by megan

Yes, you too can live the dream of grueling hours, self-imposed deadlines, and empty checking accounts with your very own zine! Our guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, from start-up to shipping. It's so simple, you'll have your own thankless hobby up and running in no time!

Step 1 Find a subject near and dear to your heart. Make sure you come to it as a wide-eyed innocent so that your eventual disillusionment will be that much more complete and poignant.

Step 2 If you're an artist, learn to write. If you're a writer, learn design. If you can't do either, you should fit right in to self-publishing

Step 3 Decide that photocopying and stapling issue after issue isn't DIY, it's stupid. Opt for newsprint way to soon. Desperately scramble for advertisers to make newsprint costs. Miss the mark by about $400.

Step 4 Print. Cut and paste. Cut and paste. Run out of tape/glue/paper. Run to Kmart. Get thrown off schedule by two days. Cut and paste. Cut and paste. Realize you don't have nearly enough art. Lose another day searching the Net for usable pictures. Cut and paste.

Step 5 Mail to printer. Forget to include shipping in check. Miss print deadline.

Step 6 Be at your real job when UPS comes to deliver your zines. Try three times to reschedule. Curse UPS.

Step 7 Happy day! Get large boxes filled with zines. Large, large boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. In your small apartment. Lug boxes to corner and stack carefully.

Step 8 Contact distributors. Hoard boxes. Buy three rolls of packing tape. Buy two Sharpies. Start packing.

Step 9 Lug one box too many to your local post office. Realize you didn't bring enough money to cover the $100+ shipping costs. Spend the rest of the day nursing a sore arm.

Step 10 Congratulations on a job well-done. Now you can settle back, put your feet up, and realize that you're already two weeks behind on starting the next issue.