Anonymous asked: How did this zine get started up? How do you come across funding for printing and shipping free copies to contributors ect? I'm just starting up my own zine, and I was wondering if you have any advice on pricing/printing/getting myself out there. Thanks!
I (Rachel) had been daydreaming about creating a submission driven zine for a few months, the logical transition after curating little online group writing projects. It seemed like such a large undertaking though, something I obviously was not equipped to tackle alone. Fortunately, Clare, Wes and I started meeting last fall to talk about sleepy things on Thursday mornings over cups of tea at a local cafe. When I brought the idea up to them, they were (to my delight!) stoked and totally on board with the whole project.
I think one of the more difficult things about running a zine, and something we’ve been incredibly blessed to sort of sidestep in a way, is the financial aspect. If you want to create something of quality (and full color!), it takes money. Many, MANY small presses never make it past one book because they don’t have the financial means to back it up, and that’s scary. Luckily, we have an incredible friend who was willing to abuse her employment at Columbia’s photo lab to print things for free, all we had to do was pay for cover paper. That means all the profit we made goes to shipping and fun goodies and future endeavors. That means we get to have some tricks up our sleeve for the future. Our privileges are going to go away in December, and though we don’t know what that means for us exactly yet, it is almost kind of exciting to have another hurdle to cross.
I guess if I had any advice, it would be to not be afraid. It might seem daunting, but it is so worth it. I know all three of us have spoken to the fact that this zine is very much our lil baby and we get totally mom proud over it constantly. Putting something together from start to finish doesn’t get much more rewarding. Do you research. Figure out who has the best prices (look at your school’s printing options, if you are in college!) and be reasonable at how much you’ll have to mark up your product to at least make a little profit so you can fund yourself in the future. Be shameless when talking about your project - be incessant on the internet, pass out stickers/flyers/business cards/anything to your pals/fellow artists. Involve your community. Maybe most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It feels so damn good to be taking steps toward my ~dreams~ with some of the most kickass, wonderful people I’ve met.