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A zine is a type of self-published magazine. You can create a zine on any topic you want. Art, poetry, and fiction or nonfiction writing are common in many of them. In addition, they might be part of a series or one-time publication.
Creativity and design are the driving forces in zine printing. There is no right or wrong method for designing one.
The publications are typically photocopied or printed (often in black and white, to minimize costs) and stapled together if they have numerous pages to keep them from falling apart.
The Printing Process for a Zine
A print run is usually brief, with only limited copies of every issue, anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand.
The following are the basic steps for zine publishing:
1. Create or collect content
2. Finalize the design
3. Create a PDF from a word document
4. Choose the paper and binding
5. Choose the number of copies.
6. Find a compatible zine printing service
What Are The Advantages of Publishing a Zine?
Zine publishing is relatively inexpensive. There is an investment in time, as with any work, but you only have to pay for printing/photocopying and staples after that.
When combined with strategic distribution, zines may be very successful in generating awareness of your work and getting your name out there.
It’s a good idea to distribute them throughout the town to get your word out. And distributing them at a book fair can even be much more efficient.
Of course, it’s not all about the money. Many people feel that these publications allow them to express themselves in a unique and personal way. In addition to the same kind of material you may post online, zines provide a more substantial and definitive feel for the writer and their audience.
This is an artistic expression, just like the design of your sites and your pictures. For this reason, the look and feel, even of the binding, can be used to amplify the mood of your image, and impact your readers significantly.
Which Printing Service to Choose
The Following are some factors to take into consideration while choosing a zine printing service:
Ask the service provider about the different customization options they provide, like:
- Wire stitching
- Perfect binding
- Number of pages in a stapled zine
- Paper customizations (length, weight, thickness, and even texture)
- Colored cover
- Fold-out pages
- Paper brightness and opacity
- Coated and uncoated paper
- Trim lines
Do They Offer Print-On-Demand?
Print-on-demand publishing enables authors to print smaller volumes, or even a single copy, based on demand.
Print-on-demand is a publishing service in which zine copies are not printed until you place the order with a service provider. The feature helps one-off or small businesses, as you only place orders that you can afford. Some print-on-demand services even guarantee delivery within four business days.
To put it another way, print your books when there is a need for them.
Cost of Printing
A zine doesn’t have to be expensive to print. The price is influenced by several factors, like the size and quantity of pages, cover, etc. The larger and thicker a zine is, the more it will cost to print it, so make sure to revise your copy to remove any unneeded pages.
- Choosing the right paper can help you save money. Instead of using a heavier paper for the covers, choose a text-weight paper, which brings the cost down by utilizing a less expensive paper and avoids the cost of scoring the front cover.
- The pricing is influenced by the quantity printed. Although larger quantities will cost more overall, the unit cost will decrease with volume, as with most printing.
How Long Does The Whole Process Take?
Most printing procedures are quick and straightforward. All digitally printed zines can be delivered within 4/5 working days. If you want a larger print run, it lowers your cost per copy.
Custom features like a fold-out page, premium papers, and finishes will lengthen the time frame and take about 7–8 days for processing.
What Type of Paper Can Be Used For Printing?
In general, there are three basic types of paper available:
- Inside pages should be 90 to 170gsm (ideally 130gsm).
- For a thicker card cover, use 160 to 350gsm paper
- Paper finishes include Silk, Gloss, Matte, and Uncoated
While looking for a zine printing service, keep in mind that cost is not everything. It is usually cheap, but it can get expensive and take longer with added features or special requirements such as premium paper and larger size prints.
Try choosing thinner paper or a print-on-demand to minimize the cost. Look for a service provider who offers multiple customizations at nominal prices.