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Hi!

Im completly new to zine making and am about to print my very first zine and I was wondering if anyone here can give me any advice for a newbie. Good things to do, bad things to do? Things to keep in mind while creating a zine? How to get my zine "out there"?

 

Thanks in advance :)

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Someone is going to say something way more actually "helpful," I hope, but:

Just do it! Zines are a very good thing to just do and then figure out what didn't work as well as it might and then do better the next time!
Don't be afraid to ask someone for a trade! I don't know about others, but I get shy contacting someone about a trade sometimes, but it's always totally worth it.
get hold of a copy of stolen sharpie revolution by Alex Wrekk, really helpful ideas! http://www.etsy.com/listing/61869252/stolen-sharpie-revolution-2-a-... but as Dan C says, make it whatever you want it to be!

Have you read many zines?
Thanks for the link, Ill be sure to order a copy of that!
Iv been collecting comic zines for a little while now, but Iv yet to really branch into non-comic zines.

Heres a quick question:
I was originally planning on selling my zine primarily around town in local artisans shops. There is absolutly no zine scene here, and as such I thought Id include at the front of the book a small "What is a zine?" explination since nobody here has ever heard of them.
But if Im selling in zine communities, to people who already know what a zine is, would this seem odd? If you bought a zine and there was a blurb at the front about what a zine was, would you find that dumb? Im asking because I want to sell to both zine people and non zine people, but I dont want two versions.
You could always make an insert and put it in the ones you sell locally! But I for one wouldn't think it's dumb if it was in the zine proper.

My advice is to read, read, read. I had read very few zines when I made my first stab at one and it showed. Of course there's a point at which you have to stop thinking about it and just do it. Do you live at all close to a major city? Your town might not have a zine library, but most big cities do, and you'd be surprised at the number of small towns/suburbs that might have a zine library too. (Ex: the Baltimore County public library, stationed in a town of 18,000, has a zine collection, whereas Baltimore City's library does not, although there are infoshops. It is even bigger than Pittsburgh's public zine library!) This is a great way to read a lot of different zines for free and get a feel for zine writing.


Grace Birch said:
Thanks for the link, Ill be sure to order a copy of that!
Iv been collecting comic zines for a little while now, but Iv yet to really branch into non-comic zines.

Heres a quick question:
I was originally planning on selling my zine primarily around town in local artisans shops. There is absolutly no zine scene here, and as such I thought Id include at the front of the book a small "What is a zine?" explination since nobody here has ever heard of them.
But if Im selling in zine communities, to people who already know what a zine is, would this seem odd? If you bought a zine and there was a blurb at the front about what a zine was, would you find that dumb? Im asking because I want to sell to both zine people and non zine people, but I dont want two versions.
chances are there may be some other lonely zinesters nearby too!

First thing you need to do is decide what kind of things you want in your zine, start collecting material together and when you think you have enough get it all together and arrange it into something you like!

I'm not sure if you need a blurb as people should be able to work it out for themselves on browsing, perhaps give shops a display copy for these purposes. You can always review some zines or include links to zine resources (such as this site!) for poeple who want to find out more.
It looks like you've already printed your first issue, I saw the announcement on livejournal, congrats! Some ways to get your zine out there in regards to picking up readers and promoting it include:

--Send out a lot of review copies. Not only to zines that review other zines, but also to local blogs and community papers, anyone you think might review it. Local alt-weekly or music publications sometimes review zines, mine was even written about in some larger newspapers
--Make sure you include contact info, ordering info (price and address), etc. It's amazing how many people forget crucial info like that
--Try to trade copies with other zines
--Consider setting up an Etsy page to sell your zine there yourself
--Add a page onto ZineWiki with info about your zine and first issue
--Plug it in various zine forums (that you seem to already have covered)
--Send it to various zine distros in hopes they will pick it up and help sell issues for you
--Send it to various zine stores (out here in the Northwest, Left Bank Books in Seattle and Reading Frenzy in Portland come to mind) in hopes they will carry it

I'm sure other people have more suggestions...
--Look around for local art, zine, publishing, and book conventions/events that you might be able to table at
when i made my first zines i just traded with people on here because i was too scared to give it to people i knew. now i give them to my friends and family. it's hard to make zines when nobody you know does. i have gradually gotten my friends into it so i have someone to share this joy with and that definitely makes it more fun.
the good thing about having no zine scene is that you can quickly become a seasoned professional, explaining zines to others. and, when you meet someone who does make zines, instant bonding!
i don't think it would be weird to have a "what's a zine?" blurb. actually, i think other zinesters might be interested to learn how you view zines!
i have heard a lot about getting zines reviewed, distros, stores... personally, i think getting other people to put out your zine is just boring, and not diy, obviously! i sell, trade and give away my zines personally, with the exception of like 3 copies in my entire life.
Thank you so much for the replies everyone! Im for sure learning a lot here.
yeah... I agree about 'just do' lines... if you not even try to just do, and you'll don't know what you must or mustn't do

Dan C said:
Someone is going to say something way more actually "helpful," I hope, but:

Just do it! Zines are a very good thing to just do and then figure out what didn't work as well as it might and then do better the next time!
I noticed on his store http://smallworldbuttons.bigcartel.com there are two stolen sharpie revolutions for sale. #1 and #2. i heard that #2 is the same as #1 but just with more added content, is this true? or are both completely different? wanted to buy this for so long but not sure if i should be purchasing both =S
Mio xo


Stephanos said:
get hold of a copy of stolen sharpie revolution by Alex Wrekk, really helpful ideas! http://www.etsy.com/listing/61869252/stolen-sharpie-revolution-2-a-... but as Dan C says, make it whatever you want it to be!

Have you read many zines?
(Alex's female.)

It's an update. So just get #2.

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