Letter from the editor.


For those of you with e-readers, we have positive news on the Kindle front. Amazon did two things late last year: it started a beta program for magazine publishers, and it greatly reduced the amount it charges for magazine publishers to be on the Kindle. We've been accepted into its beta program and plan to submit a version of this issue for the online bookseller to review. We're not sure how long that review process will take or what mistakes we'll make--I mean, what learning we'll experience--during that process. The Kindle is a great reading device, but it will be a difficult exercise for us to get the formatting right. Part of what makes our reviews readable is our use of different fonts and styles--which may present some challenges for us on the Kindle.

So I don't want to count our chickens before they're hatched, but since the "when are you going to be available on the Kindle" question is the one I'm asked most often, I thought it would be better to keep you posted along the way.

As I mentioned above, Amazon changed how much it charges magazine publishers. It used to take 70 percent of the subscription fee, which meant that we'd lose money. It has settled on the inverse of that ratio and will now take "only" 30 percent. That's expensive, but it will work for us.

The frustrating part is that the money we save by not printing as many copies of the magazine as we used to, we now have to pay to Amazon (or, in the future, Apple or Barnes & Noble). With new gatekeepers come new...

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