Why Buy Zines?

In a follow up to our last post we would like to stress the importance of buying lit-zines. If you want to find out why people make zines then click this link to our last post.


The Alarmist magazine closed its doors and left us with a message that showed us the perilous obstacles that you face when trying to publish a literary magazine. These barriers are much the same for zines even though they have smaller amounts of money invested and tend to be able to survive on their ideology of not having to make a profit and also doing it in their spare time as opposed to making a career from it. The thing that we have found, having ran our own zine, is that FAR more people submit to a mag/zine than buy it. I know that the market is a bit saturated with literature publications, but if even half of the people who submitted to them, bought them, then lit mags/zines would be doing quite well and staying running wouldn’t be an issue by issue decision. Structo actually noticed this trend and implemented the rule that to submit, you had to attach a photograph of at least one literary mag/zine that you had bought recently. This is a highly commended act as they were actually highlighting this issue and trying to help everyone in the business, whereas they could’ve just done it for themselves, with their own mag. I hate to kill the illusion, but no publication is ever doing as well as they portray online.

This is Joe Bunn's collection that he's built up. You can spot quite a few of our old zine, Hand Job, in there too.

This is Joe Bunn's collection that he's built up. You can spot quite a few of our old zine, Hand Job, in there too.


The reason that I like to spend my money on zines nowadays rather than mags is that they tend to have a lot more humanity to them. I spoke about the writing within in the last post but the beauty is that you never really know what you’re going to get with a zine, whereas in mags it can be argued that you can predict the arc of the writing that will be inside them. I find zines a lot more interesting. Yes, you might not enjoy everything in them, but you’re more likely to stumble across a unique gem that wouldn’t have gained the recognition elsewhere.


Our ambition with our forthcoming magazine Low Light is to blend the two. To have the zine ethos with the literature that we publish but in a way that can broaden the appeal to readers. It will aim to be a central place that nods towards the areas where quality DIY literature is present, with interviews, articles and round ups alongside the submissions.


But, enough about us. Buy some zines (they’re not expensive) and then submit to Low Light magazine.