From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

Once the idea was cemented, the production cycle of the zine took about a week.

I decided to produce a pamphlet with a simple 3-hold stitch binding. For this run I made 20 copies, which ended up a sizable work load. Although I made most decisions based on the small, defined scope for an estimated quick turnaround, I ran into some problems in the process. First, I spent two days of trial-and-error, ordering the A5 pages to fit correctly on double-sided A4. Second, I found that the actual cutting and folding did not match the precision of the registration mark. I had to cut and fold the paper, again and repetitively, after I used an industrial paper cutter at the Publication Station. Third, I used an old inkless pen and regular sewing needles to stitch the pamphlet, and they proved themselves to be the less-than-ideal tools.

For future zines, I'd like to improve my knowledge in efficient binding methods (with the right tools). Binding comes first: and then the content can fall into places. Learning about some inDesign shortcuts (linking pages, e.g.) will be useful. I am likely to explore the use of riso printing rather than taking the laser printers readily available for granted.

Material cost

roll of kraft paper 1.6
needle and threads 1
laser printing (double-sided B&W A4) 0.02 * 300 = 15^
total 17.6^

^ The actual cost did not include printing cost because of the student perk. (Free printing was a deciding fact for me to print on A4, the most ubiquitous paper size. I was conscious about the material usage — if I were to produce complex designs, I would not exploit these printers for a large run.)

Labor cost/Timeline breakdown

3hr selection of text from FB (Pages)
5hr editing order of text (Pages)
5hr decision of printing method --> text design (inDesign)
8hr decision of binding, cover, stitch style --> reorder, style, copywriting (inDesign)
10hr printing, paper cutting, stitching

Total production ~ 31hr ~3.5 days

Pricing and related thoughts

Since the setup for this zine was a market, pricing became important part of the project. The final price I gave the zine was 7/copy. (As a comparison, the service I offered was at 5 euros/5 mintues.) To match the minimum hourly wage in NL (73.58/day)[1], I would have had to price the zine at 12/copy, unrealistic for a zine.

Without digging deeply into economics, the cost curve always starts at a high point.[2] For a small production run, things inevitably become expensive. If I squish design hours, the final product would be crappy. If I improve printing techniques, I might be able to lower the labor cost marginally.

Depending on the type of market, the demographic of the buyer changes drastically. (Parents with kids v. people interested in avant-garde) Is there a way to come up with consistent pricing that does not undervalue the product?

If I am participating a market similar to a farmer's market, than I will try to sell my goods as (something that resembles) a commodity. (On this occassion, the artist selling soap, though with a larger statement[3], next to me did a great job.) A commodity market gives opportunities to rethink the physical form of a publication. For example, in the past years, people have sold lottery ticket to win instagram followers and cookies with tweets(?).