I did a bunch of cleaning up on the site last night, adding long neglected descriptions, removing a few things we’ve sold out of without realising, marking zines that we’re down to the last copy of. I also updated the international postage rates (Australia Post have removed one weight category for posting international letters, so letters between 51-250g are now all one weight category, making it pretty expensive for post that is just slightly over 50g. Sorry! Blame Australia Post.)
Also I made a very important update to our submissions page which I will elaborate on here: we are currently not accepting submissions. We don’t know if this will be permanent or not, but we’ve found that we really struggle to cope with the number of submissions we get. Often we wind up feeling guilty about either not replying to people in a timely manner or having to tell people that we don’t think their zine’s what we’re after or caving in and stocking things that we think are good but not really our style. It’s hard to say this stuff without coming off all narky there’s-sooo-many-lame-zines-out-there-man, and that’s not what we think at all. We’re so grateful to everyone who sends us their stuff and to everyone whose zines we’ve stocked. I was looking at our folder of paid invoices/consignments last night and it’s nearly two inches thick! That’s a lot of zines. One day I might actually try to calculate just how many we’ve sold on behalf of how many zinesters. We do honestly believe that all zine making should be encouraged and supported, we just don’t have time and energy to stock every single zine we get sent. So we’ve decided that it would be easier for us to approach the zine makers whose stuff we want to stock rather than wait for them to send us submissions. In fact, that is pretty much how we’ve always run things, anyway. We’re aware that we’ll probably miss out on a lot of real gems by closing submissions, but that’s a sacrifice we’re prepared to make for the sake of having a slightly less action packed PO Box. I never thought I’d reach the day that I’d actually wish for less mail! But really, we still want to get mail but we want real mail, you know, letters from people who’ve read our zines or zines that we stock and want to say hello. We don’t get those kind of letters much any more. Maybe you would like to write us one?
All that said, we have a STACK of great zines ready to add to the site, including a new issue of Jerk Store, a new one from Bertievan (author of Stuffed Turtles and Mum liked her tea…), The Wolves at the Door, Taking Things Too Far and others, so check back over the next couple of weeks for updates!
I forgot to mention that there’s another really awesome looking distro operating in Australia! They’re called Fox and Owl and they’ve only been around for a couple of months but they already have a really great catalogue of well selected (mostly political/personal) zines, badges, patches, music on cassette and more. They’re run by Tee (Sour Puss) outta Brisbane, to whom we send props and best wishes. Check it out!