We Make Zines

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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 don't regret any creative thing i've ever done. i just does it. the mistakes i consider part of the art work.
When I first moved to Portland I used my home address and received a zine request from the infinite Bill Price. I quickly got a post box.

There are some pen pals that I have regretted losing contact with.
who is this Bill Price?

Alex Wrekk said:
When I first moved to Portland I used my home address and received a zine request from the infinite Bill Price. I quickly got a post box..
I change the name of my zine every issue. I miss out on people remembering my stuff when I have to ramble off so many names...... I might rename them? Hah! That'll confuse people even more

Maybe I can just say "I make the zine Susy Pow - it has lots of secondary names though"
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.
That's pretty much it about Bill price. He was a 2 time convicted pedophile and writing the zines FROM JAIL! When he wrote to me he tried to pass off that prison number was a post box. it was creepy.

I'm not as goo at offering zine feedback as I used to be. There is actually more of a reason that being busy though. I have two very poignant situations where people were really really upset at what I thought was helpful feedback. One person had asked for my feedback and when I gave it six months later I got a letter telling me that they quit writing because of what I had said. it made me think very carefully about giving any kind of feedback, even if people ask for it. It makes me sad thought because at one point I tried writing at least a postcard to every zine I read.

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 second Eric's regret about losing touch with people. After being involved with zines for 13 years, there's heaps of people and zines I wish I could contact again. I used to be somewhat better at keeping track of who I sent what, and sometimes I'll dig up those old lists from eras like 1998 or so and wonder what happened to these people? Part of it is my fault, since I did have a dry period a while back, plus I've moved around quite a bit.

This is one of the good things of a zines-only networking site like this, because I HAVE reconnected with people whom I assumed dropped off the face of the earth!
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
I regret not keeping track of the originals of many of my earlier zines. There are a handful of issues that I'd love to have in print, but I don't even have a COPY of them! Oh well, like Sartre said in "The Word," anything I wrote once I can write better the second time around, but that seems sort of pointless in this case.

I also regret not being more prolific, but I REALLY regret rushing a few things to print before their time. There is no excuse for sloppy editing.
yeah i think it's good to keep track of old issues so you can always have them and see where you've come from. and if anyone wants a copy you can go make one...

also, as far as offering feedback goes i think with zines it's a touchy thing, because they are so personal and because most people are doing it as an alternative to traditional writing. while some zines i love and some i don't, i don't ever offer negative feedback because of how personal zines are...if i don't like a zine i give minimal feedback and if i love a zine i gush about it..
I can't think of anything I might regret doing in my zine. Of course, I've not been doing it for years yet, so regrets may come.
There was one page that had I left it in, I would have regretted as soon as it went to print, because the meaning would have been unclear, and it was already quite controversial.
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

Hey Jeff! Can't you import an old Pagemaker file into InDesign? I have an old copy of Pagemaker if that helps. I did a bunch of issues in it as well and kept the software so I can go back into the files and grab out interviews and columns occasionally.

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