a place for zinesters - writers and readers
When making a 'perzine' keep some things personal. As in: Don't mention the person you love/hate/etc with their full name. Give people some amount of privacy. Don't say "I totally want to kill Joe Blow.." or "I totally want to fuck Jane Flahg" Change or omit or inital names. Some times people talk about really personal stuff in their zines, and mention other people - and you should give that person a shred of privacy and don't spread their lives into your per-zine. I think you can still write something just as personal and cathartic without mentioning peoples full/given/look-up'able names. Because chances are I live in another state and have no idea who you're talking about -- and if I did live in your local community, some things are better implied than written out for everyone to relish in. Unless you're doing some sort of review and then I think it's okay to say "Barbara Adobe makes amazing sculptures out of ground beef, go see her work!" Make sense?
I feel like this thread could use a bump.
Some more advice to add to the list:
1. Print neatly in your zines. Reading messy handwriting is annoying.
2. Don't be afraid to edit and re-write.
3. Don't photocopy the pages straight out of your journal.
4. If you are handwriting your zine, make sure you're using a decent gel or roller pen, as opposed to ballpoint, which isn't going to copy well.
5. Don't be self-deprecating, like, "Sorry my zine sucks / is short / etc."
6. Make sure the pages are in order before you print 200 of 'em.
7. If you want to sell / trade zines, come up with a description that is going to pique someone's interest. Saying, "this is just a bunch of random stuff", or "my thoughts on life" isn't really going to help anyone.
8. Charge an appropriate price. Generally, if the cost of copying and postage is covered, you're set. Nobody wants to pay five dollars for photocopies of your sketches just because you call it art. Photocopies are still photocopies.
9. If you're making your first zine, read as many as you can get your hands on first. I'm not telling you to rip off other people's ideas, I'm just saying it's good to see what kind of techniques can be used, and to get a feel of writing styles that you like / dislike.
10. Don't be afraid of constructive criticism. It can only make you better.
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.
I like it when people sew the binding together! I DON'T like it when people leave their staples open for my weary little fingers. I happened to get stabbed by one offending zine following a fair on Sunday and will not be reading that zine.