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Do you have any Zine Making Regrets? Things you would have done differently or not at all? Feel like sharing?

Here's mine:

#1: Not keeping the same "regular" title and sequential numbering throughout my entire publishing run. Now, I'm not talking about the name change I did in 2005 from LOW HUG to SYNDICATE PRODUCT. Instead, I wish that I had not done stand-alone "one shot" zines, instead making them all issues of the same main title. Instead of the one-shot LAUNDRY BASKET, it would have been LOW HUG #8: LAUNDRY BASKET - TALES OF WASHDAY WOE. It would have made things easier for archival purposes, and also may have made it easier to find my zines.

This is why I didn't do a "Time Enough at Last" separate reading log this year, but instead made it SYNDICATE PRODUCT 14: SYNDICATE CONSUMPTION. I guess it's a combination of the need to be hyper-organized and working in academic publishing too long that made me really wish I had done sequential numbering from the very beginning. Oh well.

#2: Not keeping every zine-related note or letter people have sent me. I have a good chunk of them, but not ALL of them.

#3: Similarly, not keeping a master list of every person I've sent/traded a zine with. Not for any other reason than to see how many states/countries I've sent mail to. Again, I have some lists, but not a complete record.

#4: I regret some of the zine donations I've made over the years because I don't think they actually made it into planned zine libraries. Who knows what happened to them - hopefully they did get distributed to people who wanted to read zines, not just tossed in the trash.

That's about it so far. Oh, should probably add as a regret original print run of Time Enough At Last 2007, which somehow turned out manga style (read back to front). That was a waste of money....

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I regret my own slacker attitude when it comes to cashing checks. keep getting socked for 10 dollar fees for expired $8 subscriptions - my fault, not the subscriber's.

regret taking such crummy care of my pens and white out.

regret not starting a zine earlier when I was footloose and fancy free - I rarely get to attend zine fests and such due to family machinations.

reckon that's about it.

I too got a letter from Bill Price, w/ a return address sticker from a charity that he had artfully altered to make it seem like a non-prison address. something about the name rang a bell and I ran his name through a search engine and found a warning on some long-unupdated zine site. I was really glad I didn't send him a zine as my zine features many anecdotes about and drawings of my children!!! i hear he is now voluntarily committed to a state mental facitlity.
I remember Bill Price. That slimeball wrote me back in 1998 and asked for copies of my zine. I was suckered in to his little game but never sent off the zines. I ended up finding out about who he really was before I sent them off! After that I no longer answer any letters from any prisoners.

Ericfishlegs said:
Someone can correct me or fill in the details, but Bill Price was a convicted pedophile who published zines while posing as a young woman who had been sexually abused and was apparently getting his jollies by reading zines about young women who had been sexually abused. Bascially he was one creepy motherfucker.

Regrets-I wish I wasn't so disorganized. i still have no formal mailng list, when I publish a new issue I just dig thriugh all my zines and notes to get everyone's addresses.

Also, the one zine I published that ended up with pages out of order and one page missing. That was just pure stupidity and I ended up spending money on zines I couldn't use. Though if anyone out there is willing to pay big bucks on a defective copy of Fish with Legs #10 I got plenty laying around.

And of course losing touch with people always sucks. I really hate that. Just like I regret not being as good about offering zine feedback as I used to be.
i regret being so critical, & yes, self-righteous in a lot of my zine writing. i guess it was a learning experience & it made me grow as a person, & people certainly seemed to love those zines despite what i now see as obvious & tragic flaws, but i wish i could look back on them & feel more positive. (i am talking mostly about "a renegade's handbook to love & sabotage" here.) i still get a lot of requests for those zines, even though the last issue sold out sometime in 2003-ish, & i have thought about honoring those requests by doing a re-issue, but i can't really stand to look at those zines & how youthfully strident i was. maybe someday i'll feel more magnanimous about them & i'll be able to follow through on the re-issue idea. i saw a copy of issue #3 on a friend's bookshelf a month or so ago & i took it down & looked at it for the first time in years. i was surprised that it looked like a really interesting, exciting zine, chock-full of ideas & stories. i was pleasantly surprised to discover that i would be excited to get the zine in the mail, even after all these years. but it was hard to really read it, because, you know, i wrote it. it was just too intense. i regret that i had to learn so many mistakes about zine content through trial & error, & that i lost a good zine friend in the process. (even though i know these are important growing pains.)
I hear you with the file formats. One of my projects has to been to scan all of the master copies of my old issues. The very early issues were actually done in WordPerfect 8 (!!) and good ol' manual cut and paste. I've been saving the scans as .tif, .jpg. and .pdf in hopes that those formats will endure for a while longer.

