We Make Zines

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I have a bookshelf full of zines that for one reason or another I do not require anymore. In many instances it's because I've got doubles or have read & enjoyed the zines already and would like to pass them on to someone else. The latter reason is why I started a zine distro: to pass on zines that I terribly enjoyed.

The opinion that I am asking of you good zine people is, is it OK for me to sell these at a zine fair at very cheap prices? I feel it's similar to the way I would definitely feel OK selling books off that I have read or records that I am done with but for some reason I feel slightly differently about zines - will people see this as 'wrong'?

I look forward to your thoughts & will endeavour to answer any clarification.

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Hells frickin' yeah it's ok, many a time selling off books has got me a much needed coffee or pack of cigarettes :P

I have no zines, so my library definitely needs expanding, would you be able to sell them on Etsy, or does Etsy only have stuff made by sellers themselves... surely not.
I'm just going to bring them to TINA. I have a table now. I'm about to head off to kinkos for some much needed photocopying-therapy to make my zines.

Emma Stronach said:

I have no zines, so my library definitely needs expanding, would you be able to sell them on Etsy, or does Etsy only have stuff made by sellers themselves... surely not.
In my personal opinion, they're your property and you can do whatever you like with them - this is certainly also the legal position - however I do know that some zinesters object to their work being sold on. For the record if anyone wants to sell on any of my zines, as far as I'm concerned you should get as much as you can for them. And if anyone pays a lot of money for one you should tell the world : )
I personally see it as wrong. There has been a lot of debate about this in the zine community. I just can't seem to think that it's okay to sell zines individually that you don't have permission to sell. Grab Bags... those are a little bit different. I can't tell you WHY i think this way, it's just there in my brain.

I don't feel that way about music or books... but zines just feel way different in that aspect.

I guess because there are so many zine libraries that the zines can be donated to. Or give them to friend or trade them for some other zines you haven't read yet (which is what i most often do with ones i wish to pass along.)
ah. i see it as wrong as well. i agree with nicole on this one. i think it would be perfectly acceptable to maybe have a free box at the zine fair, where people could root through & take stuff that appeals to them, but selling them doesn't sit right with me. not at the zine fair, not on etsy. the way i see it, we can sell zines that we made ourselves, & if we run distros, we can sell zines that we have permission to sell in that capacity, & it's even okay to sell grab bags for the price of postage, but none of us should be profiting off of some other zine'ster's work. there is a reason why i make zines instead of writing books. books are a different medium. records are a different medium. & there are different community standards surrounding that medium. i know this is a subject of great debate, & people on both sides think they are unimpeachably correct, but since you asked for opinions, this is mine.
I guess somewhere in my mind I see it as OK because I've paid for the zines initially.. and if there was something like a 'free box' at this - Australia's biggest zine fair - there'd be nothing left in it within 10 minutes of the zine fair starting.

After reading all these comments I wonder how everyone feels about having a 'swap box', which would have the zines that I'm looking to send to new homes swapped for something they possess. Something like this (see attached), which is in Sticky zine shop (Melbourne)

Therefore, I would not be profiting, which I totally understand is a great concern for zinemakers.
Attachments:
Surprisingly enough... at least at the zine events i have been to here in the US, a free table isn't rooted through as much as one would think. At last years Richmond Zine Fest we still had stuff on the free table at the end of the day that we donated to zine libraries.

Even if someone isn't making a profit.... i still would not like to see my zine being re-sold by someone that i sold it to or someone who bought it from a distro. It leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

I think a swap box is a good idea. trading and swappnig is a-okay in my book. i do it often.
Sometimes I have loads of zines that I have duplicates of or want to pass on. What I do is I sell "grab bags" through the disto... which are a mixture of distro zines and these spare zines. It's a cheap way to buy a mixture of zines from the distro (cheaper than buying them individually) plus I chuck in a couple of spare ones... so I'm not making money off them at all....
You're coming to TINA? Oh my god how exciting :)

My stall is the one with the paintings and origami and toys, can't wait to check out all your zines!

Bird in the Hand said:
I'm just going to bring them to TINA. I have a table now. I'm about to head off to kinkos for some much needed photocopying-therapy to make my zines.

Emma Stronach said:

I have no zines, so my library definitely needs expanding, would you be able to sell them on Etsy, or does Etsy only have stuff made by sellers themselves... surely not.
My zines are bad. Bad bad bad. I made up a little tiny free one though. I wrote you a letter, but instead of mailing I'll bring it along. This weekend is going to be strange but heaps of fun!

Emma Stronach said:
You're coming to TINA? Oh my god how exciting :)

My stall is the one with the paintings and origami and toys, can't wait to check out all your zines!

Ah, I really hadn't thought about things that way, that the original authors may take issue with things being "sold on" so to speak. I guess given how vast the scope of things zines can be written about should indicate just how many differences of opinion can be given...

So what is a zine, when you get down to it? It's not a book, seems to be far more personal than that, and perhaps because of the tactile home-made publishing thing it is something that people are going to feel very attatched to. So are zines more like artworks?

Even then, I've had people on sell drawings and paintings of mine, my final year majorwork for example was given to my teacher then sold by her five years later... no money or notice given to the original artist there...

I think the fact that Bird in The Hand is a distro must have some weight in the issue too, because her modus opperandi is to buy zines outright, rather consignment, technically most of the zines are owned by her.

So to me, after all this musing, I still stand that it's ok to sell them. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why zine makers would feel a bit icky about this, but when you get down to it, I'd rather think that the zines have an intrinsic worth of their own and people should have to buy or trade for them to own them.



Sorry, that's a really wordy reply, but I'm waiting for stuff to print, leaves me time to ramble.
I'm just going to have the swap box. That way I end up with a whole bunch of zines I would have spent my money on and people can find something that they'll actually enjoy in the box without handing around money. Although, I still understand that money is just another version of 'swap'.. If I were taking money off people's hands it's not that disimilar to taking zines off people. This is a long rant for another time - I know people have a different feeling towards trades than money. I don't need the money anyway.

P.S Emma, I decided not to do consignments anymore.

Emma Stronach said:
Ah, I really hadn't thought about things that way, that the original authors may take issue with things being "sold on" so to speak. I guess given how vast the scope of things zines can be written about should indicate just how many differences of opinion can be given...

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