We Make Zines

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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.

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

To me it comes natural to do that because I originally come from mail art, and in our network, address lists are vital to meet new people and make new friends. The documentations/catalogues we make at the end of a project always feature an address list - sometimes hundreds of names from around the world. I think I must have a 1000-name strong database only for mail artists.
Yeah, I think including contributors information is also just the nice thing to do. They are contributing their writing or artwork to your zine and most likely for free. The right thing to do is list their name and contact information, including a website, so that people can visit it and maybe give them some business. That is the trade you are giving them. Even if you pay them in some way, still think you should list their information.
Thank you for the binding advice, Krissy! I'm glad I read it before taking my mini comic to Philly unstapled :-)
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.
Oh noes! That what something that was worrying me actually, because to staple mine I stapled it into the carpet then used my letter opener to bend them down. I was freaking out that someone would hurt themselves... must buy one of these long arm stapler things...

Bird in the Hand said:
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.
a good long arm or pamphlet stapler will be soooo worth it! even just to not go through that hell!
Niku said:
a good long arm or pamphlet stapler will be soooo worth it! even just to not go through that hell!

I agree, invest in a decent stapler! I got a "small booklet" stapler more than a few years ago and it's really helped to make assembling zines easier.
I just did a zine making workshop and talked for like 10 minutes about how awesome it is to actually bind your zine, and how ESSENTIAL page numbers are. I then taught everyone how to use sewing to bind their zine. Totally awesome.
Hehe yeah it was a bit of a rigmarole. Is there one type that is better than another? I had a look at OfficeWorks (like Kinkos I think) and they started at $40... but to save my poor fingers I'm definitely going to get my hands on one.

Mostly I worry because kids buy my "Creatures and Dreams" one. I've put a little warning in the next issue, arrows pointing to the staples saying "be careful". I think I may have to find another way to bind those particular ones though. They have a paper doll as the centrefold, so the staples would get opened when they take it out anyway...

Niku said:
a good long arm or pamphlet stapler will be soooo worth it! even just to not go through that hell!
Oooh sewing to bind it, I quite like the idea of that. Do you have a picture so we can see what you mean?

Samantha Trees said:
I just did a zine making workshop and talked for like 10 minutes about how awesome it is to actually bind your zine, and how ESSENTIAL page numbers are. I then taught everyone how to use sewing to bind their zine. Totally awesome.
Gianni Simone said:
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 I'd reiterate that folks shouldn't assume anything's copyleft unless it's explicitly identified as such.
Yeah, goodness in this thread. Good binding is important to the max. Yeah and you gotta definitely watch your margins. One thing I found interesting though is I never thought about putting the season and the date. That's a great idea, totally space cased the idea of dating your zine, I'm doin' it from now on. About the copying issue, yeah wouldn't you assume if the author didn't say you could copy the zine that you can't? Also what's everyone's preferred method of binding?

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