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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jan 20, 2015
Headline for DIY Media: 10 Steps for Starting Your Own Zine
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DIY Media: 10 Steps for Starting Your Own Zine

Have you ever had something to say, but couldn't find the platform for it? Is there something special or controversial you and/or your group has to say? The zine might be the best way to go. A zine is a self-published booklet full of whatever you want. It already has an edgy punk status, thanks to it's 90s history, and there's something about a zine that screams "read me!!!". With the gates around mainstream media, and the fleeting attention span of social media, the hard copy qualities of a zine are starting to make a comeback.
1

Define Your Topic

Define Your Topic
Pick a topic, any topic. The best part about self-publishing is that you can write about whatever you want, no matter how niche it is. It could be about photography, or it could be about the intersections of feminism and speciesism. It could be a colouring book, or a book full of detailed essays. Invite your family, friends, club members, because more thoughts mean a better read and a better world.
2

Artwork

Artwork
A good cover will catch eyes. Artwork is a good contrast to dense writing, and even better if it threads with the topic well. Ask a talented friend, or scribble your own. Art is art, so don't hold back. A zine that highlights some great artwork is a really cool way to get some eyes on the work.
3

Poetry

Poetry
Poetry breaks apart language and reality. There's nothing like carrying around a zine with your favourite poem in it. Once the right one hits you, it's hard to let go of it. Zines are about collaborating, so ask the people around you to pitch in with some great poetic insight.
4

Essays

Essays
If your zine is controversial and/or political, and many are, you might want to make an argument/statement through an essay. A 16 page essay might not be a good idea, but a short and concise one in between the art and poetry would work.
5

Topic per Issue

Topic per Issue
You might want to release one zine, or you might want to release many zines. Sometimes having a specific topic per zine helps. It also helps for call outs when you want to collaborate as much as it helps readers. But this is only a tip, zines are about freedom, so do what you want.
6

Photocopying and Stapling

Photocopying and Stapling
Photocopying and stapling is the boring work of making multiple zines. The library might be the cheapest way to go for photocopies, and you can have a collection jar for all the collaborators.
7

Getting it Out

Getting it Out
There are many ways you can get your zine into the hands of readers. You can drop a stack on a table on campus, give them out on the street corner, start a page social media, or sell on Etsy (if making money is what you want to do.) Word of mouth is also awesome.
Inspiration
One of the best places to get some inspiration is Pinterest. It's immediate and vast.
Zines to check out on Etsy
If you're looking for some zines to pick up and check out, Etsy has a wide variety. Sometimes just reading through a few can spark some great ideas.