How do you produce your zine?

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by a layer of chips » Mon Mar 23, 2009 17:00

Maybe a little bit more, just to be on the safe side. It all sort of depends what copier you're using, I suppose.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by Sootyzilla » Mon Mar 23, 2009 20:10

5mm should be enough really. With the best modern copiers you can get away with even less. Anyway, some of the interview is supposed to disappear off the edge of the page so that you then have to touch up the illegible bits with a biro.
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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by a layer of chips » Mon Mar 23, 2009 20:11

Sell-out! The art is in the intrigue.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by Sootyzilla » Mon Mar 23, 2009 20:19

I STILL don't know the end of the anecdote Harley from the Darling Buds was telling. It kept me awake for years.
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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by Outcognito » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:54

humblebee wrote:Those of you who favour lo-fi production - is this political, aesthetic, or pragmatic? Do you use scissors and glue as a statement of socialist/anarchist/whatever principles, or because it looks better, or because you're shit at computers?
With the first one I did, I decided to put it together without giving any thought to how I'd do it, so it was a case of panicing, looking at how other people seemed to have put theirs together and trying to copy it. This meant the paper and blutak route, as I had (have) no real idea how to use a computer programme to do it. Once I'd put a couple of pages together, I found that I quite liked the imperfections and the fact that it looked very personal - not that you can't make it look like that by using a computer. I loved the first few Bottle Rocket zines, where it seemed as if Katy had used a typewriter and wasn't afraid to have the zine look like it was done in an old-school way. I don't think one method is necessarily better than the other - the Cloudberry zines and Wrap Up Your Troubles, to name but two, are just beautiful, and more to the point, they're great reads.

humblebee wrote:Is it massively phoney to make a zine look lo-fi using whizzy design software?
No, I don't think so at all.
It's so easy when the door is wide open.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by humblebee » Mon Jun 29, 2009 15:02

This isn't a production question - it's more of a legal sort of thing - but I didn't wanna start a new thread.

An interviewee in my zine is highly critical of a big media corporation. I know there's totally zero chance of anyone from this big media corporation reading the zine, but is there a way of covering my arse just in case? Should I put a disclaimer in the zine saying all views expressed here are the opinions of individual contributors or people being quoted, that sort of thing? I dunno if any of you know about this kind of stuff. Would that be enough?

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by a layer of chips » Mon Jun 29, 2009 15:06

That should be enough, yeah. We do that in the magazine I work for.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Tue Feb 07, 2012 16:50

How did you guys get the staples in so neatly? With one of those larger staplers? Or is there a smart little trick I'm missing?

It's an uninspiring day, and I don't want to think for myself. Sorry.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by humblebee » Tue Feb 07, 2012 16:57

RITH wrote:How did you guys get the staples in so neatly? With one of those larger staplers? Or is there a smart little trick I'm missing?

It's an uninspiring day, and I don't want to think for myself. Sorry.
I borrowed a long-arm stapler (that's what they're called!) from tonieee. Hmmm, did I give you that back, tonieee? I hope I haven't still got it.

For people who don't live just round the corner from tonieee, your local office supplies retailer should be able to provide a long-arm stapler.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by tonieee » Tue Feb 07, 2012 18:59

humblebee wrote:
RITH wrote:How did you guys get the staples in so neatly? With one of those larger staplers? Or is there a smart little trick I'm missing?

It's an uninspiring day, and I don't want to think for myself. Sorry.
I borrowed a long-arm stapler (that's what they're called!) from tonieee. Hmmm, did I give you that back, tonieee? I hope I haven't still got it.
No, I picked it up last time I looked after Oli. You did have it for about two years though!
humblebee wrote:For people who don't live just round the corner from tonieee, your local office supplies retailer should be able to provide a long-arm stapler.
And that means you get to go stationery shopping - the second best kind of shopping!

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Wed Feb 08, 2012 09:03

I see they're quite affordable, so it may be a good investment if I intend to keep doing this in the future. Thanks!

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:01

Another option is do go foe something other than staples. I've been known to sew my zines. Depends how many yr making, I suppose.
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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:06

That sounds like a very pretty solution, but I'm not sure I can be trusted with a needle. I have no idea yet how many I'm making, that will all depend on how many people will want.

Which means I may make only 1.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by roundbitsofplastic » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:24

another option is to use some thread/ribbon/whatever and just tie it around the crease. It's a bit less stable than sewing/stapling, but it should be less labour intensive, will still look nice, and you don't need to buy a stapler or anything. You could go half way by piercing one hole through the spine and thread cottong/ribbon/whatevs through it and that way it can't slip off but you won't need to sew.

