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If there's a new zine by someone you haven't read before, what is it in a zine that might make you want to read it? Is it a the cover? the way the zine is presented?

Personally, what draws me would be a catchy title, that will make me wonder what the zine is all about.

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The layout - if it looks like an honest mixture of thought tangents, imagery etc that would make me feel like I got a peep in to their mind. I tend to be drawn to a chaotic mish-mash, rather than anything simple, neat, precise.

Mostly, it's the content - experiences I've never lived, things that would potentially provoke a reaction in me, risky revelations.
Titles. If there are some really interesting article titles on the cover, I'll probably keep looking. A good overall zine title is nice too, but I like to get a preview of what's inside.

Of course, a great layout is always a winner. If it looks nice and is still readable, I'm hooked.
the language. I can't read something that I don't understand. and the topics. I can't read if I don't give a damn on what the zine focuse on.

blah blah its the title and the cover !
i think it's the description and what it's about.
this question is almost impossible to answer. what attracts me to a zine is practically unquantifiable. it's a lot easier to list hard & fast dealbreaker--things that will make me NOT want to read a zine.
really anything, a cool cover, an interesting title, a description that intrigues me...
honestly, i don't care about the title or the cover. the topic/content/description is what makes me want to read the zine.
Great art or cartoons or photos.
I generally flip through it and see what the articles are like. anything different is good. I like nice typography too - doesn't have to be computer generated - handwriting, layout of cut & paste text, drawings interspersed. sometimes the title catches my eye. other times I just like to buy them to see the work that someone's put into it. I buy all sorts though so it's hard to say there's only one single 'formula' - that's the beauty of them - each one is unique so there's something to look at & enjoy
Content is a huge decision factor. If the zine contains a topic I'm interested in (that could be everything from personal experiences to rad art to ???).

On the more technical side, legibility is a deciding factor for me. If I can't read the writing or typing, why bother. I collect zines so that I can read them.
"Don't judge a book by its cover!"

My grammar school librarian always scolded me with such a sentence when I chose to check out "Encyclopedia Brown Beats a Hobo to Death" rather than "Finnegan's Wake" (bland cover), but alas, it is true as far as zine shopping goes.

When you're at a zine fair, or one of those rare shops that actually cater to zines -- places with many publications to choose from -- a decent title and a festive cover that give some concept of the content are always helpful. If you have a zine called "revolutions is good" (after all, capital letters and punctuation are tools of the bourgeoisie, right?) with a poor-quality photo of Ronald Reagan on the front, well, chances are that most folks will pass it by. Unless they're into that sort of thing. And yet, if the cover featured "the gipper" licking a glitter-covered duck with rhinestone eyes, well Christ!! I'd pick it up without reading the contents at all. But that's just me. And you shouldn't listen to me. Ever. Not even right now.

Whatcha got in that thar zine? Show it!! Be proud, be loud, and if possible, feature trout. A vagrant leprechaun told me that once. He made me swear that I'd pass the knowledge along, promising that my shackles would be unlocked as soon as I passed along the information. Yippee!! I'm free!!

Del Close, whom before his untimely death had one of the finest minds of all mankind, had a pet saying: "Always play to the top of your intelligence." See, there's no need to pander, just write what you feel, and advertise it as such. Don't get me wrong, commercialism and consumerism are repellent in many respects, but as the saying goes, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." And I should know. That's what happened to me.

Say what you're going to say, but give folks a helpful hint on the cover. That's only fair. And a little eye candy never hurt anyone. May I recommend featuring a recent picture of Ernest Borgnine? Hot stuff. Meow!!

No?

\Well, I've said my piece. The decisions are up to you.

To conclude my hasty missive, let me just say that I've read awesome zines with bland covers and terrible layout, but then again, I'm a patient man and a heavy reader willing to plumb the depths of just about any publication featuring words I can decipher.

Does my advice help? Probably not. But there you go, for what it's worth (two Burkina Faso francs, last I checked).

Love and Strawberry Preserves,

Dr. Danny Swank

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