Jeremy Staples' seven step music zine
Ever wanted to start your own music zine?
It seems so easy at first â€“ a simple mix of craft project, creative expression, and that resolutely punk ethos: do it yourself.
Then the complications set in.
How will this thing be printed? Whoâ€™s going to hand it out?
And what exactly is a saddle stitch?
All too soon, youâ€™re knee-deep in butcherâ€™s paper and broken ink cartridges with nothing but a great title (Bowie Today!) to show for all that hard work.
Luckily, a lifelong devotee of the format will be running a music zine workshop at the State Library of Queensland this weekend.
Jeremy Staples cut his teeth founding Toowoombaâ€™s first zine (Bizoo) back in 2001 before progressing to a number of niche publications.
His bilingual photography zine Faces of Nippon even managed to raise funds for a Japanese orphanage after the 2011 tsunami â€“ no mean feat for this notoriously expensive hobby!
With plenty more detail at the workshop, here are Jeremy Staplesâ€™ seven basic steps to a music zine:
1: Ask yourself why
Music zines are some of the most active zines around.
Are you making a zine for love? Are you making it to support a community?
The differences between a zine and an online blog are dramatic.
Itâ€™s having a physical item in your hand thatâ€™s portable and tactile, an object.
Thereâ€™s a physical story to it.
2: Set goals
Zines in particular are not always easy to gauge the success of.
Receiving an email or finding someone else who also engages with your zine may be a success.
3: Build a team (or go it alone)
Iâ€™d be steering towards working as a group because you donâ€™t need to slog away all by yourself in a dark room.
You can share the entire experience with someone.
4: Set a deadline
As with any artistic pursuit, if you donâ€™t have a goal it can just keep going on and on.
Set a deadline so you can actually achieve it.
5: Write that content
Zines provide a platform for anyone to document whatever they feel.
With Bizoo we were just saying what we wanted.
There were a number of legal cases.
The joy of the internet is being able to directly contact your favourite band so much easier, rather than a number of handwritten letters and phone calls.
6: Lay it all out
The production of zines is always in-house.
Is it going to be a completely analogue zine?
Are you going to use computers at all?
Thatâ€™s a personal preference.
7: Print. Distribute. Repeat?
Bizoo changed dramatically over time. The first three issues were photocopied, stapled and folded at home, and then distributed by hand.
Over time we became a lot bigger than your average zine.
We printed 5,000 copies and distributed all across Australia.
Even if youâ€™ve invested two years of your life into a zine, youâ€™re still expected to sell it for $3 because thatâ€™s the culture.
Itâ€™s a beautiful thing in one aspect, but how do you make it sustainable?
Beg, borrow and steal is the key to releasing a zine and making it accessible.
Get that feedback and then do another issue, or it could just be a one-off thing documenting something.
What: Jeremy Staplesâ€™ Music Zine Workshop
Where: State Library of Queensland
When: July 28, 2013 from 10:00am
How much: $16
Website: State Library of Queensland
Other: Online bookings prior to the event are essential.
Images sourced from Jeremy Staples