If you want us to print your zine / fanzine then here are a few things to consider that may help keep the price low and get the best out of our machines.
Electronic or camera ready?
- We can print zines either from a printed out hard copy (aka camera ready) or straight from the computer. If we print straight from the computer the picture quality is sometimes a bit better but it can take us longer if we have to iron out font or graphic problems. If picture quality is very important to you then send us your zine electronically but many zines will not suffer from choosing the camera ready option.
Contrast in Pictures
- Think about contrast in pictures. This is especially important if we are printing from camera ready originals. As most of the zines we print are music zines they tend to have lots of pictures of people wearing dark clothes, in dark rooms against a backdrop of black amps. If you can make the contrast and brightness better in your original photos then please do so. Hint: in Photoshop use the 'auto levels' (and progress to the 'levels') function as well as the brightness and contrast functions (these are found under the image - adjustments menu)
Too Much Ink!
- Don't go overboard on the blacks. I know that intense blacks are cool but it makes the paper harder to handle. This is especially a problem if the ink is heavy around the leading edge of the paper as it goes through the press. If there is an insane amount of ink on the pages it can also cause problems in the booklet maker meaning someone (either you or us) has to hand collate and staple the zine.
Cut 'n' Paste Errors
- If you are cut and pasting your zine then make sure it does actually fit inside the A4 sheet that you are sticking it onto. I know it sounds obvious but a staggering number of zines we get in go over just a little bit resulting in bits being chopped off or a big faff for us re-cutting your zine and lining it up again.
- Which brings me onto borders. When we quote we will assume you are going to have a white border round each page. If you want to have ink up to the edge it is possible but will increase the price quite dramatically. If you are going for the cheaper option of having a white border then we need at least 5mm border all the way round each sheet through the press (though 6mm is preferable).
Number your pages
- NUMBER AS MANY PAGES AS YOU CAN. Notice how that is is capitals and bold !!! It makes it so much more complex to print a zine that does not have page numbers. We print everything on A3 (even A5 zines) and then cut it down so it can be pretty confusing anyway. If the pages aren't numbered it makes it much more difficult, it takes longer to layout and print and there is an increased chance that we will make a mistake and have to reprint a section (at our expense). We therefore have a 10% no page number tax. If you don't number the vast majority of pages and we discover this after we have quoted expect the price to go up 10% (we will warn you first, don't worry).
How many pages?
- We have a 10 station collator (pictured right), that means that if your job is over 40 pages we would have to collate it in 2 separate sections and then hand feed the results into the booklet maker. We charge 5p a booklet for collating anything up to 28 pages, 6p a booklet for 32-40pp booklet. When you go over the 40 page threshold the price increases to 12p a booklet.
Get some decent politics in the zine
- We give discounts if we like the content of your zine or a campaign we really want to support!
Think about your print run
- The more copies you print the cheaper the individual cost of each zine. For example in spring 2011 we printed 100 copies of a 40 page zine (A5 with a card cover) and it cost £122. This worked out at £1.2 per copy or 6p per A4 side (there was quite a bit of pre press work too). The following table shows how much it would have cost to have had more printed.
|Number of copies||100||200||500|
|Price per copy of zine||£1.22||76p||55p|
|Price per A4 copy||6p||4p||3p|
The above table is there to illustrate the savings per zine made when increasing the print run. As such it should not be used as a price guide - evey quote has different specifications and so will be priced differently. Please phone or email for a quote.
This is all because there is a certain cost for setting the machine up for each plate and sending another 100 copies through at 2 copies a second adds a pretty negligible amount of time and ink. Obviously, you have to be realistic with the number that you are going to sell or it will be a false economy.
Come and Print it yourself
- While it sometimes takes us longer to show someone how to use the machines than it would take us to just do the job ourselves we want to encourage the DiY ethic and get people to learn how to do the pre-press and use the machines. If you come in to print or collate your own job then you will find it works out a lot cheaper.
More advice on producing a zine can be found from Convulsion. Also, there's no point in writing great stuff if people can't read it properly - don't go for 5pt size and think you've fitted it all in when most folks will get tired long before the end of the page. And don't use daft fonts like Curlz for anything other than big short things like headings. More info on making your publication accessible can be found here.
If you do decide that you want us to print your zine then putting some of our contact details in would be appreciated. If you have space and want to stick in a logo please use the one (it's sized pretty big to maintain the quality when printed). Thanks very much.