Or you could just buy a long arm stapler ;-)
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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Wed Feb 08, 2012 19:31

I went out and bought myself a long arm stapler. I like it easy!

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Sun Feb 12, 2012 09:41

Could anyone give an indication of what I should expect it to cost to send an A5, 60+ page fanzine around the world? Europe, America, Asia, South America... something like that? (I'm being optimistic here.) The zine is not at all finished yet, but I'm slowly getting there.

EDIT: That'd be a 60 page booklet, so actually, erhm... 15 folded A4 papers?

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Tue Feb 21, 2012 21:39

You know how sometimes you've set your mind on doing something unimportant, but then you get caught up in it like it's very important and you waste hours? I wanted to insert page numbers in the fanzine, but then in the middle I wanted Word to skip from page 20 to 45 (because I need to manually insert pages, and I want the page numbers to be correct in the end result). The theorie is quite simple, but sometimes the theorie doesn't mean a thing.

I got it now though. I think. I'll have to change it later, anyway. An evening truly well spent.

Yes.

If you ever read this zine, please appreciate the page numbers.

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:58

I just posted this on Facebook, but I thought I'd post it here too:

Judging from conversations I’ve recently had, a lot of people miss paper fanzines. 2013: time for a new fanzine revolution? Yes please! It’s fun, it’s satisfying, and it’s fun. Yes, I said fun twice; that’s how much I’m hoping to motivate you into making your own ‘zine.

Here’s how:

Step one: think of a subject

You can write about everything you find interesting. It’s your fanzine after all. It would probably be a good idea to focus on just one subject or a niche or subculture though. Any reason that gets you motivated is a good one, but often you’ll want to write about something you don’t see covered to your satisfaction by the mainstream press. Yes, like indiepop, DIY culture, or punk, for example. Choose something you’re passionate about, or it won’t work. Because you’re here, I’m assuming you’ll write about music in some form or another.

Step two: think of a name

Once you've decided what music your fanzine will cover, you’ll need to decide on a name for it. Something short, memorable and catchy would be preferable. If possible, try to relate the name to the music somehow. Of course you could think of an appropriate name later on, but it’s nice to make your project concrete from the start, and to be able to talk about it as something true and real.

Step three: create content

This is the main step, for obvious reasons. Think of a style, and try to be creative. Be yourself, don’t copy. Do it yourself, and do it for yourself. And also BE yourself. This is your chance to express exactly what you want to express. Add interviews, opinions, photographs, illustrations, whatever you want. Research your subjects, so you don’t ask too many obvious questions, or publish too much already widely known information. If you want your ‘zine to have maximum appeal, your content should be mostly informative, fun, interesting and unique.

Don’t follow a formula; this is the underground. There is no should, no must, no standard to live up to. You don’t NEED interviews, or a review section. Or whatever. Especially don’t let me tell you what to do and what not to do. This is your zine, isn’t it?

You could review music and write labels and bands to ask for free goodies, but don’t expect anyone to send you piles of free 7-inches and CDs right away, certainly not for your first, still completely unknown issue.

It’s probably a good idea though to invite other people to contribute as well, to give your fanzine a more varied content, and to prevent that people have grown sick and tired of you on page 26. It’s exciting if you can get other people excited about contributing to your project, and you can tell them what you expect from them. You’ll become a self-made editor-in-chief, in other words: you’ll become the MAN. But don’t worry, you’ll be a good one, and your own. Sometimes it can become annoying to have to ask people repeatedly for their promised contributions once the deadline comes closer, or even passes. But it’s 100% worth it, you’ll see. And don’t take any drawbacks personally; just shrug it off and try again.

It’s always worth it to first ask a band/person if they’re interested in doing an interview with you before you spend a lot of time on research and thinking of questions. If you don’t hear back from them, or if the answer is ‘no’, you’ll have wasted a lot of time for nothing. Believe me, it happens more often than you’d think, and even you and I have better things to do than wasting our time on a band that doesn’t care.

