Star Wars Print Fandom: An Expose

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Title: Star Wars Print Fandom: An Expose Jump to: navigation, search
Creator: Melanie Guttierrez & Lorrie Cherry
Date(s): 2007 or earlier
Medium: online
Fandom: Star Wars
Topic: Star Wars, Fandom and Profit
External Links: A N O T H E R S K Y - Editorial, Archived version
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Star Wars Print Fandom: An Expose is an essay about the cost of Star Wars fanzines that touches on many of the issues surrounding Fandom and Profit.

Selected excerpts from the essay:

This is the internet. If you are reading this, chances are you are a fan of Star Wars fanfiction and know little- if anything about Star Wars fanfiction beyond what you read online. You might not know that SW fanfiction has existed since 1977. Back then there were hundreds of fans writing fiction that followed the SW films and imagined beyond them. Before the internet there was only ONE way to read SW fanfiction. You had to find fanzines.

Fanzines. To most SW fans they have always been- and still are- rather mythical. Heard about perhaps, but impossible to find. You had to have the right connections to find SW fanzines, even back in the 70's-80's when there were nearly a hundred fanzines in print. They weren't advertised (fear of Lucasfilm lawyers was the excuse), rarely showed up at Sci-Fi conventions,and were generally a product of-and-for a small group of cliquish editors, writers and readers....

Over the years the one, consistent cry in SW print fandom was 'how do we reach more fans/readers'?

Well, dear readers, we're here to tell you what TODAY'S SW print fandom is about;what it has been about in the 15 years we have been involved with it. Two words: Ego and Money.....


Here is what it costs to produce a print fanzine today. Based on our costs in New Orleans-not the most competitive prices in the country. A typical 250 page, black & white zine with a cardstock cover and spiral binding, printing less than 100 copies, costs $17.30 ,per issue, to produce. Based on the 5cent per side, self serve price maximum, here is the breakdown: 250pgs @ .05 per side [equals] $12.50 per issue. Cardstock (2) .10 each +.05ea to print front and back covers. Comb binding [equals] $1.00. Postage [equals] $3.50 priority, US. Total cost per copy [equals] $17.30 Sells for- $25-$30....

The writers and artists contribute their work free of charge to a zine. The printers and postal services, charge for theirs. The middleman is the Editor. The middleman is where the costs always add up. Now you, as a fanfic reader, know how. It's up to you to decide if you want to support Star Wars print fandom as it exists and go on paying $25-30 for a fanzine, demand changes, or ignore print zines altogether. At least now you have the facts to make the decision.

The biggest fear in print fandom is that the internet will kill print zines. If it does, it might be a timely death. If it does, we will call it suicide - not murder - because print zine editors and contributors will have chosen death instead of change. Fan fiction will go on regardless.

Fan fiction is free. Long live free fan fiction."


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