A Guide to Perzines and Why They are Important for the Future of Publishing
The word "Perzine" is a mashup of the words "personal" and "zine." They are small, hand-made mini publications documenting the author's life or lived experience.
Perzines are more personal than other zine formats. They can explore a topic or event in detail and are usually written by an individual who has a story to tell.
Perzines are filled with personal stories, illustrations, and artwork and may be published annually, biannually, or quarterly depending on the type and frequency of content being shared by the author.
Why are Perzines (personal zines) Important?
Perzines are a form of art that is in a privileged position in the future of publishing. They are a way for people to express themselves and share their thoughts with others, and they provide an outlet for creativity and self-expression.
Perzines have become more and more popular over the years. Many people enjoy them because they hear other people's points of view. As time goes on, more and more people are becoming aware of what perzines are and how they can get their hands on one.
Above: Mettanoia is a 10 perzine series created by Shea Pederson documenting personal mental health and self-care strategies.
What Does a Perzine Offer that a Traditional Book or Magazine doesn't?
A personal zine is not limited by specific standards that traditional books or magazines must abide by.
A personal zine is a creative outlet for the writer. It can be seen as an extension of their creativity and reflections that they want to share with others.
Personal zines are usually created for free, with the exception being the time taken to create them. Printing a perzine is cheaper than a book because a photocopier is often used or a small print run at a local printer. This makes it a little easier to get your work out to the world. If zine printing costs are difficult to afford, there are other ways to get your zine out there, like putting it up on blogs or websites like Tumblr or Wattpad.
A perzine allows you to create content in any way you want without any restrictions, which is definitely something that traditional books and magazines cannot provide.
How to Start a Personal Zine with Minimal Effort & Cost?
A perzine is for you if you have a story to tell and need a creative outlet. Plus, they are easy to make and can be published digitally or in print.
A perzine can be as simple as one person's story or as complex as the inner workings of the mind of an artist. The possibilities are endless! Document your thoughts and feelings about anything from religion to food. It can be funny or serious or anything in between. You can write about your life, what your day was like, what you ate for breakfast, or how much you love cats.
This is an amazing way to express yourself and a great way to connect with others around the world!
Above: Wasted Ink Zine Distro in Phoenix Arizona
Creating and distributing your own perzines is an easy way to start sharing more of yourself with the world - and that's something we should all work towards more often!
Have a think about what format you'd like to create your zine in (saddle-stitched, folded) and how you'd like to assemble it (photocopied, offset printed, or stapled together).
The easiest thing to do is get started and try not to be too overly critical of your work. Remember, your thoughts and experience matter! If you're looking for some perzine inspiration, check our collection here created by some great zine authors!
Where Can I Get A Perzine?
Perzines are a fantastic resource for other zinesters and those looking to explore a lived experience on a given topic. They can be found at zine distros, on different web platforms, including Etsy, Society6, and Redbubble—and here at thankubody, of course!
Zines are a great way to support small press and local artists by purchasing their work. And they are a wonderful accessible resource for reading on the go!
Perzines are the perfect read for those who love to laugh, cry, feel, and heal. We publish perzines from all over the world, from a hilarious doodle diary to moving stories of struggle and survival.