Step four: put content into a folded booklet

You could go old-school, and use a typewriter, scissors, glue, et cetera. Take a pile of A4 papers, put them on top of each other and fold them into an A5-size booklet. Flip through the pages and number them in the order they will end up (front cover = page 1, inside cover = page 2, et cetera). Then write, draw or paste your content on the correct pages so that it’ll appear in the order that makes sense. This can a very time-consuming and frustrating thing to figure out, but it will give your ‘zine a very ‘authentic’ look, whatever that means. It often means ‘crappy’, but I’ve seen nice ones as well. I’ve never done this myself, because, you know, it’s 2013. I know plenty of people who still prefer the old style though, so it’ll give you some DIY credit, if you care. But I repeat: do it for yourself, and BE yourself. Don’t try to please anyone but yourself in your creative process.

A much easier way is to create a booklet in Microsoft Word:
1. Start a new, blank document
2. Go to Page Setup, and then click the Margins tab.
3. In Orientation, choose Landscape.
4. In the Multiple pages list, select Book fold.
5. In the Sheets per booklet list, select All.

After you’ve gone through the above steps, you can just type away, insert photo’s, illustrations or whatever you want to. Until the very last moment, you’ll be able to edit your texts, change the order, insert articles, et cetera.

Step five: print/copy and staple your fanzine

If you’ve finished putting all your content on paper (and have created a nice cover), it’s time to print & copy.

Find a cheap place to print, or steal from your work. Use whatever you can from work: copy machine, computer, printer, paper, time. Anything. But don’t get caught, of course. No matter how crappy your job is, it’s not worth losing it over a handful of stenciled pages. Leave your crappy job because you can, not because they make you.

If you’ve decided to go for the old-school method above, after all the content has been added in the correct order, you should now have a pile of A4 sheets filled with content. Never put staples through these flats, since you’ll need them to photocopy all your other copies from. This is your master copy. Correct double-sided photocopying can take some time to figure out, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

If you decided to create your ‘zine in Word, you can just print your pages:
1. On the File menu, click Print.
2. Click Properties.
3. Select Landscape orientation and Flip the document on the short edge.
4. Click Ok and then Print.

You could print all the copies you need this way. It’s probably easier to safe your original prints and photocopy the hell out of them. This will compromise the quality of (especially) your pictures a bit, but it does go a lot faster.

Buy or borrow a long reach stapler and staple your fanzine together with two staples. There are other ways to bind your zine (with ribbons, rubber bands, thread, et cetera), but frankly they’re all a pain in the ass. If you think it’ll look awesome, give it a try, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Step six: promote your fanzine

Tell all your friends, the people you’ve interviewed, and really anyone who may want to hear that you’ve made a ‘zine and it’s ALL DONE now! Post on relevant forums, stalk punters at shows, stuff like that. Create a website and/or Facebook page for it, so people can inform themselves online. Go tweet tweet tweet on Twitter. It’s the modern times, isn’t it? Don’t ever apologize for your fanzine or anything you do to promote it. Give people the chance to figure out for themselves how much your ‘zine sucks, or doesn’t.

Step seven: distribute your fanzine

By now you should have thought of a way people can get their hands on a copy of your precious fanzine. You can hand them out or sell them at events, give them to friends, colleagues, leave them in stores, et cetera. If you’re selling your ‘zine online, create a Paypal-account and tell everyone clearly how (and how much) they should pay for your creation. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a distro or other kind souls who will offer to sell your ‘zine for you in other parts of the world. It’s quite exciting to see the product of your sweat, time and love for sale in online stores.

Step eight: do it again

If you’re not too depressed from the much smaller audience than you had anticipated, go back to step three and do it all again!

Closing remarks/warnings:

You’ll need loads of enthusiasm and motivation. Be prepared to lose a lot of time and money on this hobby. At moments, your sanity and self-respect may be in danger. Work through this, or find a way around it, and you may also encounter moments of pride, amazement and huge satisfaction. A lot of people don’t start their own fanzine, just cause they think it’s too much work. Although is very time-consuming, when you just do it bit by bit you’ll have something finished in the end.

Look at it: You’re CREATING something. Don’t underestimate the feeling that gives you.

A webzine will attract a TON more readers, but they’re anonymous, and they’ll forget you. A fanzine is different. It will be bought by dedicated fans, who will take your ‘zine with them on trips, read it in bed, share it with friends, and who may become your friends as well.

If only one person gives making a fanzine a try after reading all this, I’ll be very glad I posted this.

Don’t hate the media; be the media!

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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by leon » Thu Aug 08, 2013 13:20

That's brilliant Dennis, it makes me want to try it.
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Re: How do you produce your zine?

Post by RITH » Thu Aug 08, 2013 13:56

I hope you will!

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