a place for zinesters - writers and readers
ok I read in the forums that there is a difference to some - so I'm asking your opinion- what makes a chapbook different from a zine - in YOUR opinion - and do you think the reading public makes a distiction between the two? do chapbooks cost more? are their production values different ? is this all relative to what you want to create?
I'm asking because I've seen tons of examples of both and now I'm wondering if there's a time and a place for a zine & a time and a place for a chapbook.
Do you guys have a reader base in mind when you produce your work or do you just go with whats in your head at the time?
And I'd like to know if anyone has created a 'product' that ties in with the zine that you either giveaway or sell with it or as a stand alone - it could be something elaborate as a character doll or as simple as a bookmarker - How'd that work out? do you think it brings in more readers?
and do any of you print stickers for promo purposes? - to hand out as awareness of your work - at my KFC down here in Miami there use to be a sticker stuck to the drive thru pole that said 'buy my zine!'.....I thought this was a great idea.
So yeah....I know it sounds odd - but marketing, I guess I'm asking about DIY marketing techniques.
I don't think there's an absolute difference between a chapbook and zine. Zines, like magazines, newsletters, periodicals, etc, tend to have a number and a date, and the publisher, editor or staff is usually regular and explicitly mentioned, but once you remove those, a chapbook can look a lot like a zine.
My main interest is the content, the subject matter. I think I might be a little more interested in a zine than a chapbook because in zines there tends to be ongoing explorations of a subject, whereas chapbooks tend to be poetry, art and miscellany. Not down on that, but I'm interested in fully developed ideas. To be frank, the topics and the way they're treated in most Internet-era zines (newsletters, amateur journals, etc.) aren't found as much as they used to be. (As I've tried to explain, the Internet has a lot to do with this, which is why I find that for me, the effect of the Net does matter, a lot.)
I don't have any tie-ins or gimmicks to increase readership with my zines. I doubt that my tiny readership or any potential readers would be influenced by that kind of thing.
As I remember, chapbooks first started back in the late middle-ages. I think the concept has changed some since then. After I write this, I think I'll take a look at their Wikipedia article.
The Trees & Hills comics anthologies I co-edit always have some sort of relevant extra. Personally as a "consumer" my delight in extra stuff is outweighed by the extra stress of wanting to keep it all together & maybe losing it, but I think the extras help our sales. I've definitely seen people take extra interest when they find out about the extra bit. Your mileage may vary. All of our extras are flat things (smaller zines, packet of small seeds, CD), so as not to make the zines awkard to store or shelve. We do our extra mini-zines at 1/4-size and get envelopes made to fit that size to glue inside the back cover. We usually cut off the envelope flaps, though we left them on for the one that also had a seed packet.
I did some stickers when I first started doing zines (just varied stickers with my web address included in the corner), & it was fun. I don't know how useful they were; I just gave them to people, didn't stick them anywhere besides my possessions.
I currently always have at least one small free minicomic (standard 1/4-size 8-pager) both because I like to give away comics & because it's useful for promotion. Later I reformat them for use in my main zine. You could do the same with text - excerpt a single piece as a limited giveaway. I think actual samples of the work are the best promotion. One maybe less-obvious use for these is to politely offer them to people when you're tabling - it helps bring people closer who might otherwise not engage.