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How to continue being Zizek Press [An Update]

June 29, 2012

Here’s what’s been happening over the last few weeks:

Gupter Puncher zines

All delivered. Well, there are about 50 left and we’re thinking of taking them to a zine store in Brighton. Is it a good idea? We’ve never been there.
Also, Gupter is hitting Torino and Oslo. The zines and the zine novels will be put in 1-2 places a friend of ours knows. It will probably disappear without a trace as there will only be 20 copies of the Gupter zine and 10 zine novels, but you never know…
Never knowing

We’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Is it better to put zines in popular places where lots of people who might/might not like your zine go, or is it better to put them in smaller places, like zine stores or independent bookshops, where people who will probably like your zine go?
If you had 1200 zines where would you put them?

Online strategy

We used to figure there was so much other shit online that it was pointless to try and promote yourself there. It seemed like a better idea to make zines, put them in real world places where people could have a physical copy, and build interest that way.
There are problems with this though.
People who pick up a physical copy of something don’t seem to look for it online, unless it offers some kind of news or interactive function.
We should’ve realised this was the way things were. Some of us read film magazines, but we never go to their websites, even if they do have different stuff there. This might be the same for every magazine.

Firstly, we don’t know anyone who buys this magazine, so how does it make enough to survive? And secondly, do people who buy a physical copy also go to the website? If you look at the comments under their articles, there are some people, but there’s no proof they buy the mag too.
Actually, TIME OUT was a bad example. They get a lot of traffic from their articles on what to do and where to go in different cities.
For something like a zine, who’s gonna care enough to search for it online?
Note: There’s the idea that maybe 1200 people just didn’t like the zine we made and threw it on the street or burnt it after reading/scanning through. If that’s true then there’s nothing we can do.
Maybe normalise the zine?
Put film reviews in?
Or go the opposite way and write vague sentences like Miranda July or Tao Lin?
‘I looked at the reflection in the tv screen and told it how I was twenty-two per cent happier than the day before.’
Put a talking animal in?
Is this the kind of thing that sells?

Anyway, we think we might need an online strategy.
We also don’t know what this strategy should be.

Maybe it’s better to have no strategy?
No, that’s dumb. We should have some kind of plan.
Okay, how about this…
1. Go to zine places in each city we’re in.
2. Look for decent zines.
3. Get contact details for those zines.
4. Contact them, say we like their stuff.
5. Then what?

Zine novels

250 were sent to London from Hong Kong.
So far, we’ve put them for sale at:

BigGreen Bookshop [Wood Green]
56a info shop, near Elephant & Castle [we like this place a lot, it has many zines]
Albion Beatnik [good bookshop in Oxford, owner likes Henry Miller]
Housmann’s Bookshop [Many zines, lots of anarchism/socialism]
X Marks the Bokship [art zine place]
Bookart Book shop [art zine place]
Freedom Press Book shop [See Housmann’s Bookshop]
There are some free copies at Hackney Bureau too.

There are still some on sale in Hong Kong, LA, Ljubljana and Zagreb. But not many. If you want one, you should go quick and buy. If you don’t want one, that last line is meaningless.

Gupter Puncher zines [2]

Okay, we’ve been to Brighton. There were three places we found to put the zines, but all of them defeated us. Here’s how:
1] Cowley Club – zine was skim-read and rejected by feminists.
2] Wax Factor – looked a bit shit, we did not go in.
3] Lmnop – was closed for its annual holiday.
Luckily, we found two places while walking around and among all those people with moustaches and jeans cut below the knee.
Dave’s Comics – they had zines, we added ours.
Ink_d gallery – my bag was heavy, I was tired so I gave them some before getting the coach out of there.
The Future

We will leave London and go to a new city and try and make a mark there. Maybe somewhere else in Europe, like Berlin or Paris.
Two new novels will be turned into zines and put up for sale.
2-3 writers will be chased and turned into members. Hopefully, they’ll be active and easy to find, but probably not.
Actually, our favourite kind of member is the one who thinks he/she is shit, but isn’t, and has low expectations. Our least favourite is the opposite.

“Never give in, never surrender.”

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