It's all very well you making your fabulous zine and us doing a fine print job for you, but to make it somewhat more worthwhile you need to get people to actually read it.
The DIY enthusiasm of zinery extends beyond creation into distribution, and there are plenty of people around the world whose bedrooms are piled high with boxes of other peoples zines. Most distro folks will want a cut of the money. It's usual to give them stuff at two-thirds of the cover price, though many want half.
Here are a few, maybe some will want to take the stuff you publish. There are thousands of distros out there. Here are some. If you know of cool ones not listed here, drop us a line and we'll add them.
For longer than we can remember these folks have been carrying a colossal catalogue of anarchist, rebellious political books, zines, badges, T shirts and lots more. They also make badges.
These folks don't take any of your zines or books. Publishers list stuff on their site, and punters' orders get sent direct to you to send out.
Comics, zines and underground press for women, queers, punx and dissidents.
Properly ecelectic mix of politics, music, musings and ramblings.
New York based radical political distro with a strong feminist leaning.
Perzines, feminist, queer, body image, mental health, racial identity, craft, perlitical, riot grrrl, travel, alternative health, veggie/vegan cooking, zines that make people think, zines that make people smile.
Mainly carrying work by artists/zinesters/small record labels from Olympia, Washington, and around the northwest part of the United States, but with many exceptions for people/creations they love.
Book publishing and distribution collective for anarchist, feminist, ecological, queer, anti-capitalist, anti-fascist and anti-racist books and information.
Specialising in zines about ecological direct action and protest sites.
There's nothing else like this online community for zine makers and readers - create a profile, list your zineography, post images of zines, partake in the forums, find other zine writers, read about new releases, read reviews from your favorite zine writers and leave comments about the zine you just read on the actual zinesters profile.
Zinesters have been known to come out of their bedrooms. Zine fairs have proliferated in recent years like a field full of papery bunnies.Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, and we put one on ourselves in Leeds that were keen to repeat. Zine fairs tend to be organised a bit one-offish rather than having ongoing dedicated websites and stuff, so we can't really do links to many of them. Do keep an eye out for London Zine Symposium though, it's been happening annually in April since 2005 and it rocks. Read a blogpost about the 2011 one here.
At one of these events you usually pay 10 or 20 quid for a stall, and you get to enthuse at people who browse your stuff as well as networking with other ziney types.
Don't be daunted by the name 'anarchist bookfair' and think you've got to be flogging some 500 page chin-stroking treatise on the dialectic narrative of Kropokinist insurrection in the post-situationist contextual paradigm. These things usually have a broad definition of anarchism and if it's about people taking control of their lives and living for mutual benefit instead of profit, you're in. Weirdly, the stuff that sells best at anarchist bookfairs tends to be everything that's not anarchist books. Samosa salespeople totally clean up.
An annual fortnight of events in London including a two-day zine fair to boggle your mind and knacker your stapler.
Absolutely massive, usually on the third Saturday in October.
A listing of loads of them.
Though the number of independent radical bookshops has plummeted in recent years, there are still several carrying the torch. They tend to be very amenable to taking zines espoecially if they're political or social commentary. Most of them take your stuff on sale-or-return rather than cash up front, and will want a third to half of the cover price.
Socialist bookshop in central London.
Stocking the largest range of radical newsletters, newspapers and magazines of any shop in Britain, just by King's Cross station in London.
Oxford emporium mainly concentrating on personal growth, spiritual traditions and mysteries, but also stocking some environmental and other political stuff.
Liverpool's massive radical bookshop.
East London bookshop and community hub.
Leeds shop selling lots of books and zines, as well as fair trade stuff
If we don't archive our stuff then the only voices preserved for future generations will be the ones who got corporate publishing deals. Just as we need to realise that most people in the 19th centruy didn't live like Jane Austen characters, don't let the people of 2100 think all our generation did was buy another Jamie Oliver cookbook or Diana memorial shite.
Technically, anything published in the UK has to be lodged with the British Library, but this isn't enforced. However, the British Library enthusistically acknowledge the value of self-published zines and are compiling an archive. For more on what they do and how to submit your work, click the link above.
Archive started in 2010 that gladly takes all submissions.
A few tips to zinesters
The We Make Zines site listed above has forums where you can get tons of advice from other zinesters, but here's a couple of other worthwhile article about things to bear in mind too.
Musings on approaching writing and some guidelines on DIY print publishing, as well as more specific notes on producing pagan/occult magazines.
No point printing it if folks can't read it, so back off with that German Gothic 5pt. There are a bunch of other simple things you can do to increase clarity without compromising your style.