Zine Flyer

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Synonyms: Fanzine Flyer, Flyer
See also: Zines
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What is a Zine Flyer?

A zine flyer is an advertisement for a fanzine. The early zine flyers appeared in the back of fanzines themselves and were sometimes interspersed with zine reviews and letters of comments. Since space in these early zines was at a premium, the flyers would often only contain a name and an address in order for the buyer to send a SASE for more information. Later flyers would be printed and handed out at conventions or included with sales of fanzines sent through the mail.

Most flyers were plain, printed in black and white, and contained mostly text with minimal artwork. To make their flyers stand out, some fanzine publishers would print on colored paper. Others would include color artwork especially if the fanzine itself had a particularly striking color cover.

Flyer Delivery

Starting in the mid-1990s with the increasing use of email, zine flyers were posted to mailing lists. Because publishers could not control where the flyers might be sent after the intial e-mailing, they would often contain a warning to keep the information in fan friendly spaces. Ex: In their 1998 zine flyer, Almost Foolproof Press appended at the bottom of each email: Please do not post this info to any newsgroup or web page. Forward to e-mail lists only with permission, please. One publisher, Gryphon Press, refuses to this day to allow her e-mailed flyers to be shared on open mailing lists or to appear anywhere else online.

With the advent of the World Wide Web, fanzine publishers began posting their fanzine information to their websites. This gave them an opportunity to offer previews of the fan fiction and art. However, many zine publishers still email their flyers to mailing lists and send printed copies to conventions.

Commentary from Susan M. Garrett

"It's said that many zine editors lavish more care on flyers than they do on the zine itself. This may or may not be true, but a well presented flyer could be an indication that you're dealing with someone who can put together a worthwhile package. Conversely, some editors put out a flyer rather quickly and haphazardly when a zine has been completed, so that eighteen months of zine work doesn't show up in the "we're here" piece of paper stuffed awkwardly into your SASE. In any case, a flyer can give you an idea of content, page count, and perhaps layout of the product. (Note - From limited market research, flyers are generally used more often for orders by repeat customers, rather than new readers. We don't know why, we just know that's the way it is.)" (from a The Fantastically Fundamentally Functional Guide to Fandom)

Flyer Contents

A typical flyer could contain:

  • fanzine title
  • table of contents
  • story summaries
  • excerpts
  • list of fandoms represented (very important in zines that are multimedia)
  • page or word count, the latter became important when wordprocessing allowed editors to increase margins and spacing to make smaller zines appear larger
  • whether there was a color cover or interior art
  • publisher's address and pricing
  • whether an age statement was required
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