March is the month when our Directory is usually distributed, and as I write this letter, it is at the printer and expected to be delivered on time! This year's edition is our largest ever, now 128 pages. We've added a chronological listing of shows in the back of the book that we hope will be a popular feature-this came as a result of your suggestions. I'm sure there will be some flaws in the book, hopefully not critical ones, but the Directory is a demanding book to produce in a very short time period. See the ad on the inside front cover to order a copy.
When GEM became a monthly publication in 1985, we hoped that we would be able to hold its subscription price for a long time. Well, we have done that, and the growth in the number of subscribers has been a great help towards that end. When the U.S. Postal Service increased their rates in May of 1988, we decided not to pass along the increase to our customers. We also decided over the years to increase the number of story pages, and the amount of color in each issue. All these decisions were made in order to give our customers what they said they wanted.
One improvement that has often been requested by those of you who phone or write to us is a 'false cover' to help magazines to arrive in your homes in better condition. We will be adding a false cover in a couple of months, and we will also be raising the subscription price. The basic one-year domestic rate will go from $24-00 to $27.00. Expiration envelopes in issues beginning with our April issue will carry all the new rates, and the rate change will be effective as of April 1.
We all know that prices of everything we buy seem only to go up, as do the expenses of making products. We have done our best to economize while continuing to bring you the kind of magazine you expect for your investment. It is our sincere opinion that our readers by and large would prefer to pay a slight increase rather than to have us cut back on the quality of GEM. As always, we are grateful for your support.