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Hey. What do you charge for your zine? Or is it free? I have always been making mine free (or trade, of course), but I don't have a job right now and am wondering what I should do. Thanks.

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I charge free. not free as you don't give any money, but the free as "you're free too choose how much you want to pay for it". it's kinda usual in french zines, and european punk culture (weel, at least in the places I know)
I charge $1, although I really need to up the price to $2 cause copies went up here. I pretty much get 5 cents back from each zine I sell, but I mostly do trades, so I don't charge at all and I pay for postage. It's starting to get kinda pricey, but I love reading new zines, so it's worth it.
I just really love being able to make mine free... but I'm running out of money.
I charge what they cost to copy, and postage, but I do trades too. I may have to stop trading internationally with the bigger ones though because the postage is costing me a fortune :-S
*by trading internationally I mean doing trades with people. They will still be able to be bought internationally. Not sure if that was clear, I'm tired!
That story is ridiculous. How can people be such assholes?

Amber / Culture Slut said:
There is no problem with charging the cost of printing plus the cost of postage. Don't feel bad if you can't give yours away for free. Interestingly, I read recently (and I forget who wrote it), that people tend to assign more value to something that isn't free. They tend to appreciate something more if they had to pay for it, even if it was a buck or two. And I think that that can be true with zines. I don't know why that is, and perhaps I oughtta change the way my mind works, but I often (consciously or not) tend to think of the phrase, "you get what you pay for." If a zine is free, I tend to pay a little less attention to it.

A few years ago, I was at a zine fair with a table full of my zines, including the first issue of Fight Boredom. It was a dollar. The guy who was tabling across from me said, in an extremely sarcastic tone, "Oh, so it costs A DOLLAR to fight boredom??" and rolled his eyes, acted as if I was some sort of scam artist. I said, "Well, I just spent $50 on photocopies, and another $80 on bus fare to Toronto, so yes, I'm charging a dollar for my zine." Mind you, he was selling his books for $15-$20 and giving away free zines, which were so awful that I never made it past the first page. I recycled it as soon as I got home. He handed out free zines to anyone who passed his table, and there were a lot of stray copies at the end of the day. It seemed he, and the fest-goers placed absolutely no value on his writing (I use the term 'zine' loosely here anyway, they were mere reprints from his blog).

So yeah, charge a buck or two for your zines! It's normal to lose money on zines, but that doesn't mean you can't ask for a little bit of compensation.

P.S. I guess it's cool if you can afford to give your zines away for free, but I sure can't and I don't know too many people who can.
mostly i just trade mine, but i have had mine up on etsy, i sell for $2.. i might make a few cents mailing locally, but spend more for overseas..
When the cheapest place in town is 8 cents a side and there are no copy scams, I have to charge for my zines.
never have charged...either for the 130 issues of my poetry zine...1994-2001...400 poets/4,000 poems
for any of the mail-art i do now or 'zinery'...
(these hobbies cost me about $500.00 per year...cheaper than bowling...more fun!)

don't bother with a zillion apps...just walk in a business and say, "i'd be happy to do
4 hours of work for you...for $20.00 ...whatever is needed."
do that twice weekly...even at two different businesses...
and there's $500.00 per year...ZINE/ENVELOPE/STAMP$$$$...:)
honest injun!!!
(one of the two will prob. hire ya permanent...if ya do a good job)

um, i often send $1.00 to zine-makers i admire...
(sometimes the number of stamps ziners have put on their envelopes)

i agree....money is a CRAP!!!!!!!!!...but still gotta gather in a little!!!!
and 4 hrs. work (for cash)...twice weekly...ain't much!!!
good luck
I charge $1.00 for mine, but I end up trading, mostly. I never ask for money. I usually just trade or give them away. $1 basically covers the 68 cents it costs me to copy it, and about 3/4ths of postage. The ones I sell in person make up for the larger packages i send to other zinesters and the leftover postage that one issue doesn't cover.

I do have a few smaller ones for free though, 8-pages that you only have to copy on one side, or 4 pages out of one sheet of a4. At staples it costs me 8 cents to copy something, so if I make 100 it's $8 (which I usually don't. I'm 15 and don't have a job. I usually make about 30 or 40). (I'm going to find a cheaper photocopier once I run out of money on my staples photocopying card.)

But, like I said, I do give a LOT of my more expensive issues away, or trade them.
i charge $3 for monstress very roughly using the making + postage formula. i try not to think about it too much because postage generally runs me $2 and i know it costs more than a $1 to make. i felt bad when i raised the price from $2 to $3, but the disparity between how much each issue cost and how much it cost to make was getting crazy and now i'm glad i did. i do trades as well. i have a couple of smaller, 16-20pp zines that are $1. they're also the ones i'm most likely to give away.
Haiku a Day from the start was something I'd just mail out to friends for the hell of it. The thought of folks getting a random item in the mail is more than the (for me) modest cost it takes to make and ship it. The last time I tabled at a show I just gave it away.

Late Night Thinking, being larger, I charge $2 for, but I'd much rather do trades, and pretty much always say yes to any offer of doing so. I'm probably split 60/40 for charge/trade with that.

I have no problem with folks charging for zines, up to a reasonable amount. I support fully both folks who give their stuff away (I do the same), and have no problem with folks who charge a bit above cost+postage (I also do the same, my cost+postage is a little over $1 for LNT, and it's easier to just say $2 and not have to deal with change). I've had very few zines I've paid for that I didn't think were worth it.



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