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Murder or Suicide? You Decide - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
Murder or Suicide? You Decide
From the early 2000s:

"The biggest fear in print fandom is that the internet will kill print zines. If it does, it might be a timely death. If it does, we will call it suicide - not murder - because print zine Editors and contributors will have chosen death instead of change. Fan fiction will go on regardless. Fan fiction is free. Long live free fan fiction."

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carbonel From: carbonel Date: July 7th, 2013 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course it's about the money. I didn't publish zines to earn money, nor did I have the kind of markup mentioned in the essay -- but I never pretended to price them at rock-bottom cost, either. And in the end, it's a market thing at both ends. I stopped publishing zines not because no one would buy them, but because I couldn't get enough submissions. If there's no one willing to submit to zines (for good and sufficient reasons), and essentially no market for zines, then there's no point in doing the work.

But it's not just about the money. It's about the model. Internet-based fan fiction doesn't have any need to be gathered into aggregations of zines, however they might be called. To the extent such a thing still exists, I think rec sites fulfill that function. It might be amusing to collect virtual zines of Internet-based fanfic, the same way that people put together mix tapes, but there's no real need for them.

It's not suicide: it's a paradigm shift. Swiss watch makers were offered the early quartz watch technology, and turned it down. Now Swiss watches are a niche item, and I can buy a super-accurate quartz watch for $3 at Walgreen's. Some zine publishers are hanging in there, but mostly the Internet has taken over. And given how much fan fiction I enjoy reading, for free, on the Internet, there's only a slight pang for the loss of the gatekeeping function that zines used to perform.
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