Recently, when I finish an issue (right now using Publisher, but going to try open source Scribus next), I print it to a PDF file using doPDF (which is free).

Also, whenever I finish an issue, the first five copies go into the "archive" bin.

Jeff Somers said:
The one thing I wish I'd known better about is electronic formats - a lot of my issues are in these ancient formats (Pagemaker) and turning them into something more modern ain't easy. Now I keep it as simple as possible so translating things into something else five years from now won't be so hard. As it is I started posting issues in plain text at the site a few years ago and I've more or less stopped a third of the way through the issues because it's so damn hard.

J
Here's one I just thought of today- I wish I knew how to type. I took typing in high school, but I just thought of it as a class where I could get a good grade without having to make much of an effort. But now I realize how much easier things would be if I could type using more than 2 fingers. I guess I could go and learn how to type properly, but I am lazy.
My biggest regret is not putting enough effort into my first couple issues. I did horrible layout, used a lot of clip art, and really didn't know what I was doing. It took me a while to move towards using mostly original artwork and photos and figuring out my own personal design aesthetic (which seems to be to cram as much as humanly possible on one page). I kinda cringe when looking at my early issues, especially now that they got scanned in for the punk zine archive. I do also sorta regret putting my home phone and apartment address in it for a couple years, I had some strange folks just show up. But it was mostly cool having touring bands stop by to drop off music in person and stuff or someone like Ian MacKaye call and talk about taking out an ad for a new Fugazi record. There are a few things I said or published I wished I hadn't, including printing allegations about a local band member accused of sexual assault before the allegations were proven, the accusation was later dropped and I'm sure I helped make the guy's life hell even though everyone was already talking about it locally. But ultimately, you can't live your life looking back and with tons of regrets, for me zine writing has always been about right now, instant media (or instant litter as Art Chantry entitled his book on music flyers). Some of it may make you cringe later, but that's to be expected if you've grown as a person/artist/writer.
i have to two finger type with our typewriter because it's so old and stiff you have to bang it hard to make a mark. and half the keys get stuck anyway... so ten finger typing would jst make an even more terribly mess.
Speaking of old typewriters. I wish I would have (or did have) the patience to learn how to fix typewriters. I have 8 typewriters and only one works perfectly. They all have varying degrees of issues. I once checked out a typewriter maintenance and repair manual from the library intent on doing a typewriter repair workshop at the Portland ZIne Symposium one year and I barely looked at the book. total fail for me.

I did a horror zine in the late 80s and dont have a copy for myself as when I moved house lots of stuff got lost,I recently started doing zines again and I wish I kept my old typewriter as it would look cool now.

I probably regret making every zine I've ever made.If I spent the time I wasted in Kinko's doing something more enlightening,like taking a refrigerator repairing course at Community College,I'd be better as a person.I would make a list of my regret's,in order of regretfulness,with color cover's being the first and band interview's being the last,but my computer would overheat and blow up.

I agree 100% - no regrets! make lots of mistakes :)

betrayedzine said:

i don't regret any creative thing i've ever done. i just does it. the mistakes i consider part of the art work.

I have to admit that there's part of me that wishes I hadn't decided to hand-sew, print, and paint every copy of I Have a Song for You. It was painfully time-consuming and tedious and now--since I don't have the heart to let it go out of print--I'm doomed to repeat the process every year or so.

I also regret the heavy boxes I shipped before I realized they qualified as media mail. Oops!

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