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How do you decide when an issue of your zine is "out of print"?

I've noticed that some issues of some zines go permanently out of print after a time. I was wondering how you (personally - I know it'll be different for everyone) decide when an issue is going out of print - do you print a certain number of copies of each issue and then put it out of print? Do you not print any more copies after a certain amount of time has passed since you made the issue? Or is it a much more personal decision than that, without any (however loosely) set boundaries of print numbers/months passed? Perhaps your zine doesn't go out of print at all, and you continue to print as many issues as there is demand.

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Umm, well I guess for some people it's just when it is not financially viable to print any more. I am nearly out of the 2nd issue of my zine, which is a full colour issue, and there's no way I can afford to print any more right now. But personally I never want to declare it PERMANENTLY out of print - if anybody ever contacts me and asks for a copy, I would do my best to get a new copy made, even if its only one. Whereas other people who may actually profit from their zines may decide to stop that issue when they are no longer making a profit.
i never reprint, so once the first 30-40 have sold. that's it.
For me, making a zine is to pacify a buzzing in my head; it goes out of print when the buzzing quiets down. :) So yeh, personal.
When you run out of copies and can't bring yourself to make more (because you don't have the money, time, or the personal investment in the project anymore).
Many zinesters also look at the content and whether it applies to their life anymore, and if they still want to put it out there.
I agree with Nicole on this one - I've put the first 3 issues of my zine out of print because I've grown up since then and what I wrote back then isn't what I think anymore. I'm also totally embarrassed now by what I wrote, and I don't want anyone to read it in case they think badly of me!

I think that's the one of the main reasons most zines go out of print - I've heard a lot of zinesters say they're embarrassed by earlier zines. But if you're still happy with your zine, then by all means keep it in print! If people like your newest zines, they may want to purchase back copies, so if you're still happy with the content and you like the zine, keep it!
I've actually been thinking about this recently because I occasionally get requests for zines that I no longer have copies of, or I get distro orders of certain issues when I've only got a few copies left, and then I have to think about whether or not I want to make more. Like, right after my sister and I decided we no longer wanted to make more copies of our last split zine, I got three distro orders for it within a week, so I went ahead and made some more after all.

Generally, my zines go "out of print" when I am tired of the content. Enough time passes that I don't exactly feel the way I felt when I made a certain issue, or I'm just tired of sharing those stories and talking about them over and over again. Money is an issue, too, of course. I like to have a few back issues available, but eventually enough is enough, it's time to move on.
I generally keep all my zines in print, unless I particularly hate them after a while. The first 3 issues of my perzine are out of print, mainly because they were a bit crappy. I reprinted any decent stuff to be gleaned out of them in issue four, so I have no real reason to reprint. I like to keep everything else available though, and I do a back issue reprint every couple of months. I don't do huge print runs in one go, mainly because I can't be bothered to fold and staple more than 100 zines at a go.
When I run out of copies. Most of my issues I've had offset printed. After the initial distribution and sales, and basically when my next issue came out, I'd set aside 25 issues to sell as back issues. When each has sold out, the issue was sold out. It's gotta be a lot more difficult to determine if you're photocopying, because you can always copy more issues.
Thanks for commenting everyone, I appreciate it. & it was interesting to read the various views different people have on this topic.

Personally, I have decided to put issue 1 of my zine out of print, at least temporarily, once the copies I have left are sold. Not because I don't feel a connection with it any more, but because I made it in an inexperienced way that made it very time consuming to put together (I have to trim all the pages, and they weren't numbered...), and well, I'm lazy. Also, I think issue 2 of mine is just a lot better put together, layout-wise, and more representative of the way future issues will hopefully be.

Emma, I like your idea of putting the best bits of the first 3 issues into issue 4, I might reprint parts of issue 1 that way eventually, especially as I don't love the layout/fonts (I made the mistake of using lots of different ones - never again!) I used in issue 1.
I normally wait until I'm sick of seeing a cover staring at me. Then I know it's time to sell it out and let it be, for awhile at least.

Does anyone know of any kind of trade hub for people who might have an old copy of something but don't want it anymore, while someone else might be looking for it? A website or something that lists what's available and/or what people are looking for/willing to trade? I know some of this gets done through traveling zine boxes, but you never really know what is going to be in the box by the time you get it.



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