The New Publishing Dream: What do you Mean When You Say Zine?
by Maria Romero, January 11, 2019 5:52pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
Every aspiring writer's and creative’s dream probably includes something like this: write a book, publish and sell it, and then earn enough money to live like royalty. Well, this doesn’t happen anymore, Karen. But that’s okay because the new publishing dream is way cooler! Ever heard of a zine?
Whatcha mean when you say zines?
Zines uphold freedom and power; not strict rules.
Before there were blogs, there were zines.
Short for magazines, zines are small circulation of self-published books, papers, or websites in an unpolished and unusual design. They are usually about topics too dubious for mainstream media to touch. Any person who aspires to call into attention their personal advocacies can also use zines as powerful tools to promote social change.
One of the reasons why these form of books stand out is because of the element of self-production: from paper cutting to book-binding. The creative take on every format bears a personal touch making it awesome and bizarre!
The art of zine-making is a popular form of sharing underappreciated works. Over the years, zine-making has become a unique recess of its kind—breaking barriers to speak for truth some are afraid to voice out. More than anything, zines, and zine-making teach creatives to uphold freedom and power. They push creatives to step away from the conventional methods of producing art.
How To Jumpstart Your Self-Made Publishing Career
Sell your art without selling out!
Zines won’t appeal to everyone. They can be exclusive to specific audiences such as the Marvel Universe and Stranger Things fans or feminists only. Thus, jump-starting your zine-making project would require proper preparation.
Decide what you're going to achieve with it
The initial step in acing this project is by deciding what main conceptual and visual approaches you want to communicate with your zine. After that, proceed to pick your publication name.
Choose your format and theme
Choosing the format and theme can be a daunting task as there are different styles to choose from. Zines vary in sizes and forms depending on what you want your zine to be. Once you've done that, proceed on scouting for contributors on your little project. But if you want to do it solo, go and shine solo!
Design your layout and order
Nothing will ever be wrong in zine-making. It’s a freestyle art but making a structural plan for it can be helpful. And that plan should include paper selection, printing options, and distribution plan.
Test-print a master copy to check for errors in spellings, design, and layout. Once tested, you will be able to see how you can improve your work.
Get connected with creatives from the scene
Manila is a massive web of creative artists and finding new buddies in this district would be easy. One click atZine Distro & Library, a curated channel for promoting and selling zines, on Instagram, would redirect you to a link of people you can collab with for your project.
If you only know where to look, you’ll be lucky enough to find the cheapest printing shops around Recto, Manila. Heck, you can even do it yourself if you have a printer at home. In this digital world, you don’t need to scamper to big publishing houses to create your own print media.
Promote it and get people to read it; maybe even buy it
Maximize the power of social media in promoting your passion project. Not only that but with effective promotion, you can foster like-minded individuals! In return, you should also join bazaars or cosign during events as support for the other artists. But before you get too excited, the zine district won’t give you a guarantee that your art will sell. Sometimes, your printed work is more than enough to make a statement even without the money!
Zines are your printed portfolio. It can also be your business card but better. When someone buys your work, they will most likely check on your personal websites. That’s one way to complement your online presence!
No matter what your educational background and abilities, you can ace an effective zine. There is no particular experience required, just your passion and big ideas. So, be your own boss and communicate a strong message through self-publishing. Long live print media!