a place for zinesters - writers and readers
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.
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