We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

Hi Everybody,

I was just going through a pile of zines I have. Some as old as 4 years. I was looking for a few particular ones, but thought I would separate them as ones I know I want to keep and ones to look at/read later.

As I was going through them I found a number that had used rubber bands for "binding" and a few that were just folded with nothing holding them together. In my opinions these ways of holding a zine together suck.

For example I dropped the box. Zines everywhere. Zines that are not stapled together come apart and unless I really know that zine and care, I don't care enough to try and figure out how it goes together (unnumbered pages too) so that zine will get thrown away (which I think I have done to 2 zines in my life). Also, zines that are not bound in any way will fall apart in your bag and are more difficult to read (because you basically have to hold them together).

The rubber band method seems like a good idea at the time, but rubber bends loose their elasticity pretty quickly and will break and often stick to the zine, so you are left with jacked up zine covers and no binding, which will make it prone to falling apart easily.

Since there seem to be a lot of new zinesters on this forum I thought I would pass on this bit of info. Obviously, just my opinion, but I do have 14 years of zine collecting and writing to base it on. :-)

Feel free to add on your opinions and advice of what you would recommend not doing in zine making.

Views: 6282

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Great topic!

1. I would recommend not leaving pages unnumbered unless the numbers severely inhibit the style you're going for. I know it makes it harder to collate the pages (uhhh....) but it's worth it for the reader because even non-rubber-band-bound pages can become unbound. (Rubber bands - they're so horrible when they ooze that glue/resin/stickiness.) It's also ever so slightly cute when they've been bound wrong, but I almost didn't say that. Far be it from me to encourage conscious acts of faux-unconsciousness, if that makes sense!

OK, other flashes of insight have just hit:

2. Don't leave a zine unsigned unless anonymity is part of your style (your 'art'). Nicknames are fine. Symbols a la Prince are fine. A chicken scratch. An X. I mean, you can leave it unsigned but you won't make me happy. I forget why it's important but it always strikes me as frustrating when I finish a zine and can't define the creator in any way. But - again - maybe anonymity is your whole point. So be that.

3. Don't forget to leave a means for people to contact you. Don't leave an address you know you'll be leaving within the next year or two unless you also provide a more stable email address. So frustrating not to be able to contact you! Unless you don't want to be contacted, of course. Your prerogative always. But for others, take heed.
Considering what has been discussed in a couple other forums, I'd say:
DO NOT forget to specify if you DO NOT want other people to give away/sell/photocopy your zine. Otherwise they may understand they can do whatever they want with it.
And for the love of god give us a contact of some sort!

I also like when zines say when they were first printed, the lifespan of zines is huge and it's sometimes cool to realise a foreign zine has taken years to make it's way to you!

The staples thing really bugs me too, I tend to staple zines that arrive loose myself!
oh - when the zine is designed in such a way that all the words are right at the edge of the pages so that when it is photocopied they get cut off and you cant read a whole article because of it.
1. Put a date on it! I really like seeing when a zine was made. Also put an expiry date on addresses if possible. And put the country on your address because yr zine will probably get to other countries. Americans, this means you.

2. Like Gianni said, say if yr zine is copyleft/anti-copyright/whatever, so people know if they can make more copies/steal artwork.

3. Read it before you make a load of copies to check it's legible - ie, a clear font/ dark enough/visible over pictures/etc.

4. Yeh, margins! Better safe than sorry.

5. I would really like it if more people listed crap they want to be sent/will send out, in particular things they would exchange for their zine like mix tapes/info on stuff/vegan sweets/etc.


There's plenty more I can think of but I'm starting to sound like a dick. But I have done (or rather, not done) all of these things in the past so it's not meant to be rude, ha.
Things you'd like to swap- that's a great idea!

Worst zine I have received (free luckily) was one that was on A3 paper folded in an elaborate way you could never get back the same, not as a cool design feature, but because it seems they couldn't be bothered to cut it; and was just one huge injoke that you could make no sense of unless you were one of the 3 writers. I get handing it to your friends who understand the whole thing, but why bother giving it to strangers?
For americans, A3 paper is about the size of two letter sheets placed side by side, the maximum size most photocopiers do.

Emma Jane Falconer said:
Things you'd like to swap- that's a great idea!

Worst zine I have received (free luckily) was one that was on A3 paper folded in an elaborate way you could never get back the same, not as a cool design feature, but because it seems they couldn't be bothered to cut it; and was just one huge injoke that you could make no sense of unless you were one of the 3 writers. I get handing it to your friends who understand the whole thing, but why bother giving it to strangers?
I spent a bunch of time reading zines after the Portland Zine Symposium and even wrote some letters to find t hat there was not contact info anywhere and some people don't even put their name in them! How and I supposed to get my old school zinester mail on if I can't send a letter!

Also, I think it was a zine librarian lamenting the fact that zines don't put dates on them and it makes it impossible for archiving. i think since 2002 I have been putting the season and the year in my zines like "Summer 2008" because I never really feel like tying down to one dates, but it seems that putting a season ties it down well enough.
If other people contribute to your zine, why not include their postal and/or e-mail address, and maybe some info on what zine(s) they make? If I like their contribution, I would probably want to contact them.
Oh wow, that's really helpful info, thankyou so much :)
"Also, I think it was a zine librarian lamenting the fact that zines don't put dates on them and it makes it impossible for archiving. i think since 2002 I have been putting the season and the year in my zines like "Summer 2008" because I never really feel like tying down to one dates, but it seems that putting a season ties it down well enough."

This is a good one that in all my years of zining has never occured to me.

Another one- if you say you will accept trades then you should accept fucking trades. If you say "selective trades" or "contact me first" that's fine, but if you say you'll accept any and all trades then you're more or less obligated to take any and all trades.

Along those same lines- if someone sends you cash for a zine make sure you send them a zine asap. First of all if you wait too long you're likely to lose the address. Second of all, people get kind of peeved if you keep them waiting 3 months for a $2 zine.
Gianni Simone said:
If other people contribute to your zine, why not include their postal and/or e-mail address, and maybe some info on what zine(s) they make? If I like their contribution, I would probably want to contact them.

I'm wondering why I've never done that! I have loads of contributors, time to start with the contacts methinks!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Groups

Want to advertise here?

Ist preference given to distros and zines. Rates and details are here. Limited space. Very Low Cost!

Please Support Our Sponsors

Sweet Candy Distro

Con Artist Collective

Ker-bloom! Letterpress Zine

 

© 2014   Created by Krissy PonyBoy Press.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service