We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers


By Kari Tervo, Shards of Glass In Your Eye!

I have a new policy on trading: I'll send you mine when you send me yours. I rarely receive any of the zines that I was hoping to read!

Some zinesters are trader schmoes. They're people who promise a zine in return for a zine, but never send one.

A lot of trader schmoes are just forgetful. Life can make it easy to forget to send out a trade, or maybe you need your postage dollar for ramen right now.

Some trader schmoes are plain thieves. They promise a trade with no intent of ever sending their zine in return.

I have been a forgetful trader in the past (and been called out). So, I also have a new policy for myself: The second I open your trade, I'll prepare your envelope for mailing. Please include a legible address. A post-it reminder on the cover is helpful. If I currently owe you a trade, contact me here on WMZ and remind me of the name of your zine.

Want to be a good zine trader instead of a trader schmoe? Just use these easy tips!

Trader Tips:

RECEIVER: If you accept trades, be prepared to trade for any zine. What you might not like could be someone else's treasure trove. And it's pretty much always the sender's labor of love. Even if you don't like the subject matter, perspective, or the look of the zine, you've learned something. So let them learn something about how you do things in return. If you agree to trade, send a trade.

SENDER: If you're sending a trade without getting one first, remind your recipient that your zine is a trade. Some zinesters have multiple zine projects, so make sure you mention which title/issue you want. Include this information in a post-it on the cover of your trade. Put your name and mailing address there, too.

RECEIVER: Once you get a trade, prepare your zine for sending in return right away. That makes it less likely that you'll forget to send it. And if you’re living off the dollar menu this week, make sure you slap on that postage when you get paid.

SENDER: Be fair. Make sure you send a trade that's of comparable quality to what you're asking for. If you're asking for a high-quality art zine and you do a cut-and-paste zine, maybe send a couple of issues of yours in return for one of theirs.

RECEIVER: Be fair, too. Send what you promised for the trade, even if you think theirs is not that great.

THIEF: Stealing a trade? Trader, no! I mean, who does that?


I'll close this PSA with a rap:


Don't be evil/Pretty In Pink's James Spader

Don't be a pirate, a Viking, or a raider

You say you're trading

You must

Send out that paper/Just bust

Don't be a trust violator

Or a con operator

You want to be/You want to be/You want to be/A good trader


Y'all, you get a trade, you owe

Y'all/I hope you feel my flow

Yo/Don't be a trader schmoe

Yo/I know you feel me though

You want to be/You want to be/You want to be/A good trader

A good TRAY-der!

A good trader

A good trader

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