We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

Is there an elitist-like/ discriminatory thing in the zine scene?

It's a weird thought but is anyone new in the whole zine scene finding it difficult to break through? It just seems like if you haven't been making zines for a long time or havent really espablished a concrete network or produced a well-know/widely read zine, it's difficult to get feedback and /or more readership.

SO i thought maybe it's a trend where you have to be "known" in the zine scene first before you get the desired feedback/ active participation of others OR maybe most of us zinesters are all more focused on our OWN works/craft/projects that we fail to actively particiapate in other projects etc.

I'm not really sure. what do you think?

Views: 101

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

you may be putting the cart before the horse a little bit. the only way to get "known" in the zine scene is to keep making zines & trying to get them out there. the zine scene tends to reward effort, but you do have to make an effort. few people burst on to the scene with one or two zines & suddenly find themselves a huge readership & scads of feedback. i was making zines for about eight years before i finally made one that a lot of people noticed. & part of what helped people notice it is that it wound up in a lot of zine distros & got some high-profile reviews--the first times i'd ever used distros or sent my zines out for review.

it's really hard to establish a concrete network without just plugging away, making zines, trading them with people, etc. everyone in the zine scene starts in the same place--knowing pretty much no one & having a readership of zero. there probably won't be a day when you wake up & are magically well-known, your mailbox full of letters, & a huge readership. you have to build up to that, & then it takes even more effort to maintain it. i certainly would call it "discriminatory" or "elitist". it's just work, like you have to work at anything that you care about.
yup to all that. there are discriminatory people, like in any "scene" or culture or subculture. For the most part, zine-types are more embracing than most other subcultures. but the only way to get known is to just do it do it do it. i was making zines for maybe a year before i even knew what a "zine" was, or heard of any other. i'd write stories, make 50 copies, and pass them out to my friends.

send your stuff around for review. Even when Maximum RnR gives me bad reviews, people still write to me and ask for a copy. send it to distros. go to zinefests. send it to people who write zines YOU like as a thank you to them for being awesome.

I mean, what do you want, exactly? feedback? Send it to me, and i'll do a video review of it. I'm no expert, but i'll at least tell you my honest opinion (if you want it, some people don't.)

keep at it!
yes, definitely discrimination. but a lot of people can also feel discriminated against if older zinesters are trying to give them tips. basically, it depends on the people. I find the zine scene friendly, and it's not THAT hard to break in if you're really trying. Make connections, distribute, beg for feedback- you'll get there.
i'v been doing zines since march, so maybe i'm still new.

sometimes i think there is an elitist feeling to this scene. it's like just because you haven't been making zines for that long doesn't mean you don't know shit. and sometimes i feel like people kind of treat the newer ones like we don't know enough. (about what? folding paper? using glue? staplers? please). but i can also say that about other "scenes" i'm a part of. there are music snobs and like kitty said "feminist" type snobs too. every scene feels like that to certain people.

you have to remember who and what you are making zines for. do you want recognition, and then why? if your audience demographic does not match that of zine reviewers, then don't waste your time sending your zine off to them. (like for instance, my zine is for black women, i'm 99% positive there are no black women zine reviewers, so i just do what i do). the readership will still come but you have to plug your zine everywhere that your audience frequents. i don't think i'm known in the zine scene but i'm known among black kinda punkish kids and that's cool with me. everyone else who wants to read my zine is just icing.

it is what it is.

i really like this topic.
well i guess i didnt phrase my question/ discussion correctly. I mean it's not just about having people ask for your zines left and right or being "known" in the zine "scene"... but rather that it sometimes feels like there's an initiation sort of thing when you're new... where you have to prove you know what you're doing (which I find ironic since we're making zines)... but like cocoapuss says, i guess that's present in any "scene" or subculture...

Harley R. Pageot said:
Whether you're making zines or forming a band or whatever, you're not going to suddenly have hundreds of customers within a month.

I made my first zine last May. I sold copies to my friends and a couple through some message boards I posted on.

I made another couple during the summer and got a table at a zine fair in August. Didn't sell too many there but I bought and traded a lot. A local zine library helped me find more connections.

I tabled at another zine fair in November and sold a ton of zines and started conversations with strangers and people I recognized from the first zine fair. That led to me joining this site and making even more friends and trading connections.


I still don't have a ton of sales to strangers (even with an Etsy account set up) and get barely any feedback on my zines but I feel totally welcome in the "scene". People at zine fairs have always been pleasant and up for conversations and new friendships.

Why would any of us not want to encourage other people to make zines? I'm a few steps away from begging my friends to make their own. And, with all of us so spread apart and scattered, there's not really room for cliques or elitist groups to form. You're lucky if you can find more than a half dozen zinesters in one city.
couldn't phrase it any better. this is exactly how i feel about it...

CocoaPuss Zine said:
i'v been doing zines since march, so maybe i'm still new.

sometimes i think there is an elitist feeling to this scene. it's like just because you haven't been making zines for that long doesn't mean you don't know shit. and sometimes i feel like people kind of treat the newer ones like we don't know enough. (about what? folding paper? using glue? staplers? please). but i can also say that about other "scenes" i'm a part of. there are music snobs and like kitty said "feminist" type snobs too. every scene feels like that to certain people.
My question for those who are new to zines... is what do you expect the seasoned zinesters to do? I feel kind of shitty being lumped in as someone who is elitist or discriminatory... simply because i have been involved in zines since 1996.

I can promise you there isn't a secret handshake or anything that all of us know that we aren't sharing with you.

Like Ciara and Billy have said... you just have to involve yourself. The folks who have been around don't need to send you any special invitations for you to send your zines for review, send it to distros for consideration, or establish trades.

How did i start? I started Introvert after reading an issue of Cometbus, thinking "I can do this". I traded/gave it to all my pen pals, friends i met at punk shows, people i stayed with while traveling, sold it to local record stores, etc.

That's all it takes. I don't even think i am that "popular" for my writing. i've just been around awhile and i like to try to be involved where i can. I like establishing relationships and friendships with the zinesters whose zines are my cup of tea.

Have you heard the saying, "To get a letter, write a letter"? That also applies here.
no.

(youredelusionalyouredelusionalboyyourelosingyourminditsconfusingyoyoureconfusedyouknowwhyyouwastingyourtime)
Amber / Culture Slut said:
I feel bad for anyone who was introduced to zines through this site, 'coz they're missing out.

Wholeheartedly agree. I almost feel like someone who was just introduced by this site wouldn't keep it up for long.
I don't know you, but I like that you used Mariah lyrics.

Bradley Adita said:
no.

(youredelusionalyouredelusionalboyyourelosingyourminditsconfusingyoyoureconfusedyouknowwhyyouwastingyourtime)
Agreed.

star blanket river child said:
Amber / Culture Slut said:
I feel bad for anyone who was introduced to zines through this site, 'coz they're missing out.

Wholeheartedly agree. I almost feel like someone who was just introduced by this site wouldn't keep it up for long.

RSS

Groups

Want to advertise here?

Ist preference given to distros and zines. Rates and details are here. Limited space. Very Low Cost!

Please Support Our Sponsors

Sweet Candy Distro

Con Artist Collective

Ker-bloom! Letterpress Zine

 

© 2014   Created by Krissy PonyBoy Press.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service