I originally posted this on the Zine World site
, but haven't gotten much response yet, so I thought I'd go to where the people are and post it here! I am specifically looking for comments I can print in an upcoming Zine World, so if you're uncomfortable with me using your name, please say so. Otherwise, I will assume your response to this post means you're ok with me printing your response. (You're also welcome to respond over at ZW, or email me your comments.)
We recently received the following note from a prisoner:
I have sent off and requested a large number of zines from people who stated ‘ftp’ [free to prisoners] and haven’t received many. Do people lose interest or are times so bad that they become way too busy with just surviving? With each and every request, I have included postage on average of $1.26 (3 $.42 stamps). What am I doing wrong? Please advise me when you can get to it, what am I doing wrong and how can I improve my odds of receiving zines?
We’ve gotten a few other notes like this recently. We ask publishers who send in their zines for review to tell us whether they will send their zine to prisoners for free. If they are willing, we include the notation ‘ftp’ in the review. If a publisher says s/he won’t send their zine for free, we put ‘not ftp.’ And if a publisher says s/he won’t take prisoner orders at all (paid or free), we put ‘no prisoners.’ Unfortunately, many publishers do not indicate their preference.
So we’d like to ask you, our faithful readers, for feedback on dealing with prisoner requests. What can this prisoner do to improve his chances of a reply? What can we at ZW do to help the situation?