How to Spread Zine Culture in Your Community

Main Forums General Zine Making How to Spread Zine Culture in Your Community

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  mariah m 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Posted by Denise

    Because I live in a small town, where probably no one knows about zine, I thought about trying to introduce zine culture around my area… I find it only fitting especially since we will be launching the first celebration of the international zine month this july (did I remember that correctly?).

    The thing is, I don’t know where to start. bah. any ideas? does anyone else feel lonely and isolated in a small town just like me? haha

    thanks guys! have a great day!

    Reply by Derek Neuland

    I’d say if you have copies of zines you’ve made, go around to different stores and see if they will display them for sale. If you don’t have a local bookstore, try places like coffee shops, thrift stores, diners, local grocery stores, record stores, etc… If you explain that you are local and you published it yourself, then they might be excited to sell it for you on consignment. Typically if the zine sells for $2, you and the store each would get $1 when an issue sold.

    Otherwise, maybe talk you your local library about starting a zine collection, and then you can donate any zines you don’t want and make a post here and other places online for people to donate zines. A lot of zine authors are more than happy to donate copies of their zine to a new zine library, or sometimes will even send copies of other zines they no longer want.

    I hope this helps!

    Reply by Alex Wrekk

    I used to live in Salt Lake City, Utah and while not totally a small town, it was very isolated. I used to leave my zines on buses and in bathrooms or at record stores or in bookstores in the pages of my favorite books. I also spent a lot of time obsessing over my post box! Before I left I found that the Salt Lake City Library actually had a zine collection! maybe you can talk to your library about a small press collection or, even order books about zine through your library so that they will be on the shelves.

    Reply by Nat Rally

    I’m glad you brought this up. Originally from NYC, I was once overflowing with zine culture in school and with friends, however that soon died out when I came upstate here.

    Anyway, I guess I was the one frantically introducing zines to my friends. I showed them how cool it is to put yourself on pages and what zines could and couldn’t be. I suggest you do this, start talking to your friends about it, let them know what you’re doing and let them know how cool it would be if they did it too..

    If your buddies aren’t all too interested, start flyering or leaving your zines in places you think would be recptive to them. The next thing we did was to try and reach out and get some other cats to start talkin about zines with us and encourage them to make their own. Start up a lil group or collective or whathaveyou. Good Luck!

    Reply by Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go

    Perhaps you can organize a zine workshop at your local library and advertise around town. Then maybe have a small exhibit on display at the library or local community center.

    Reply by TimT

    Get another person of the same age, dress up conservatively, and go round knocking door to door, giving out specially-prepared pamphlets to people as you go round… if it works for the Mormons, it can work for you!

    Actually, if you wanted to emphasise your difference to the Mormons, why not dress you and a friend up in a ballgown, and *glide* from door to door, reading pieces of poetry to people when they open the door. Gosh, that’s got to work…

    Reply by Stephanos

    Put on a zine event, such as a workshop on making zines, or get hold of some other zinesters to do some readings. Set up a zine library, attempt a small zine fest. Loadsa stuff you could do

    Reply by Dan 10things

    The best way to spark interest in zines is to do one yourself and spread it around town. Make it locally oriented, talk about stuff people can connect to (local music, reviews of local record stores, coffee shops, etc., stories that include local things, etc.). Also include a primer on zines and an attitude that anyone can and should start a zine. Include your contact info and say you are looking for contributors for the next issue. Then print up a bunch and stash them around town at the library, book stores, coffee places, record stores, I’ve been known to leave them pretty much anywhere for people to pick up. Then sit back and see what happens. I bet you get a couple emails from kids that pick it up and dig it and can get things going from there. That’s how it’s started with the zines and magazines I’ve started.

    I’d hold off starting a zine library or holding event until you’ve laid some groundwork to get people enthusiastic about zines by actually reading one. I just think it would be hard to get people to come if they’ve never read a zine or even know what one is. The best way is to get them hooked by reading one.


    mariah m

    Oh these are all really good ideas so far. Im having the same issue in my smallish town. If you haven’t already, you could also start a tiny library from the trunk of your car or basket of your bicycle and let people “borrow” them to read at your local public parks (which is what im about to attempt). Let me know if you try any of these ideas and how it works out for you. Im taking notes.

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