You wrote, drew, and edited your heart out. Now you have a zine you want to print.
So the next logical question is how much does it cost to print a zine? If you are asking that question, we’ve got some guidance for you in this post. Here is a quick guide to answering that question.
Before you look into printers, look into the purpose of your zine.
If you are making your zine for fun, you may not need to print at all. Post your zine on your social media pages or email them to your friends. If you do want print copies, use your printer at home.
If you are making your zine as an artist's portfolio, you can print, but you can also publish online. Online publication is more cost-effective than print, and distribution is essentially limitless. If you want to print your portfolio, be prepared to print high-quality copies, so you can impress potential employers and audiences.
If you are making your zine with your friends, discuss splitting costs and fees. Pool resources so you all can print more often at a larger circulation.
If you are using your zine for a political or social purpose, you may have to print a few dozen copies. Zines have a long and vibrant political history, covering a wide range of issues and perspectives. You will be in competition whatever your political purpose may be, and you will need a large circulation to stand out.
Once you decide to go ahead with printing, you need to make several decisions about your format. Each decision has ramifications for your overall cost.
If you plan on featuring art, choose between black-and-white printing or color printing, but bear in mind that color printing is far more expensive than black-and-white. Color art can be printed in black-and-white, but you may have to edit pieces so they look nice, which will drive up your cost.
Consider how big you want your zine to be. If your zine is small enough, you can fold your pages into quarters or eighths, using less paper and ink and saving yourself money.
Using special kinds of paper, like vellum, will increase your cost. In addition to acquiring the special paper, you may have to purchase a specialized printer or go to a small press with experience in publications on non-standard paper.
To ensure a high-quality product, go-to experts in zine printing. Though this requires more money than self-printing, most zine printers are affordable, and they will produce a high-quality product that will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Consider your purpose for your zine, your format, and your competition. Then follow-up with the question, "How much does it cost to print a zine?" The key to remember is that the larger and grander your purpose is, the more elaborate your format will need to be. As well, the heavier the competition is, the more you will be spending on design and printing.
You also need to understand that your costs do not end once your zine is printed. Marketing and distributing can cost just as much as printing, and they need to be planned for, but if you want to make money off your zine, they are just as critical to implement.
Have more questions about this? Become an expert marketer with this creative marketing guide.