what’s up with the weird rash of people that are suddenly being all sour grapes because distros decided against picking up their zines? “all these zine distros just carry the same shit anyway. they just have a few token out-lier zines to differentiate from one another & to look like they aren’t all the same. but actually i know that all these distro people get together & have formed a secret cabal that decides which zinesters get distro action & which ones have to make it work on their own dime.” these are paraphrasings, of course, but i think i have the gist down & it’s pretty obnoxious. if every zine distro is just like the next one, why do i get so many orders? & why did i place an order with a zine distro that is not mine yesterday afternoon? could it possibly have been because that distro had some zines i wanted to check out, zines i do not distro & have not read? MAYBE.
you know who doesn’t complain about zine distros being all the same & having boring taste & just carrying the same fifty zines by the same thirty pre-approved zinesters? people whose zines are good enough to get into distros. & trust me when i say that the bar is not that high. there are some distros out there with some truly shitty catalogues, not that i’m going to name names in a public forum. they know who they are. (well, they don’t…that’s kind of the point of having bad taste.) want to know a sure-fire way to make sure your zine is never carried by a distro, even if it’s really good? walk around with a sense of entitlement & complain about distro operators not properly kissing your ass & lavishing you with praise. i have stopped carrying zines i really liked in the past simply because the zinester was difficult to work with & gets on my last nerve. i’m certainly not going to pick up a zine that is just kind of iffy & blah when the zinester isn’t even a fun, respectful person with whom i want to work. running a distro is a shitload of work & it all goes a lot more smoothly when zinesters aren’t laying diva trips on me. how big a deal is it to be turned down from a distro anyway? just submit your zine to someone else, or write a new issue & try again, or sell your zines on your own.
man, i am so glad i am going on vacation & am not going to have to deal with any of this shit for a couple of weeks. i am not going to miss all the bullshit: standing in hour-long lines. fielding e-mails from people who want to know exactly why i turned down their zines so that they can prepare a counter-argument & try to bully me into taking some copies. dealing with people who send me unsolicited stacks of zines & then ask for money for them. people who write fucked up, offensive shit in their zines & then try to tell me how i’m wrong for being offended & disturbed. getting zines that are specifically exactly what i am NOT looking for, which is clearly stated in my submissions info. getting unsolicited & unacceptable PDFs. receiving six-page zines from people who say they’re charging $2 wholesale per copy (this really happened). coaching people through wholesale/retail pricing (not that a big a deal, but tiresome after a while). people who order zines one at a time, so that paypal takes a bite out of every single transaction & i lose a shitload of money on the order. i could go on. seriously, so much of the piddling shit work that goes into running a zine distro is beyond thankless–it’s infuriating.
(upon re-reading–sorry to swear so much. i am really making it sound like i hate running a zine distro. i don’t hate it. it’s just really aggravating sometimes & i need to vent.)
yay vacation! we leave tomorrow afternoon & have only had one small argument about how best to pack our suitcases! it’s not so easy to fit all the sweaters, wool socks, thermal pants, reading material, et al two people are going to need over the course of eight days into a single checked bag. our cat sitter is apparently stuck in alabama because the airline wouldn’t let him board his plane back to kansas with an expired ID, so we had to find a back-up cat-sitter–no mean feat when you live in a town where you barely know anyone, & almost everyone you do know is an out-of-town/state student also leaving for the holidays. but it all worked out & i think charlotte will be in good hands. i managed to blaze through my to-do list & take care of everything i needed to do before we leave town (including catching up on all my mail for the first time in six months), so it’s off to massachusetts with a clean slate. i am looking forward to a week of illicit cigarettes, red stripe, too much food, taking the subway, & snow.