We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

how do you market/advertise/dissiminate your zines?

this has always boggled me...

i mean if you're a new writer, of if you are planning to release a new type of zine that you havent ventured into before or when you just feel like you always have the same readers/ followers all the time (not that it's a totally bad thing, but like if you want other people to find out about your zine or project), HOW DO YOU DO IT?

I now live in a tiny ass town where there arent craft fairs, zine reading places or anything like that so i find difficult to reach out to people. I mean when i lived in a bigger city, it was easy, leave a couple of zines here and there, post fliers and posters, leave some artwork, get connections who'd let you display your stuff in their store, or just post a blog about it online) and there you go, you find new people who might like what you do or also do what you do and you get a bigger network of people to read your stuff...

but other than that, what else do people do? how do, for example, oregon-based reach... i dont know... australia? or something like that? or how do people from all over just know where to find your zines? or where and how to find you?

i dont know, having moved just frustrates me because i feel like i have to start all over again. :O

anyone else encountered this problem? any adivce or input into this...?

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Livejournal.com has a few zine communities with members from all over the world. In any of the zine communities, do a description and a photo/scan of the cover, state whether you want trades or $$ and usually someone responds with interest. I've found a few awesome zines this way.
I started out by trading with other people all over the world. It got me pen pals, new zines and new readers. I traded fliers with other zines to send out with orders, sent my zines to places for reviews, and to distros for consideration. I sent stacks of them to panpal to take to shops in their area and I took zines with me when I traveled to give to friends. When I moved to Portland 10 years ago I just kept that up and things grew steadily from there.
you could try sending to one of the zine distros?

http://www.allthumbspress.net/zineinfo.html is a page written by Keg de Souza that I came across last week (apparently it was written for a zine commissioned by Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art) - it has some distros in Aus & overseas listed

http://groups.google.com/group/zines-aus is an Australian zines mail list. this week there was a thread about selling zines in Aus (timely) so a few more stores/distros listed there too.
http://groups.google.com/group/zines-aus/browse_thread/thread/a42ee...

sending the guys at Sticky Institute a message would probably be your best bet to start with - they're a zine store based in Melbourne. http://www.stickyinstitute.com

&/or Bird in the Hand distro (sydney/soon to be a Newcastle-based store so I've heard) http://zines.wordpress.com

there's an Australian zinesters section on this wemakezines ning site too - asking someone there would be a good start.

(I'm not sure what the stores' policies are about Australian & International zines - I guess they stock both?? so maybe contact them to check)
or trade/swap as mentioned previously

or maybe send to a zine reviewer site? I found a good one (blog) the other night (Aus) but I can't remember the link sorry. google it perhaps?

also flickr has some groups - & you see pics
http://www.flickr.com/groups/zinesters = Zinesters group
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1061227@N20 = Zine Reviews group

hth
kath

btw Alex, your zines arrived - loving reading them! thanks
my zine has a myspace page and i've met a lot of the people from here on there and we trade that way.

i was also the venus zine reader of the week so that got me a little attention but not really any more sales.
http://www.venuszine.com/articles/you/5462/Reader_of_the_Week_Lames...
all i had to do was ask them and they said yes, so maybe you could try that.

i give my zine to guys that come over my house and then i get feedback that way.

i buy other people's zines and then they return the favor. people like getting compliments too. then they ask you to write for their zine. also just writing constantly for magazines i like. i just sent a submission to hipmama and am thinking on a way to get into $pread magazine.

i also talk about my zine on afropunk.com and other communities i'm in sometimes, but not all the time to the point of it being annoying.

i'm broke now and can't buy your zine, but when i get money again, i'll hook you up.
i used to live in a small town, but even though i've moved closer to the city, i still mostly only distribute my zine through the mail. i've found that sending my zines out for review and trying to get them carried by distros is a really good way to get them noticed by other people. i also include a small stack of flyers [for my zine] with most of the copies i send out. so if it seems that i'm sending new issues to all the same people, at least i know that most of them will pass those flyers on to their readers.

and let's not forget the awesome resource that is we make zines! it's a great way to find people/libraries/distros all over the world who may be interested in your zine! since joining wmz, i've sent more zines outside of the country than ever before!
i've considered blogs... but even just choosing which blogging site to use is boggling... haha. i mean lj has the advantage of a community driven blog... but when you want a more organized anf free blog, wordpress appeks more, but then blogger give the freedom to modify with css, etc.

fantasmagoric said:
Livejournal.com has a few zine communities with members from all over the world. In any of the zine communities, do a description and a photo/scan of the cover, state whether you want trades or $$ and usually someone responds with interest. I've found a few awesome zines this way.
i have considered this... but since i live with family, i dont want to start giving out my address just yet... im looking into getting a PO box or one of those UPS mailboxes though...

