When I first started doing my zine, my publisher at the newspaper I was writing for gave me some really valuable advice.
"If you don't place any value on your product, nobody else will either."
Of course, I didn't take this advice at first. When I did my first runs of issue one and two, I handed them out like candy. People have more free copies of my work in their hands than what I sold, and that's fine. For a while, I was concerned only with getting my work out there and having it in the hands of others.
I'm afraid things aren't like that anymore.
While I am still sitting on quite a few copies, I am steadily selling through them on Etsy and that's working just fine. I know that some friends are probably going to be disappointed that we are not just passing out copies, but let's face it--printing gets expensive and in order to continue publishing our writing without taking too much of a loss, we have to charge something.
There are bigger, larger projects on the horizon for Dean and myself. If we don't attempt to make back some of what we've lost, we will not be able to continue pushing our writing out there, getting our words into the hands of others.
It's not that money is the driving force behind our inspiration to make zines. If money were the case, we would have quit doing this a long time ago. In order to maintain some kind of value along with continuing in ideals of creative integrity, there has to be a price to cover cost. That's just the straight and narrow of it.
It's not greed.
It's not elitism.
It's simply valuing what we have put so much time and effort into creating.