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Do you order from zine distros?  Yes?  No?  Why?  Why not?

 

Would you be sad to see distros go away? 

 

I ask simply because I am getting a bit down about continuing to run a distro and wonder if they are necessary to keep zines thriving? 

 

People seem to enjoy the distro, but lack of orders means a lack of funds to order new stock and so goes the cycle.   I never wanted to be one of the ones to run a distro for a short time period and give up, but I am starting to see why it happens. 

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Now this is a concept that fascinates me--I opened a new topic on .pdf zine distribution before seeing all this, but (forgive me as I'm just now getting back into touch with current trends in zines after being away from the scene for so long) are people making zines and distributing them via PDF?

 

The idea of a hand-made zine scanned and uploaded to as a PDF for sale has a certain crazy appeal to it. Like musicians who spend thousands of dollars on state-of-the-art digital mastering only to squish everything down to mp3, a digital edition of a zine is wonderfully contradictory. I'm not being sarcastic here, I genuinely love the notion. Collisions of the old and new are wonderful.

 

 

PS @Dan 10Things:

 

There's are new "build your own apps" sites springing up by the day but I caution zine publishers to READ THE FINE PRINT as some of these apps have terms of service that say they more or less own anything distributed by the app. BEWARE. You could find your material legally "repurposed" without your knowledge one day because you agreed to the ToS...

Hey all,

 

In the 90's I ran my distro as a paper catalog (this was pre-internet, or at least pre-my-knowing-about-the-internet) and one of the things that killed it was the cost of printing up and mailing a thousand 16 page catalogs.

 

A few years back I restarted my distro, and am relieved to have the catalog online.  I don't see how I could afford to do it any other way at this point.  I'm not savvy enough to add a printable version to the site, but I think it's easy enough to print out web pages?

 

And if you're interested, or there will be a listing of extant distros on this site, mine is called Spit and a Half: www.spitandahalf.blogspot.com.  It's mostly comix.

Actually, for all intents and purposes, yours. Iike Nicole's, looks pretty much like a "printable version".   Yours was a little more tedious to print than Nicole's, because her "Catalogue" button brings up the whole catalogue, while I had to print yours an alphabet-range at a time.  That's okay.  Not complaining, just explaining.  I'm happy to have it.

I'm not sure why you'd have to do a mass mailing.  I have a Word document catalogue of used books, zines, tapes, etc. on my hard-drive I occasionally update and just cheaply advertise it.   When I get a request, I print it out and send via snail mail, or sometimes I  just send it to people I think might be interested. I ask for a 64 cent SASE to offset my costs.

Anyway, I'll enjoy browsing your catalog & I appreciate that you offer a snail mail choice! 

John Porcellino said:

Hey all,

 

In the 90's I ran my distro as a paper catalog (this was pre-internet, or at least pre-my-knowing-about-the-internet) and one of the things that killed it was the cost of printing up and mailing a thousand 16 page catalogs.

 

A few years back I restarted my distro, and am relieved to have the catalog online.  I don't see how I could afford to do it any other way at this point.  I'm not savvy enough to add a printable version to the site, but I think it's easy enough to print out web pages?

 

And if you're interested, or there will be a listing of extant distros on this site, mine is called Spit and a Half: www.spitandahalf.blogspot.com.  It's mostly comix.

The other problem with a paper catalog is the fact that things sell out and stock changes rapidly.   Thus, not making sense to front the cost.   We aren't Microcosm (which now ONLY purchases 100+ copies of zines they keep in stock).   That is not cost effective for me or probably any other small distro.   We tend to work in quantities of 10 to 20 at a time. 

Thanks James.  Your idea of have a Word version I could send out on request is a good one.  I'll see what I can come up with in that regard.

I used to have all the listings on one page of the site, but it became so cumbersome to load and update that I just recently switched it to the Alphabetical format I have now.

Especially with something as visual as comics, the website is a huge improvement over the paper catalog, in terms of being able to show people what the artwork/books actually look like.

But I hear ya.

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