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Curious if people are sharing PDF versions of their zine among fellow publishers?

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Thereve been lots of discussions about PDF's & e-zines here.  I guess you could plug them into the Discussions search box.  Jeff Sommers (hope that's spelled right) recently started doing his zine, Inner Swine, on Kindle.  I don't know how well that's taken off for him.  I've never read or even touched a Kindle.  May try one or some other e-reader some time, but the prospect doesn't partcularly entice me.  Sounds too complcated and legalistic for me.  The sci-fi fandom community seems to have been doing PDF zines for a while and somehwre on the discussions here there's a link to a site of PDF fanzines, , but I'm generally not that interested in their subject matter myself.  I 've never been able to print out digests without getting the pagination all messed up, but I've printed out a few 8 1/2 x 11's easily.  I have serious doubts that I could ever enjoy reading a zine on screen and don't relish the experiment,  so I've got to have paper.

Our local SDS chapter provides PDF versions of our zine to the various groups that contribute to it so that everybody on the mailing list can print out as many copies as they need. It seems to me to be a good idea if you have a lot of people contributing to a particular project, and pooling your funds for printing isn't feasible.


I, personally, would rather have a physical copy of something, so whenever I come across a PDF, I print it out. zinelibrary.net is full of downloadable, PDF versions of zines. If you like the idea of giving out your zine for free, it might be an interesting idea to put a copy up on that site. I've personally printed many zines off that site- printing the PDF double sided and in the right order is tricky the first couple of times, but it is well worth it.

I know some (printed) zines that are also distributed via pdf (such as Pez http://www.monmagan.com/pez/). This way many fans can print their own copies without the zinester spending money, but the zine is still being sold in short running editions that are not so expensive anyway. I guess some other people like sharing their zines online once the printed version has run out, like a zine I know called Fake Barba recently did. And finally, there are zine archivists and archaeologists out there who keep posting old, out of print zines online for everyone to enjoy (see the Queer Zine Archive Project). In the three cases, I think they`re good ways of sharing zines around without spending much money.

Hi Joe! Electric Windmill is a new zine started by myself and Brian Le Lay. We distribute both PDFs and print issues for a two reasons: 1) people can read and enjoy the content for free if they are financially pressed like so many of us are, and 2) they can preview it prior to buying. While we understand entirely why print is the preferred format (neither of us owns an e-reader and our apartment is essentially a mountain of books), we also believe in embracing technology and using it to our advantage rather than rejecting it. While neither of us particularly enjoys on-screen viewing of other folks' works (print is far more intimate), we acknowledge that some do, so for those that do, hooray, they can download our PDFs. =)

The free PDF option for us probably has a lot to do with the fact that it has many contributors as well. In our first issue, we have 30 pieces from 20 contributors. By having it online, contributors can share with their friends, families, etc. anytime, anywhere. However, I don't suspect we'll put out our future perzines as PDFs unless someone requested it. They'll be shorter and cheaper than Electric Windmill, and a buck or two seems to be less of a commitment than the $3 it is for an EW print.


Interested to know what people think of our PDF while we're on the topic! Check it out! http://electricwindmillpress.com/1.html


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