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One of the biggest problems with zinedom is OUTDATED INFORMATION. I understand that many zinesters are constantly on the move. But I'm too poor to afford wasting postage writing to a zinester who changed his or her address all of a sudden. Now here's my stupid question of the moment: How do you adequately determine if a zine address you've found is current?

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If they have an e-mail address you can always write them there to make sure the physical address is current. If they don't have one in the print zine you found them in, maybe you can search around on line for it. If none of those work, I guess you're out of luck.

Subjectively, the money lost on returned mail has never bothered me that much, but maybe it should. I could be more careful about checking via e-mail first, but somehow, that'd make ordering zines too much work, and I've always accepted there's a certain amount of risk, and therefore, ADVENTURE, in ordering a zine. You see a really interesting or unusual zine or ad in an old publication that catches your eye, and you send off an order or inquiry, just to see what happens. Then you forget about it. If and when it comes you're pleasantly surprised. DELAYED GRATIFICATION! That's the paper-mail rythm as I've always practiced and experienced it.

But that's not to put down your complaint. It's a valid one.

For me, the costs in time, frustration and expense on the net, as opposed to paper, envelopes and postage via paper-mail is very much up in the air. I haven't done the math. If there are intangible and qualitative benefits to paper mail and these are worth the extra monetary expenses, it's hard to prove, especially when I haven't really done the math, and it doesn't seem anybody else really has either.
I check against recent reviews online, if any. I send them a postcard inquiring whether they're still publishing and at that address -- making my address clear so it can be returned if the address is bad. Or I email them. It's usually not an issue unless an issue of a zine is really old.
I've always added "Forwarding Service Requested" on the envelope if I'm not sure the current address is good. This only works on First Class or Priority Mail in the US, it doesn't work on Media Mail or Bound Printed Matter. Don't know how well this works, though, but figure it's worth a shot.



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