Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why Make a Zine?

First of all, what is a zine? The word comes from magazine, as it is a self-published magazine. Usually one person writes all the contents, draws or takes the pictures, designs the cover and format, types and assembles the publication. It can be quite personal. It can showcase you as an artist, writer, poet, illustrator, thinker, or political mind. The creativity can be in the content and also the format and construction.

The purpose of your zine can be to promote yourself or others. It could be simply a vehicle to get your thoughts or creativity out to others. In my case, it was the challenge of creating all aspects of a project. It wasn't about control, but about the planning, execution, and accomplishment.

Zines can be folded over, stitched, or stapled 8 1/2" x 11" paper, the simplest format. That's how I made my zine, Paint/Paste. They can be elaborate, glossy pages, put together through a website, such as or I wanted to go with the complete hand-made style.

Some zines are a showcase of many artists' or writers' work, not unlike a literary magazine. Do yu have any examples you can tell me about? I'll list them here.

Zines are usually pretty inexpensive to sell. $1 - $12 is normal for handmade zines. The professionally bound zines can be $20 - $40. If you're making it yourself, keep in mind that you probably aren't going to make money on them, so just think of it as a labor of love. You can find zines on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, and in some independent bookstores. A place that sells only zines is called a Distro (as in, distribution). You can do a google search for these.

I'm hosting a zine swap. If you'd like to challenge yourself to make a zine, then trade with other zine-makers, check out my tab at the top of my blog. There's still time to sign up.


Elizabeth Mueller said...

We did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

Clare said...

it sounds like such fun to make a zine - going to if it a go oneday - another thing to add to the 'to do list' - great informative post thank-you

Arlee Bird said...

Congratulations for blogging from A to Z!

Tossing It Out

Veneers West Hollywood said...

I love the idea of this. It's like a cross between an school project and a blog post. Though, how thick would you want yours to be?

Natalia Toronchuk said...

Hey! I liked the picture you posted of that pile of zines, so I featured it on my page. I'd love it if you could backlink to me, the link is