Sunday, March 20, 2011


No More Free Zine


I open up the envelope. A few dollar bills, another request for my zine.

It dawns on me: Why am I giving away my zine for free online? Why am I bothering to convert the file into a PDF and going through the process of uploading to my Web site, then not even seeing one comment for my effort?

Everyone reads my blog for free. I don't make a dime. There are no ads on my blog. Costs are negligible when it comes to distribution. A blog is efficient, easy.

But my paper zine involves paper, ink, envelopes, stamps -- it costs. Plus time, printing and collating copies, addressing and stamping envelopes, etc. In no way is meatspace zine publishing as efficient and easy as blogging.

No more free zine. No longer will I upload each edition as a PDF so that anyone can print it out. Starting with the next issue, if someone wants a copy, they can send me $2.00 cash (US bills, no coin). As before The Ray X X-Rayer will essentially be a collection of my blog posts, some articles revised and updated, sometimes with a little new material slanted towards the papernet audience, all in a basic 8 1/2 by 11 corner-stapled format.

If someone misses the PDF editions, you're still free to collect and print out my blog posts for your own personal non-commercial use.

I deserve some compensation for all the work I do for both the blog and the zine. This isn't a get rich scheme (there's a laugh) but just a way of defraying some of my eXpenses.

And if this doesn't work -- hey, no more zine.

4 comments:

X. Dell said...

I understand. As a reader, I would say that the PDF format reads much better than the blog format, even if you don't print it out. Then again, each issue contains material I've already read--and commented on--so I can see why you feel that you desrve more for your efforts.

When I get some money, I've thought about purchasing some of the back issues that you never put online, if you have any around.

Marvin the Martian said...

Good for you. Remember, writing almost never pays. You have to do it because you love it. And in that, it should cost you nothing but time.

Doug said...

Hooray for giving up on making money on the internet!

Seriously. When you stop worrying about money, you're bound to be happier.

Ray said...

X. Dell:

The money bit only starts with the next issue. I'll leave my PDF zines up for a while; I don't know if it would be worth it to take them down and start charging for them.

Marvin:

The problem is that zining does cost time, a lot more time than blogging. When it costs time and money -- forget it.

Doug:

I'm not trying to make money -- I'm trying to plug a leak.

I never thought of blogging as a profit-maker, only as a way of eXpressing myself. And while the costs for blogging are next to nothing, zining ain't. I just want some money for my paperzine to break even.

Did you every try zining? You should, just to see what it's like. Have fun updating your address lists. Don't forget to have enough stamps and envelopes. Even if you only have ten people, it's amazing how much time it takes just to take care of them. Printing, sorting, stuffing, etc. I appreciate my snail mail readers but...