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Notes From The Flip Side: 10.01.2000

Zine printing: Around $230/issue + tax.
Web hosting and Net access: $23/month.
Revenue from zine sales: $0.
Revenue from ad sales: $0.
Total independence: Priceless.

So far this year, I've dropped about $230 on hosting. I've plunked down almost $500 to get my zines printed. Another couple of hundred on t-shirts. That doesn't include film. Developing. Tape. Batteries. Pens. Staples. Paper. Ink cartridges. The miscellaneous crap that zinesters need in order to do a zine. It doesn't include mailing zines to Japan. Canada. Australia.

I've been thinking about the virtues and merits of independence lately. Of not getting calls from publicists, as I once did, offering to set up an interview with Band X (presumably a fairly well-known band who I should be thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to) if I would do them the favor of interviewing Band Y (typically a band they signed as a tax write-off which sucks so wildly that it would put an above-average porn star to shame).

I suppose I'm thinking about this because I just got my first ad in a very long time. It's a make good (i.e. a free ad that I offered as an apology for a fuck up on my part) for Dischord. Here's the story - STM 9 (which became 3.0) was supposed to be out in a radically different form in December, 1996. It was supposed to feature a Team Dresch interview, the Down By Law interview that appeared in Issue #10 (3.1) and a Dragons interview (The Dragons are one of the hardest working and hardest rocking bands in San Diego). Due to a number of different reasons, that issue - at least in its initially conceived form - never came out.

However, I had ads from Epitaph, Fat Wreck and Dischord. I thanked my lucky stars that I never cashed checks before an issue went to print, put the ads and checks in an envelope and waited until my personal dust settled. When STM 9 and 10 came out this year, I sent copies of the zines to each of these labels with a letter explaining what had happened and why the issue didn't come out. I offered them a make good ad as a sign of good faith. And I returned their original four-year-old checks.

So Dischord sent me an ad and I'm running it in the next issue of Sick To Move. And for shits and giggles, I'm going to put my advertising policy here:

Ad sizes for the zine are 5" wide by 8" high. Ad pricing is now and has always been $20. I do not accept ads from major labels. I will not accept ads from major labels. In fact, I don't even LIKE major labels. While it's certainly true that I could have auctioned off back and inside covers to major labels for enough money to pay for the entire print run and made money in the process, I have never cared, nor do I care now, about making money or breaking even.

For me, the primary goal has always been communication and the open, honest exchange of ideas. I give STM and every other zine I do away because I don't feel that people should have to pay to read my opinions or writing and, frankly, I've seen too many shitty zines that seem to think their layouts which render text illegible and pre-literate writing warrant a price tag of $2 or more. I never want someone to feel ripped off by a copy of STM - therefore, it's free. The site is free. And they will remain that way.

If you have any questions about my policies or ethics as they apply to this site or any of the publications I do, please contact me directly. I'm more than happy to explain it. Unless you represent a major label and want to inquire about ad space. Depending on my mood, I'll either delete your email (if I'm feeling nice) or do something more creative.

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008