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Everything you want to know about a zine fest...

... but were afraid to ask.

I am thinking of writing an article about zine fests making a simple "how-to" that will go in the Richmond Zine Fest program and offer it up to any other fests or a mini zine for reprinting.

I think a lot of people visit zine fests and don't know what to expect and don't know what to do or what is proper etiquette. I know some things are touched on in Stolen Sharpie Revolution, but i kind of want to make something separate available for free when one comes to a zine fest or can order from a distro if curious.

Some things i am wanting to touch on:
- It's okay to browse
- It's okay to ask questions
- Definition of a distro
- trading etiquette

As an attendee or tabler, please let me know what you think would be valuable info

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i am tabling Saturday but i plan on being in Richmond for the long weekend! travel/lodging plans ever pending...

Sarah said:
Oh Raequel, it was a flat stale schpiel, recited from the heart. I still feel bad for placing my friend Erica and her husband next to him, since they were sharing a 6-foot table. Are you tabling Friday Raequel, or just Saturday? I can't remember.

NicoleIntrovert said:
how many copies of zines do you usually take with you?
Oooh that is one i left off of my crazy brainstorming sheet. Good idea!

twilight gecko said:
how many copies of zines do you usually take with you?
thanks, i'm hoping to someday participate in a zine fest.. it's good to know what i need up front..
I think we may be doing a raffle? I know we'd like to and the idea has been bandied about...

i'll donate stuff to the raffle, and i've been meaning to mail in my donations for richmond zine libraries. which bookstores currently carry zines? i've been meaning to get my stuff into shops.

good luck you guys! i'm really looking forward to the fest!
I was just rereading this thread since i am finally starting on the article. Please hop in on the discussion if you have thought of any more things to include.
I finshed this article and put it together as a lil zine for the Richmond Zine Fest. Interested in a copy? Mail me something! Stamps, a letter, art, a mix CD, a postcard etc. (Please just make sure you mention it is for the everything You Wanted to Know About a Zine Fest zine.)

Nicole Introvert
PO Box 35501
Richmond, VA 23235
USA
Nicole, do you still have any copies of this zine? I'd love to read it.
I will have to look for it... My office just got destroyed due to a new computer (yay!). I will leave you a comment as soon as i find it and make you a copy.   It also appears in Zine World #29.

Betsy Nelson said:
Nicole, do you still have any copies of this zine? I'd love to read it.

Have a No selling in front of your table policy for your Zine Fest:

I was at a Portland Zine Symposium a few years back and this guy was aggrssively standing in front of his table in the aisle and shoving/handing his zine to passersby for them to buy it.

 

He was right next to my table and he totally through off traffic to all of the tables around him, but especially mine. People would rush by my table to avoid him from both directions or they would feel obligated to look at his zine. He was in peoples face while they read his zine asking them to buy. His aggressive strategy kind of worked. He sold some zines, but at the expense of every ziner around him.

 

In general zine shoppers are pretty low-key and he threw off their game. 

 

I asked him if he would get behind the table to sell and he said no. I then asked the people running PZS about it. They said they knew about him and that he was "the guy who does this" and they did not feel they could do anything about.

 

The result was the fest was complete wash for me.  

 

I figure also beside for a no selling in front of your table policy for basic zine table etiquette, do not aggressively sell/steal people to your table when they are at the table next to you. Please respect other tablers space.  

   

this thread is a keeper

Amber,

 

I must confess that for the first hour of my first zine fest, I was a pretty chatty seller: standing up, asking people to check out my zine and giving a repetitive pitch: "It is a four panel a day diary comic zine," I said with a smile. I must have repeated that a hundred times in that first hour.

 

But I learned quickly that a zine fest was not like selling tie dyes at a grateful dead show or cheese at the farmers market.

 

Ziners like their space.

 

I quickly figured that I had to switch gears, so I sat down and hung back. I gave fest goers space to pick up my zine and check it out. And I also printed out a few sample pages on a large poster, so passersby could get a feel for what was inside my zine without having to pick up my zine and possibly feel awkward if it was not their thing.

 

Lately, I have been placing little post it notes on my zines that said "Read Me" in hand written letters to encourage people to actually pick up my zine and flip threw it. They seem to work.

 

The idea is that I create a space where people will feel comfortable checking out my zine without feel pressure to have to buy, like my work or even comment.

 

If people want to chat me up, I let them, but they don't have too.

 

I also have to confess that I seem to have more fun walking the fest and talking with other tablers and trading. I then coming back to my table and reading their zine. The zine goes seemed to be more background.

 

 

 

 

 

   

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