or “What to expect when you’re expecting a zine.”
While still technically zines, our zines are a step above the standard production. They are not xeroxed or stapled. You could say they exist somewhere in the space between a zine and fully-produced, published piece. A sweet spot we like to call Ope!
Below is a behind-the-zines breakdown of our work.
Design & Development:
First, we’ll have a conversation where we’ll share our ideas about how it should look and you’ll either yay or nay it. Layout ideas, paper choices, typeface choices: your input counts as much as ours. This is your baby—that’s the whole reason we’re here.
Every job will be different, but generally, once we’ve agreed upon specifics, the actual design process begins. That’s basically Rox sitting in front of her computer for hours until she get something she likes. There will be some back and forth with you, so you know how it’s going and can chime in with any ideas or redirect if you don’t like what you see. Open communication is key.
Meanwhile, if your zine is literary, we’ll have our editor go over the text. Before that happens, we’ll have you talk with them to ensure mutual understanding of the piece’s objective. A pre-emptive conversation at the beginning of the editing process will reduce the frustration and angst that tends to occur. Once parameters are established, we’ll polish your piece and make it shine. Finally, Rox will pour it into the layout, show it to you for final approval, and then the piece will be sent to a proofreader (one last set of eyes). Done is done, is done? is done.
Unless the proofreader finds something significant, we’ll make the corrections and send it to the printer. We’ll get a proof to make sure it’s all looking good, and all is as expected. No surprises and subsequent flurry of expletives.
In the case of a full-color job, you’ll be shown a color proof to make sure your artwork is correctly represented. At that point, you can ask for color corrections and request a follow-up proof for any image you think needs work. This does add to the cost of a job, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Depending on how the zine will be bound, you may or may not be asked to help. Our first book was collated, folded, and hand-sewn by us. We’ll let you know at the beginning what we expect/need. Sometimes a book may be bound by the printer, but we may produce a small run of hand-bound books that will be sold for a higher price. Again, these details will be worked out early, based on your design preferences.
We at Ope! are not rich. Not even a little. Therefore, we will produce the zine in the most economical way possible. As a long-time, print-production person working for small non-profits, Rox is very used to small-budget printing. Sales of the zines go towards Ope!’s expenses first. After that, we split the profits 50/50. The sales of short-run hand-bound books, however, will go solely to Ope! Publishing, to be used as a fundraising tool so we can continue to publish zines for others. You will be given a thorough accounting of expenses and sales; no hidden nothing. As Ope! grows, we hope to be able to get paid for our time as well, but for now, our time is gratis, for the blood, sweat, love of art.
At the end of the process, you will have a zine you love and that we at Ope! can stand behind. We’ll do our best to market it and get it out there. We expect you will use your own channels on social media and otherwise to promote it as well. As we expand, so will our sales. We may ask you to do a reading, or attend discussions. We hope you will participate in the marketing of your own zine, but your participation will be based on your level of comfort. We’re fairly awkward ourselves.
We hope this clarifies how we get zines done. Any other questions you may have can be emailed to us.