Alex Wrekk said:
I started out by trading with other people all over the world. It got me pen pals, new zines and new readers. I traded fliers with other zines to send out with orders, sent my zines to places for reviews, and to distros for consideration. I sent stacks of them to panpal to take to shops in their area and I took zines with me when I traveled to give to friends. When I moved to Portland 10 years ago I just kept that up and things grew steadily from there.
I have to say, this site has been a boon as far as receiving fresh new reading material from people I never would have encountered otherwise. Trading zines has never been so simple!! I believe this to be a fine and fancy site, something I can drop by whenever I'm bored and feeling like taking another dip in the zine thing. In the last few months I've had the good fortune to trade my silly wares for (at least) five of the top ten zines I've ever read, and that's not too shabby considering I've been riding this hobby horse for ten or fifteen years.

Honestly (at least according to my savage and jaded experience), blogs, distros, reviews and all of that heavily-touted hullaballoo don't really help to get your stuff noticed, simply because there are just so many publications out there. But let's take these one at a time:

Blogs -- If everyone has a story, how is a person to choose which ones are worth reading? Word of mouth seems to be an integral piece of the puzzle, but how do you get that WORD out there in the first place? (Fuck, why didn't I write "The Gospel According to John"? Talk about a promoter...). On this planet there are six or seven billion human beings all jabbering away at any given moment, many of whom feel compelled to share their thoughts with others (except for random nuts on the bus, who appear to be content chatting with themselves). I recently read a study pointing out that even avid readers can only consume six or seven thousand books in a lifetime. And that's sad, because the list of books I'd like to peruse is longer than that!! Yar!!

Distros are great, but like any publishing company, the larger ones are angled towards garnering the largest possible share of a limited audience, which means appealing to a common denominator of some sort, which defeats much of the purpose of self-publication in the first place... And hey, that's just sound business and nothing you can fault the folks for, but it means that a large percentage of quality reading material falls through the cracks. Smaller distros can pick up these gems, but they just don't have the infrastructure to share them as widely. Sad, but true.

Reviews are a fine thing in many respects: the potential reader gets an idea of what they're in for and the writer gets a sense of either elation or despair (usually somewhere in between). And while that sort of thing may get a letter or two, ultimately, reviews don't mean much. In all my years of self-publishing (including many, many reviews), I've received exactly one order from them. One. And I made a trade rather than taking that person's hard-earned cash. Is it because I'm a terrible writer with nothing to say and no sense of graphic design? Well, maybe, but I don't think so. Then again I suppose my opinion may be a bit subjective. So be it.

My advice (and you probably want to ignore this based on my lackluster literary career) -- Do It Yourself.

Spread your stuff around like manure and see what grows!! (Sorry if that, unintentionally, sounds disparaging, but my dad was a farmer and it really IS a good analogy). As for me, I follow the lead of crazy Christ-enthusiasts and dump copies of my zines wherever people will pick them up and read them. Bus stops, libraries, bathrooms, duck crossings, country clubs, funerals -- you name a place and you can bet your bottom dollar that I've left something behind. Has it helped? Do I have a following? Well, no. Not that I know of anyway. But it's the goddamn thrill of writing that keeps me chugging along. And failure is a fine thing as you always maintain a belief in yourself.

Humorlessness, cliques, self-righteousness and snobbery abound in this little sub-culture of ours, leaving essentially two choices: climb above, or settle to the bottom like I have. As for me, I enjoy living my life as colorful sediment in a wacky world; after all, the scum always rises to the top. (It's a joke, see? No? Oh well, I tried).

Hope I helped (and forgive me if I didn't),

Love and laffy-taffy,

Dr. Danny Swank
i know... this might be the fist thing i really need to get... it's so difficult to do anythingwhen im always thinking about whether or not i am willing to give my address... :O

BestAvailable said:
A PO Box is key. I am not comfortable giving out my real address either but if you want to participate in the larger self publishing conversation, you're going to want to have a place where people can send you stuff.

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