We Make Zines

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Wow I've been busy. Yesterday I got a call from my guidance counselor who told me that I had a bunch of extra credits, which meant that I could graduate a year early, so this year will be my last year of high school! I'm really excited about that.

But I'm kind of worried about college. I really want to take the distro with me to college but I don't know how.. I know it's a bit early to be thinking about this, but I want to start planning, and making preparations.. How the heck am I supposed to move 200+ different sets of zines from Florida to the University of Texas? And what about my dorm room? What will my roommate think?

The distro has been doing great, I've been getting a lot of orders lately, which is great! But it's also been expanding pretty quickly.. I started out with 20 different zines in January, and now I have over 200 different zines that are a part of the distro.. I guess I just don't where to go from here. I mean I'm just a 17 year old kid. Should I enlist my friends to help? My parents? I don't want to get too "commercial", but should I keep the distro from getting too big?

I really wish there was more of a zine scene here in Florida. I didn't really know how to go about starting one, so I kind of did a bit of research, and found there's not really any zinesters who live near me. So this past week I put a bunch of zines, patches, flyers, and buttons in my backpack, I got on my skateboard, and I kind of did a mini "tour", I went all over Sarasota and told people about zines and gave out a bunch of free stuff. It was really fun and I met some cool people. Maybe I should do a mini tour every month!

Anyway, I just need to get all of that out of my system. Thanks for reading! :)

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Comment by Brittney on August 9, 2010 at 2:57pm
Thanks Lizzy! That was really reassuring!

I'm definitely going to try and keep the distro going! :)
Comment by lizzy / marching stars distro on August 9, 2010 at 7:37am
Just spotted this, maybe sharing my experiences will be beneficial? :)

I took a year off between school and university. Started my distro at the start of that year (I was also 17), so it was a year old by the time I started university. It came to university with me. First year I had to move out of my room completely every holiday, so distro came with me and it was at home in the holidays so I could continue as normal. First year it fitted in a massive crate thing on wheels. Second year I moved into a rented house. Distro grew. It doesn't come home at holidays (except for summer) which causes annoying hiatus problems.

Firstly, SO many people will say you won't be able to continue your distro at college. To be fair, the odds are stacked against you and a lot of distros do sort of fade out when their owner goes to college.

Physically moving it is problematic. That I can't make helpful suggestions for the logistics on.
Your roommate will likely think you're crazy, but at the same time, even if they know nothing about zines, it's pretty cool? You're not just a normal person. You run this crazy little business?! In the UK we don't have roommates, but I'm now living in a house with people from my corridor in halls last year. The distro physically sits under the stairs in our house. No big deal, they all walk past it a million times a day and think nothing of it, it's just that thing I randomly do.

People always suggest I get friends and such to help. If you run your distro anything like how I run mine then you'll probably be thinking that it's great to suggest but in reality it's easier if I just do things myself, how I want them done. One thing I did start when I moved to university though was getting people to write descriptions for me. It's just not a skill I have (I'm great at organisation, but not writing). So I send out zines for free in 'trade' for descriptions of them. It works pretty well and definitely saves me loads of time.

Certainly in my first year I was concious about not letting the distro get to big. At the end of every term when my parents came to pick me up it just about fitted back in the massive crate with wheels. (Which works great as that's also what I take the distro to events in). Second year, business was booming and I gave up with that plan. Hoping to go into wholesale this summer even!

So, to recap:
1) People will say you can't do it, you can.
2) If you're determined enough to keep it open, you will.
3) Logistics can be a nightmare but there probably will be a satisfactory solution.
4) Do get some help if you think you need it. Make sure you think carefully about what sort of help you need though and what will benefit your distro best.

Good luck!

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