Tuesday, October 22, 2013

motherfucking sell-outs...

Starbucks don’t take foodstamps!
Do you sell your zines? Online? At shops? Distros, whatnot? We didn’t. At all. We totes used to, exclusively, occupy the “free-zines-for-the-people” camp, where putting a price on your art is selling out & we wouldn’t want that, now would we? Any zines that were sold were frowned upon, the price & the zine. We were “free zine” snobs to the max. & we know that some of you, dear readers, still are. But we def don’t wanna get into any debates here on free vs. sold, etc. ‘cause we can see both sides stillso listen up, our fellow Freegans, as we tell you all about how our lives got flipped turned upside down’cause selling is hard!

But now that we’ve become seller outs, we sure as hell wouldn’t have it any other way. Not because we actually make any money off this shit ‘cause we don’t, not reallynot even to keep ciggies in our mouths or keep up with the ever increasingly lame skyrocketing price of postage stamps & shit (but we sure as hell ain’t losing as much & going in the hole with every issue, that is) & we still give our shit away when the mood so strikes our fancypants. (Shhh!) But we wouldn’t have it any other way ‘cause we now get to see a much more clear line of demand for our zines. You know how awful it is when you don’t hear any feedback from your zines? You send out a bunch to friends, to people who trade, whatever& then there’re crickets. But now that we’re putting in the effort to peddle our wares?
Leavin' free shit around town...
We get to see that shops, distros, whatever: they want them. If they sell, we get to see that their customers? They want them. If it’s direct sales, like online purchases or at zine fests, you know these zinesters really really want them
not just takin’ the free shit (to be recycled in next Tuesday’s trash), but because they’re actually willing to fork over their hard-earned cash to get what we got.

Anyways, enough about that shitlet’s get to makin’ those dolla dolla bills, y’all!

How in the world is a small-time small-press zine artist supposed to get their shit sold? Well, here’s how these two zine makin’ machines did it: from the ground motherfucking up, dollfaces! From how we started at zine fests, to online shops, to the bee’s knees of owning a town. Like, literally, a whole city. (what, what?!)

Making bank at the IZM Event, July 2Ol3
Zine Fests, a go go: You know where they are. You know how to get there. You know the drill. But to actually table? You gotta know people & you gotta have shit to sell. So that’s what we did we made shit. Lots & lots of shit. Half table, a full table, the whole fucking auditorium. We weren’t even in the same state prepping for the LA Zine Fest last year, but luckily the same time zone, so when we finally got in the same room a week before it was all printin’ & collatin’ & staplin’ madness! & love love love! After all, what would zines be sans the looove?

Ahem, lovelyfaced chickadees, & on to the next one. Where were we? Ah yes, selling all this shit that we just pulled hot from the copy machineselling & selling & selling, shit gets old real fast, but ya put on yer friendliest smile & just enjoy chatting it up with your fellow zinesters. Zine fests are the best people are new to zines, old to zines, want your zines zines zines! So stock up & be prepared to talk shop! Or just be prepared to chat people up’cause most of the time, breaking the ice is the hardest thing to do - & shit gets awkward. But once you get them talkin’ about the zines they do like, you can talk about yours & pretty soon? Dolla dolla bills, y’all! & you’re putting smiles on other people’s faces as well (not just your own). Lots more to come on zine fests since we have like a billion coming up in the next few months! (we’ll be at the “fall zine event” in Hollyweird in November, the Eastside Zine Market in December & - fingers motherfuckin’ crossed our application is accepted! the LA Zine Fest in February!)

Le snazzylicious shoppe d’Etsy & all that jazz! 
Online shoppes & shit of that ilk: there’s a bunch of online cart shoppes, such as Etsy, which is the one we chosethese places let you throw a bunch of your shit up on their site & sell, all for a wee-bit of a fee (just keep in mind that a few cents here & there adds up to dollars outta your pocket when shit ain’t sellin’ & the rent’s due!) We were constantly told of sites like this but the fact that we can’t remember any of their names is why we went to EtsyI mean, who wants to buy from a virtual rickshaw?! People know Etsy & we like ‘em. Not only do zines fiends swarm there, being able to look up zines by category, but lovers of all things handmade appreciate what it takes to make these paper arts & are willing to take a chance as long as the shit ain’t too priceywhich we pride ourselves on having a very affordable suitcase of kisses & whatnot. But so yeah, once the items are on the site, you can go as you please & make more shit to put up! We literally sell our zines while we sleep! (braggart points: today we woke up to our biggest sale yet to the tune of 9 zines in one fell swoop! not a bad wake up call!) To order from Etsy shoppe click here, lovelybirds! Another thing we’re working on is making our zines purchasable on our own l’il sweetiepie show-off site c’est www.MCSunflowerJones.blogspot.com (click it or ticket!)  which used to be primarily for announcing new releases & keeping track of all the shit we’d done previously. Now we’re cashing in & adding the dreaded PayPal buttons all over the damn place, littering up what was a messy mess anyways, & le sighbut now you can throw our zines & shit in your shopping cart with the clickity-click & a squeak of a mouse! Yee haw, buttercups! Taking & uploading photos, writing delectable descriptions, pricing & formatting, oh my! Who knew cash-bartering on the interwebs could be so back-breaking on the admin! Down with capitalism!

Knock knock! Avon calling...
Door-to-door Desperados: & lastly, here’s how to take over a town. Your town. One mom & pop at a time! We became the much-loathed bell-ringing solicitors, hobbling from one indie record shoppe to the next local hipster clothing boutique, & every damn place in between. We mean it: ever single little hole in the wall. Art galleries to vintage shoe shiners, from punk rock skate shoppes to greeting card kiosks. We harassed the best (& worst) of ‘em. & you never know who’s gonna say yes. & we got a whole lotta NOs, too! But all the yes, please!-s made it all worth it. & MC Sunflower Jones is now littered amongst the goods of not four but FIVE shops all across Long Beachfrom Third Eye Records down on Retro Row to Fingerprints Music & Elev8 in the East Village Arts District to Top Sekoms Skate Shop on 4th & up the ghetto boulevard to the leopard-print haired old-schoolers catering to the punkers & metal heads at No Regrets. Our zines can now be found amongst fishnet stockings, tongue piercers, vintage pulp paperbacks & elitist socio-political hardcovers, sugarskull shower curtains, custom skate deck artists & the hippest vinyl & uber-chic classy threadsthat’s right, we run this town, whichever corner you find yourself. Next stop: the Masonic Temple in Hollyweird!

Suitcase of kisses...for sale, sold!
Selling at shops is really hard work, yo. At least when they sell. & sell out. Weekly. By consignment or outright buying, you only get paid when shit is stocked. So you gotta make your rounds with each new zine you create & back issues aplenty. Which means tons of reprinting, cutting, collating, stapling & pounding the pavement from shoppe to shoppe. It means a ton of time spent on earning a few bucks...but the glistening & pompous sweat is worth it: each shoppe will have stories of customers with excited bug-eyes for your art, each dollar in your hand is another satisfied lover of YOUR work. & you might even be able to afford the costly caffeine & nicotine habits which put this whole happy obsession into play.

So yeah, after all this, ya still wanna sell your zines?

Do it, we dare ya, chickenheaded hipsters!

ps: one of our shoppes, the awesomely cool as Lou Reed, Third Eye Records, wants more zines & has asked us to put out a call to our friends that’s YOU, darling whoseewhatsits! What kinda zines? The zines YOU make! Art zines, perzines, comp zines, music zines your zines! Email us for details & we’ll get you in the door  MCSunflowerJones@gmail.com Be there or be a motherfucking squaredypants!

Blow the whistle!

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