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So I am new to crafting a zine and I need some insight.

What are some things you did the first time that you wish you would have avoided?

What is the most cost effective way to go about printing?

Is it worth the extra $35 to get someone else to staple it for you?

Thanks!

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Hi Tricia,
Welcome! There is a thread in the forum called What Not yo do in a Zine that has lots of information. There's probably discussions about some of your other questions too. Check it out. Lots of great info.

Thanks a bunch!

Don't make it too thick, the more pages you use the more expensive it will be to make. And more than 10 pages means you may have issues with stapling through that thickness.

Spell check everything!  Leave room in the center for the fold, don't put the text too close to that area.  No huge solid blocks of text, the eyes need a break now and then.  Do a good cover!  Don't waste the back cover space by leaving it blank.

I second what Krissy and Elaine said.

On the topic of printing, I used to go to a commercial printer, but it was kind of expensive and they didn't seem to understand how to handle my original. If your zine isn't complicated, it's an excellent investment to pick up a high-yield laser printer/copier and do it yourself. I paid $150 for my Canon laser printer on Amazon, and it's printed/copied many thousands of pages. If you copy at home, you have to factor in that you will have to collate, fold, and staple your zine.

For staples, if someone is doing it for you, 10 cents a copy or less for fold/staple is reasonable. If you're going to copy at home, buying a long-arm stapler (around $30) is worth it. Some people (raising my hand) don't realize at first that a regular stapler won't staple a half-page size zine.

Right, the long arm stapler is wonderful!  Some copy places have one out front for others to use, if you don't see one just ask, you can staple your stuff right there.

Okay, so I have just completed my Zine and the content is fantastic but I totally had 30 pages, the pages weren't laid out correctly for quick copying so I am paying someone else to do it or I could've been at it for a week. I am making a ton of rookie mistakes the first time 'round. Thanks so much to everyone who has responded to my question on this site I am sure I will have many more to come!

Trial and error is a big part of it! I hope you have fun!

Tricia Callahan said:

Okay, so I have just completed my Zine and the content is fantastic but I totally had 30 pages, the pages weren't laid out correctly for quick copying so I am paying someone else to do it or I could've been at it for a week. I am making a ton of rookie mistakes the first time 'round. Thanks so much to everyone who has responded to my question on this site I am sure I will have many more to come!

Thanks Samantha! It was a lot of fun to put together. It was too funny the lady helping me out at the printing center was all, "I suggest you use Adobe Indesign or Microsoft Publisher in the future" and I was trying to explain to her it's not the same lol

Samantha Riegl said:

Trial and error is a big part of it! I hope you have fun!

Tricia Callahan said:

Okay, so I have just completed my Zine and the content is fantastic but I totally had 30 pages, the pages weren't laid out correctly for quick copying so I am paying someone else to do it or I could've been at it for a week. I am making a ton of rookie mistakes the first time 'round. Thanks so much to everyone who has responded to my question on this site I am sure I will have many more to come!

Tell her it's a hand made issue, that most just use an old fashioned typewriter and scissors and a glue stick.

Yep! :)

Elaine said:

Tell her it's a hand made issue, that most just use an old fashioned typewriter and scissors and a glue stick.

Those programs are a whole other thing! Making and laying out the zine by hand helps me understand where my pages are going!

Tricia Callahan said:

Thanks Samantha! It was a lot of fun to put together. It was too funny the lady helping me out at the printing center was all, "I suggest you use Adobe Indesign or Microsoft Publisher in the future" and I was trying to explain to her it's not the same lol

Samantha Riegl said:

Trial and error is a big part of it! I hope you have fun!

Tricia Callahan said:

Okay, so I have just completed my Zine and the content is fantastic but I totally had 30 pages, the pages weren't laid out correctly for quick copying so I am paying someone else to do it or I could've been at it for a week. I am making a ton of rookie mistakes the first time 'round. Thanks so much to everyone who has responded to my question on this site I am sure I will have many more to come!

Stapling is actually really fun to do at home. It,s kinda repetitive but put on some great music and you'll get in the beat of it. I just did last night, I ended up singing aloud on some Pulp, it was great !!!

My most common mistake is to write / type too near the page margins and then it gets eaten when copying.

Most cost effective long-term is to get a (toner cartridge) home photocopier...... it is an initial investment but is so Worth it if you make a lot of zines. Plus doing it at home is so much more relaxed !!! You can copy with your cat around and a cup of tea!

Always use black ink as red ink or green or even blue ink wont show up. You can use colors intentionally if you'd like designs or text to show up faded, it can look good but for plain text : always black ink ! Also avoid pencil at all costs ! It wont show up, it's often too pale.....  and dont use a photo that you got printed on an inkjet printer. It will showed distorted and pixelated. Have a real photo printed on photo paper, and paste it in. It will look great !

When you use color pictures / fonts from magazines etc, it is often a surprise to see how it will come out once in black & white....... sometimes it looks bad sometimes it is surprisingly good or different because of the colors / patterns / tones....... it is always a mystery to me, a magical surprise that is part of the fun !

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