WHATCHA MEAN, WHAT'S A ZINE?
A zine (pronounced “zeen,” as in “magazine”) is a self-published, small circulation, non-commercial booklet or magazine, usually produced by one person or a few individuals. Zines come in all shapes, sizes, topics, and formats. Most zines are photocopied, but they can also be printed offset, like a magazine or newspaper. Zines range from handwritten and sloppy to cut-and-paste (text pasted on top of background images) to artsy with handmade touches to produced on a computer with a professional looking layout. Most zines have print runs of a couple dozen to a few hundred copies. In a zine, you might find typos, improper grammar, and brilliant or radical or just plain honest ideas that you don’t normally see in national newspapers or glossies. A zine can be about whatever subject its creator decides upon, or it may contain a variety of subjects and writing styles within the same issue. Zines can include personal essays, political discussions, fiction, craft or do-it-yourself advice, articles about music or movies, comics, poetry, reviews – anything under the sun, really. Zines are personal and idiosyncratic. The best thing about zines is this: There are no rules.
WHY PUBLISH ZINES?
To see your work in print. To share what you created. To encourage others to be creative. To find and connect with other people who have similar interests. To get mail. To make new friends. To create the publication you always wished existed. To share information. To educate. To change people’s minds. To teach yourself something new. To get something off your chest. To make yourself a better writer or artist. The reasons for publishing a zine are as diverse and unique as the individuals who create zines.
HOW DO I GET HOLD OF ZINES?
A common way to buy zines is through a distro. Zine distros are usually managed by one person or a small group of people. Many distros have online catalogues, and take payments via paypal. Buying from a distro is a good way to get several zines at one time. Check out our list of current UK zine distros in the blog sidebar; a full list of international distros can be found here.
You can check out zines at selected libraries - we have a list of current zine libraries in the sidebar too.
There are several online communities where zinesters network and promote their zines - the most popular ones include We Make Zines and LJ Zine Scene.
Zine events happen a few times a year, and are a great way of discovering new zines, as zinesters from all over the country will have stalls set up where you can buy their zines. Follow our fortnightly news round-up posts for up-to-date info about upcoming zine events.
The best way to get a zine is to order it directly from the zinester - zines usually only cost a quid or so. Zinesters often have blogs or Facebook pages to promote their zines, and some have etsy stores where you can buy them online. Some zinesters may also be willing to trade a copy of their zine for a copy of yours.
(info compiled from http://www.undergroundpress.org/pdf/Zines101.pdf)