as well. In Europe, some governments have come to support this view by legislating the availability of information to children conceived with donor gametes. Still, recent research demonstrates that parents seem NOT to be talking to their children about their donor origins (see Human Reproduction Today article), with as many as 90% of Swedish families surveyed not having told their children despite their country's recommendation to do so.

As the professionals in the communities I serve increasingly request that Perspectives Press, Inc. publish books for adults and children in narrower and narrower parts of our niche, it is time for us to recognize an important fact. Many of these families are, at least initially, resistant to our advice about parenting issues. They just want a baby NOW and don't want to think about later!

This reality drives what I suspect will be the future of consumer publishing for narrow markets (especially in children's books), which is that publishers will only be able to afford to publish a narrow market book for a consumer audience when professionals feel strongly enough about the need for it that they are willing to commit to buying it themselves and to distributing it personally to their clients (by sale or by gift.) If professionals truly believed it to be important for families to have the tools necessary for talking to children about their donor insemination origins, for example, they would have been willing to buy (at a significant 40% "bulk" discount on as few as 12 copies) and distribute to each client just such a tool. If North American statistics are true, that would have resulted in annual distribution of 20,000 or more copies of a book like Let Me Explain each year--and guaranteed sales of 20,000 copies per year (or even half that!) would most certainly keep such a book in print at a comfortably conservative cover price.

That did not, however, happen, and the only children's book to cover ONLY donor insemination (rather than introducing an impersonal variety of ARTs to young kids cognitively able to think primarily only about themselves and their own situation) is going out of print. If you wish to have a copy of Let Me Explain: A Story about Donor Insemination in your personal library, you need to act quickly, as quantities are now extremely limited.

Sincerely yours,
Patricia Irwin Johnston, MS
30 Year Infertility and Adoption Educator and Advocate


wahini said...

Have you considered posting a PDF of the book - to make it available to others? This is exactly what I'm looking for.

Janice said...

You can view the PDF version of the Egg Donation Book at our website: www.xyandme.com.
Every version has the exact same illustrations as the Egg Donation book. The text is what changes from book to book, depending on the type of assisted reproduction used. The single parent versions have had the illustrations slightly altered.