Here I thought I was going to be really good and aim for putting out an issue a year. All problems solved, right?
Unfortunately, we really can't do distribution for a yearly at this time. The bookstores require that a magazine print at least twice a year, or won't take it. The magazine gets kicked out of their systems and it has to be completely remarketed every year. Barnes-N-Noble, Borders, and Hastings won't really make exceptions unless it is a very mainstream title.
I can't win for losin' here. Even if I cut down the usual pages of an issue (anywhere from 80 to 96) and spit out a 48 page "half zine," that still is a lot to pay for printing and shipping. It's pretty much cost-prohibitive. Dang! All that said, the layout tweaking continue and stories for the next issue of Cashiers du Cinemart keep rattling around in my head.
If I were to go to shorter issues with more frequency I think I'd need the following:
- Regular advertisers -- perhaps an "ad manager" to take care of this aspect for me
- Regular distribution of a lot of issues
- More money for printing said issues
- Reliable contributors -- people I could count on for good pieces who sent them in on time and who I wouldn't have to edit like mad. (I don't want any more notes from my proofreader saying, "This pains me to read")
- A better "hobby work" ethic
I'm not sure how many of those things I see coming in the near future.
Things sure have changed for zines in the last few years. It used to be that I could go into Borders and see a "hobby publication" that would come out once in a blue moon and not give it much thought. Now it's publish (often) or perish -- or move your act to the web.