I tend to avoid “how-to” books. Especially when it comes to things like zines. I tend to think it’s as absurd as the whole scrapbooking classes that are offered all over these days. Really, if you need to be told how to put together a zine, then maybe you shouldn’t bother. If you’re truly passionate about putting whatever moves you onto paper and hitting a copy machine, I would imagine everything would fall into place. I started when I was fifteen years old, and that was a good twenty-five years ago. I figured it out myself pretty quickly. Only when my zines became more technical with higher print runs that took me away from the copy machine and to an offset press did I need help. Talk to your printer, or if you want to build and feel a part of some zine community, ask and interact with someone who is already there. One of the fun things about doing a zine is learning and discovering it all for yourself. Each new discovery opens more doors, and you appreciate more of what you have, and how you progress. If it’s handed to you, it won’t mean much.
Alex Wreck is definitely passionate about zines. It’s very obvious. And that alone is good. She gives you the ins and outs of putting a zine together, getting distribution, a section on how to make your own paper, and more. A lot of the sections, I think, are common sense. The most helpful was the guide to how to figure out the U.S. mail system when sending out your zine and the list of distributors at the back.
So, if you feel like you’re fumbling in the dark, and really need help, then I would recommend this book, mainly for the encouraging tone, and the previously mentioned mail and distributor sections. –M.Avrg (Lunchroom Publishing,
PO Box 17230, Portland, OR57217, stolensharpierevolution.com)