a place for zinesters - writers and readers
Karl + Tom (if desired, others may continue for the sake of entertainment)
Getting press in the way you do with the most mainstream of magazines does not SELL ZINES. it simply portrays you as a marginal, desperate force. Because you are defining your position in oppositional reactionism, you are not creating culture. You are defining yourself by what you oppose, what means that you are always responding to your enemies, rather than getting attention or credit on the merit of your own work.
Not true. I started and have kept going the Zine Hall of Fame. I am not defining my self by my opposition to anyone. I don't think Karl is either. What we're doing is giving our opinions to some ultra conservatives here in zinedom. I'm from Dallas and I know conservatives when I see them - they rush to oppose anything new.
What you are failing to realize, in your marketing, is that the underground is much bigger than the mainstream and has a much longer attention span. In the mainstream, most book purchases are gift items. The major retailers are going out of business. These economies of scale do not affect zines and people are naturally avid readers do not frequent the Barnes & Nobles or read The New York Times BOOK Review.
You can't hide from corporate art - you as zinesters have been banished to the sidelines. You think your message is safe and secure. I don't think so at all. You can't even allow much decent here on a zine blog. How do you think people who say anything different are going to be safe and secure.
Whereas, getting a solid plug on a blog can literally sell thousands of zines in a week. Because those people read and aren't afraid to drop a couple bucks. I think this is the path to getting your work read and it's not easy work necessarily, but it develops a bigger audience than any piece of mainstream press and is not a "path to obscurity".
After 17 years of zine-ing, my experience is that that is not true.
And the more I think about it, the ill logic here is that people aren't going to read your work that aren't inclined toward it; no matter how hard you try. So first, your work would have to appeal to your audience and second, you would need to be good to bringing that to them. I think the mainstream fails both of these tests - especially with most any zine!
"The curious thing to me is why someone would take the ULA to task for perceived minor faults, yet come out in support of enterprises backed by media monopolies."
This comment is hilarious! Did anyone (let alone everyone here) side with McSweeney's over the ULA? Because I think the general vibe is that everyone can think that both sides are quite preposterous. This is a prime example of speaking FOR US. It's funnier when Tom Hendricks does it but this instance is fairly priceless.
But the funniest thing was when we published THE FLOW CHRONICLES and Karl was upset that we wouldn't immediately pay to fly the author to Philly for one reading event. There were a series of insults directed our way afterwards, as if the event would have sold hundreds of books and we were selfish capitalists. We had published the book after a year of fundraising.
The people who read Writers & Poets are aspiring writers who want to get published. I suspect the reason the article in question refers to chapbooks instead of zines is because they are comprised of POETRY.
You are very good at bringing attention to yourselves but haven't done much to promote your own works as a result, which I guess is more fodder for saying "the real writers never get any attention" in the same reactionary way. Where would the ULA be when there's no mainstream press left to be angry at?
Making a living at writing.
Perhaps it would have to go back to insulting and speaking for people on We Make Zines.
I have never heard Karl insult anyone. I haven't insulted anyone. The name calling isn't from us.
But like Karl said, I'm one of those zinesters who lives in a trailer on a piece of land. I don't own a TV or read mainstream press. I ride my bike to work and do carpentry projects. I'm not trying to make a living from writing. I'm happy with "scraping by". Despite this, thanks for making me look relatively sane ULA.
Back online for a few more minutes. A coupla more points.
Ciara's argument doesn't bother me, as I'm not a purer-than thou zinester.
This is different from letting non-DIY people steal the DIY brand, which is happening.
Other: did my manner offend people when I was running the ULA? I guess. To me it was business. I wasn't playing pattycake. The job I had before creating the ULA was freight-forwarding, in which I did a lot of screaming over the phone-- and was screamed at-- over this or that missing truckdriver with an assembly line waiting. I wasn't prepared for the gentility of some zine people. I was not AT ALL from a gentle environment.
I worked hard for the writers who were not paying me. I hit every possible outlet.
What did in the ULA more then anything, halting our mementum, was when we exposed CIA funding of some esteemed lit pubs. The entire print media closed ranks against us. (We turned out to be right.)
Was exposing corruption worth doing? Hell yes! I wouldn't have had it any other way.
What pr is worth having? NY POst is fairly populist.
Or, Village Voice and Shout NY were good achievements-- obtained from our extremely exciting debate with the lit-snobs at CBGB's, of all places. Well worth doing.
The ULA was always a CELEBRATION of zines and zine writing. Did we promote zines as a literary movement? Absolutely! Guilty as charged. That's exactly what it is. You're making literature, like it or not. A crude, populist kind of lit, sure, but literature in the best Mark Twain-Jack Kerouac tradition of America all the same.
i don't understand this point that they keep trying to make that "DIY" is going to be taken over by the mainstream. DIY is simply an abbreviation for Do-it-yourself. It is not a brand. It is NOT a term only used by the underground artist. You do realize there is a fucking television network CALLLED "The DIY Network" that shows people how to fix their houses and do crafts and shit.
The idea to do things yourself isn't a secret.
Ugh, this incoherant rambling and paranoia about things that aren't even issues is driving me nuts.