a place for zinesters - writers and readers
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.
For stapling, you can also use a regular-length stapler and staple into a carpet or corkboard, then bend down the sharp ends with your thumb. Might want to put a band-aid on first though, and it obviously wouldn't be economical for big print runs. (Also, had no idea that there were different types of staples in different countries... VHS tapes, DVDs, AC plugs, and now staples, you learn something new every day.)
In another note, please please please do not make an "educational" zine that uses wikipedia as a source. C'mon guys, I saw a few of these at the Chicago zine fest last year and wondered why the effort was made to make a zine this way.
This is such a great topic! So many good points have been hit on already that I find it hard to come up with something beneficial to add. I definately agree that the binding of a zine is important, as well as page numbering and contact information. If someone really enjoys yr zine and want to let you know this they can only do so if they have yr contact information or if they want to pass yr name and contact info on to others who may like yr zine... a lack of contact information is really only going to harm the zinester.
I think its important to always remember to give appropriate credit in yr zine to others who have contributed or to others whom you have "borrowed" information - it's like writing a paper in school... you need to be sure to reference where you obtained information so that proper credit is given and copyright infringement is avoided. And if you decide to review another zine within yr own zine.... PLEASE include contact information on that zine. I have found myself interested in a zine after reading its review but to only be disappointed that there was no info on how I could obtain that zine.
And when using black and white copies of photographs in yr zine....please make sure they are not so dark that the reader cannot make out what the picture is of. I find that if I have to spend a lot of time trying to decipher what something is that I lose interest in that zine rather quickly and it gets put aside and may or may not be picked up again at a later date.
A lot of good points here, but now I might just go ahead and make a zine out of all the 'do not' suggestions by everyone else.
Stand by for my unstapled, unidentified black and white zine full of dark images that shouldn't have been photocopied, with no contributor bios, tiny font, rubber bands hanging off various pages, etc, etc...
I'm quite new to zine making (I've only been making zines for about a year) that I learned over the past year that I learned over the past year and well...I learned because they were little mistakes I made along the way:
1. Never staple together the master copy even though you can easily take out staples stuff can very easily get accidentally ripped. It makes photocopying a little bit more difficult then it needs to be.
2. don't forget to number your pages this is so important!! Order mistakes can create so much unnecessary frustration.
3. Invest in a good quality glue stick. I had to replace my glue stick three times because it ran out on me when trying to glue together zine pages, it was very annoying. I blame the shitty quality of the glue.
4. Don't forget to include contact info and name.
5. don't forget to factor in margins if not words could easily be cut off.
I think clearly pricing your zine is pretty important, too. That way people know what the cost is for ordering and don't have to waste time (and potentially postage) asking.
And, while editing is important, you should have someone else look over it, too. Chances are, you've been staring at your zine content for somewhere ranging from days to weeks. Let someone look at it with fresh eyes. Case in point? I worked on my zine for almost a month leading up to Philly Zine Fest last year, was very pleased with the content and having gotten done in time. I had a collate/fold/staple party with a friend, and it wasn't until she got home with a copy that we realized I had misspelled the name of my zine on the cover. Yup. That happened.
So, cooked macaroni is also a bad idea?
Here's a good idea. I'm going to at least start dating when I first start working on it and when it gets finished. I have had references to where I live but that's mostly because of show reviews.
Scratch That Itch said:
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.