Last month I took myself off to a Zine Fest in Osaka and learned a bit more about producing a zine. I don't mind making the content, or formatting it for a zine, I really don't like printing it out. There are not a lot of options: Xerox, risograph, off-set printing, silkscreen, woodblock printing or doing everything by hand (esp. drawings).
At the zine fest I learned most people either printed a few copies off their home printer or Xerox it at work or use risograph. Problem with risograph is the minimum is 200 copies which might cost anywhere from ¥25,000 ($250) to ¥40,000 ($400) depending on number of pages and colors.
Since the ZineFest was sponsored by a risograph printing company, I talked a bit with its representative / saleswoman / technician (small company). I thought the template for the printed matter could be used multiple times - nope. Surprisingly, the cost in Osaka is cheaper than the one here in town, a much cheaper city to rent space in. They both had a 200 copy minimum though. Can I sell 195 copies of anything I put together? Hmmm. Good question.
The festival was fun; lots of creators. Easy to see in one day. Many creators speak more than one language. All were willing to explain their work, of course. Plus, it was exciting—invigorating—inspiring to be around people who do what I do; to learn from them; to see how they create or show their work.
Now I'm more likely to finish making ebooks and advertising my bunch of zines collectively title:
The Diary of a Dead Cat Quarterly
(Too much curiosity for only nine lives.)
Maybe we'll see more of them here in the future?