Monday, March 12, 2012

Cost of Zining (Zinning, Zineing, whatever the verb is for Zine)

I was going through all the up front costs to start this zine that barely exists in my head or in a file on my desktop.  My printer first at $91.  If you read my King of Coupons post you know I got it for a spectacular deal.  And its a ton better than any printer I've had.  Scans great, prints brilliantly and is almost as gorgeous as Whisk.

Then the second part are the supplies.  Most of which I knew I could get, but I was baffled by this creature called a long armed stapler.  Had never heard of such a thing.  In my exotic travels to the strip mall I traversed past GameStop, the Dollar Store, AT&T and Rent a Center and found Staples.  A land rumored to possess such a beast.  In my exploration I found one such creature and a little alarmed by the price.  But I had to put my big boy pants on and suck it up.  Also I needed the card stock for covers and general paper.  The other thing I was a little surprised by was the envelops.  The 6"x9" variety are not cheap.  For some reason the one that opens at the side are more expensive the the top opening envelopes.

What these pictures do not include is the price of is ink, a cartridge runs for $35 and the staples to go into my Swingline, were $5.  So let's get out the tally sheet and see how much money I invested up front just to put out a small zine.

$91 Printer
$35 Ink Cartridge
$20 Long-Arm Stapler
$  5 Staples
$20 6"x9" Envelopes
$15 Cardstock
$  5 General Purpose Paper
$191 Total

I guess if I look at it my printer would have been $200 by itself if I hadn't lucked out.  So to justify my costs I will go with that.


  1. Zinning is to Zining, I think, as a Shinning is to a Shining.

  2. And yes I am very interested in this as I think of publishing my own book.

  3. Im am sure you will have no problem making your money back on the zine. Also I don't know if they told you at Staples, if you get one of their 'reward cards' (which is free) if you turn in your empty ink cartridges at the store you get either coupons or store credit to buy more cartridges, which I am sure you will go through. It might not be alot but it will save you a few bucks here and there.

  4. You should look at raising your own squid so you can refill your ink with no hassle or cost. Its like growing money!

  5. I second what Dan said about the Staples rewards card. I got one a ways back and never regretted it.

    I guess one other cost you'll have to consider to is postage.

  6. Wow, my costs have been a little more exorbitant due to the fact that I have to mail order just about everything from the States. Luckily an APO box counts as Stateside mail for all intents and purposes or I probably would be completely unable to try this grand experiement.

  7. Dan and Bard: We do use the Staples Rewards program. It's great fun to get that little bit of money back in the mail.

    Bard: Tim's been using my cooking scale to weigh stuff. One minute my scale is covered in flour, the next, zine paper.

    Zzarchov: If he can buy a squid on sale and coupon, he can keep it in his office bathroom.

    No coupon. No squid.

  8. Interesting. The money we spend on these hobbies comes in all sorts of ways!

  9. Nice! In the future try "greeting card envelopes" if you can find them. They are small enough that they don't trigger that "large envelope" rate. By keeping my rag under 28 pages (and two ounces) I can mail a single copy stateside for 65 cents.

    I hear you about the cost, though. I single envelope is 14 cents. That's just crazy.

  10. I'm still laughing at the squid comment.. thanx for the monday chuckle Zzarchov

  11. I don't suppose it helps the monetary wound at all if I say that "we are all really really looking forward to seeing The Manor in print" ?

    Nah...I didn't think so. But it's said.

    And I hadn't ventured into Staples in some time (I always defer to my wife or the secretary) and was horrified at the ridiculous prices on some necessities. Once again I'm rethinking my career of choice.

  12. The more I think about it, the more I am fascinated by the fact that making zines about gaming is a hobby about a hobby. Recursion!

  13. Thanks everyone for the support. And to Zzarchov for having a brilliant idea. I am going to hunt for a squid coupon. I'll have to see about greeting card envelops next time around.

    I have a cool update about The Manor tomorrow.

  14. When you buy an HP Lovejet printer, they recommend that you buy authentic HPL-approved octo-inks. Because the last thing you want on your printouts is cheap ichor.

  15. Man, that sure adds up quickly doesn't it? I would love to get into this but honestly I just do not have the stomach for it, the risk, oh and a wife that would complain if I dumped money on one of my silly gaming things...