Zine Agent

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Synonyms: Agent
See also: Zines, Zine Production, Zine Pirating
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A zine agent is a person or publisher who sells zines on behalf of others, taking over the production of zines from a previous publisher or individual. An agent is not necessarily the sole seller.

Good Things

some pluses

  • what makes an agent a good one?
  • agents' benefit to fans

Not-So-Good Things

  • loss of control
  • with some, mysterious bookkeeping

Controversies

In the 1990s, Bill and Ann Hupe were sometimes the subject of complaints regarding cost and "ownership" of zines.

In 1997, Mysti Frank wrote an open letter to fandom, one which encouraged other fans to act on complaints she had about New Leaf Publications and the agent who took over Bill and Ann Hupe's zine empire. See Thief in Fandom.

In 2003, there were complaints about unauthorized publication of fan fiction, unauthorized editing of submitted stories, bootleg print runs of agented zines, and the production value of the zines themselves by Agent With Style. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5][6]

In 2008, a fan became upset when an agent sold Ducky's Pain and Bolo with unauthorized covers, something that generated discussion about what the role of an agent was. One quote: "...it is not an agents place at all to do something like that. They said an agent is like a babysitter, their job is to care for the baby not tattoo it." [7]

Examples of Zine Agents

Agenting Zines for Others at Cons

From Boldly Writing: 'In order to bring more fanzines, we [at BlooMN'Con in 1982] started the tradition of agenting fanzines at the convention for other editors. Conventions in future years picked up on this practice, and it is now fairly common."

References

  1. comments made on FCA-L, March 2003, accessed November 14, 2008
  2. PSA about zine publisher accessed November 14, 2008, a copy is archived here
  3. Public Service Announcement accessed November 14, 2008 (locked when trying to access on August 10, 2012)
  4. Public Service Announcement Bandwagon accessed November 14, 2008 ("According to the people we know who attended the first convention [my zine] was available at, Mysti sold out of that first run of the zine at the con. According to the report I got back, she sold two copies of it. And continued to sell two here and three there at different cons for the next year, while the reports of people [we] knew who attended those cons indicated that she was selling enough of them to make up three or four print runs, rather than the one run we had agreed to. Also, the zines she was selling were really *badly* photocopied and bound rip-offs of the master I had sent her, not a true printing.)"
  5. Dear Disreputable Zine Publisher accessed November 19, 2008, a copy is archived here
  6. Psychic Serpent Live Journal, accessed 5.11.2011 ("I just got off the phone with a lawyer friend of mine who is sending a cease-and-desist letter to AWS on my behalf, inasmuch as I did not authorize them to print the zines (I was never given the opportunity, as [Agent With Style] never sent me the files they claimed they would);" WebCite.
  7. I needs opinions or at least to stop being incandescently mad; reference link