Good afternoon beautiful zine people.
Today I was thinking about mail (as I do often) and how fortunate I have been to receive utter awesomeness from lovely people around the world. It hasn’t been that long since I received the very first zine sent to me from someone I had no connection with, purely for review purposes.
Receiving that absolutely blew my mind because it was one of those ‘I’m making it doing this thing I love’ moments. Not only that, the person who sent the zine did absolutely everything I could have desired as a zine review to make it easy to identify them (the info I put with each zine review) as well as establish the expectation that the zine was sent for review.
In turn, that got me thinking about tips for sending your zine to zine reviewers. It’s similar to a tips post I wrote way back when I reviewed books, and people seemed to like it, so away we go.FiveTips for Sending Your Zine to Zine Reviewers
*Check the website. They’ll often have FAQs or other ‘about’ pages that’ll answer your questions in regards to tastes, formats, genres, and even reviewing style. This is a big one in that it can save everyone a lot of time. You don’t want to send your lit zine to someone who only reviews punk music zine reviews. That sort of thing.
*Include a note. I love included notes just because, but they serve a function as well. (More on what to put in the note to follow.) I like a mystery as much as the next person, but notes are definitely helpful – especially if you don’t have an established relationship with the person you’re sending to. Even if you’ve already chatted through email and they know the zine(s) is coming, still include a note.
*Mention the website. This isn’t as important to me personally now because SeaGreenZines is the only zine-related site I have going, but it used to drive me nuts years ago when I was doing book reviews and posting book promos.
At one point, I had over half a dozen websites that I wrote for, reviewed on, and/or sold advertising space on. People would email me and say, “Here’s my ad. Thanks!” I would have no idea what site they were talking about, and it always added that much more work to my day, made me cranky, and delayed their ad going up.
*Mention how you found them. This is more fun than anything else, but I love it when people mention where they found me. Instagram, the website itself, someone else mentioning me/the site. It’s nice to know but can also be valuable in terms of letting the reviewer know what’s working as far as time investment goes.
*Include your details. I have a business card with all my links and such on it that I toss in with any zine I send to a new person. Even included in the note, this is a good move. Make it easy for people to check out your other internet spaces, and they will.
I am someone who always has a list of ideas running, so I tend to forget that other people sometimes don’t know what they want to write about. As your resident zine enthusiast, I think it’s my duty to be as helpful as possible in your journey to making a zine. So here are…
51 Ideas for Your First/Next Zine
In no particular order…
- Your life! Yep, start a perzine
- Mental health/mental illness
- A physical condition/illness
- Politcal zine
- A holiday, road trip, etc
- Moving house/self/etc
- Your favourite animal, species, pet
- Zine reviews
- A zine about zines – the lovely ‘zine zine’
- Your spiritual and/or religious views
- A television show
- A movie, series of movies, or genre of movies
- A book, series of books, or genre of books
- Book reviews
- Poetry zine
- A sport, sports person, or team
- A fiction zine with a single story or a collection of stories
- Photography zine
- A game, series of games, specific games platform, genre of games
- A band, musician, or genre of music
- Comic! Illustrate your life, a fictional story, anything
- A colouring zine
- Sex, sexuality, views about sex-related topics
- Your heritage/background
- Your hobby
- Your collection
- A ‘how to’ guide
- A ‘how to’ guide for something that isn’t real/hasn’t occurred/been needed yet (like ‘how to actually taste a rainbow’)
- A social issue you feel strongly about
- Nature, gardening, or other outdoor-focus
- Interview someone, a group of people, or several people individually
- DIY zine
- Something silly
- A spotlight on your hometown
- A lifestyle choice you have made or want to make
- 24-hour zine thing (whatever it is, make it in 24 hours or less)
- Art zine
- Split zine (you do one half/part and someone/other people do the other)
- Single topic, multiple perspectives
- Parenting/raising children
- Your craft
- A collection of recipes
- Experiments in cooking
- Current events
- A zine centred around a specific event
- Randomness all shoved into one zine
Want more ideas? Check out 51 (More) Ideas for Your Next Zine
Coping Skills: Because Sometimes Life Is Some Serious Bullshit
Dr Faith G. harper
When Wanderer’s emergency happened, I found that I couldn’t tolerate TV, videos, or anything I’d usually do to distract myself. However, I did have this zine, and bit by bit, it did help…
This zine is one of a series called ‘Dr Faith’s Five Minute Therapy’ and just goes to show how effective a catchy title is. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into when I ordered this zine, but I couldn’t resist getting it with a title like that.
Lucky me, it was a bet that paid off.
Dr Harper has created a list (love a list) zine all about things you can do to cope with what’s happening in your life. There aren’t really specifics applied to this like ‘coping with a car crash’ or ‘coping with the fact someone ate the last doughnut’. It’s like the title says – because sometimes life is some serious bullshit.
Coping Skills is written in the voice of a friend rather than a doctor (or parent or ruling force in your universe). Coping Skills is all about coping, but it reads as something closer to a conversation you’d have while out for coffee rather than one you’d have in a psychologist’s office. When it comes to stuff like this, it’s so important to hit that point of telling someone what they can do rather than just telling them what to do.
I must say that I have to admire that Dr Harper was so ‘meh’ about prayer and meditation one one page but then turned the perspective to a whole new light (that I hadn’t thought of before) on the next page.
I really love that there are suggestions for things to do that you actually can do. I’ve read too many lists and articles that suggest things that require money or other means when ‘money’ or ‘other means’ can be things that add to the stress of the situations in the first place. The suggestions in this zines are general enough that you know what she means but can apply them as you please.
I read this zine during a time when I was incredibly stressed and not sure how to function, let alone cope. It wasn’t a miracle, but it did help. That being said, I think this zine is a great zine to read for any kind of coping, be it more or less stressful.