Support your local (or less local) zinester

Do you value feminist alternative print media? Do you think zines should live forever? Read on… 🙂

Support is the key in the zine community!

From left to right: my zines and postcards, Lavender Witch buttons, Sister Ray Zines’ necklaces and zines, and Wayfaring Moon Apothecaries soaps and mini-zines.

Zines are a labour of love. They are meant to be non-profit. Zines should be accessible (that’s why I keep my prices low). But zinesters still have expenses that come with creating and distributing their publications. Glue sticks, pens, paper, printing costs, stamps, envelopes, travel expenses… are not free in this capitalist world – unfortunately.

I try to support other zinesters as much as I can. I mainly do this by buying (or trading for) their work and by shouting out about how great I think their zines are: f.e. in reviews. I also give zine workshops, encourage beginning zinesters, interview zine makers (in my zine Same Heartbeats), and donate my zines to zine libraries.  I’ve had the pleasure and honour of readers (often other zinesters) sharing images of my zines (and snail mail) on their social media, giving me very nice feedback, distributing or selling my zines for me, and mentioning my zines in their articles or books, which all absolutely make my day. These are just some ideas.

Without a mutually-supportive zine community zines would only exist as deserted islands, which would be pretty sad. That’s why I’d like to show you some ways in which you can help to sustain zine projects and help to grow the zine scene.

There are a number of ways in which you can support a zinester:

Community support:

  • Read our zines
  • Recommend our zines
  • Be inspired, make your own zine
  • Encourage others to make zines
  • Give workshops or create tutorials about how to make zines
  • Swap your zines with those of other zine makers
  • Share and show the work of zinesters, spread the word
  • Like, follow, share, comment on our work on social media
  • Credit and acknowledge our work
  • Send us kind encouraging words and feedback when you’ve read our zines – we love making connections and hearing your thoughts! Send us postcards, letters, messages. (Btw: feedback does not mean mansplaining!)
  • Review our zines (and let us know about it because we love to read those reviews)
  • Chat with us about (our) zines and zine culture
  • Interview us about (our) zines
  • Talk about (our) zines in your magazine/podcast/video/blog/other media
  • Don’t copy or digitise zines without permission and credit of the author(s)
  • Send in artwork or articles in response to calls for contributions for compzines
  • Organise a zine fest or another event in which zines can be a part of the program
  • Offer us a space to sell our zines at your event
  • Invite us to speak about zines or show our zines at your event

Financial support:

  • Buy our zines (or suggest a swap) – don’t expect all zines are free because they are not free to make
  • Buy our zines as a gift for your friends and (chosen) family
  • Buy our other creative work (f.e. I sell postcards, buttons/badges and other crafts – other zinesters may sell stickers, tote bags, etc)
  • Commission artwork (f.e. for a poster, baby card, book, magazine, portrait…) or writing – this helps us to break even because exposure and likes won’t pay for our printing/postage/travelling/etc expenses
  • Distribute our zines in your distro or shop
  • Acquire our zines for your library or archive (if you have funds, otherwise we gladly donate our zines)
  • Hire us to speak about zines or show our zines at your event
  • Donate some money (f.e. some zinesters use Patreon, Ko-Fi, or Bandcamp)

And there are probably many other ways to support and encourage zinesters!

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