‘Is this a thing?’ I hear you ask. ‘Yes, it is,’ I reply with a world-weary air. I was perplexed at first but I’ve done my research.
‘Zine’: a magazine-type thing whether online or in paper format
‘Fanzine’: a magazine-type thing that either breaks even or runs at a loss; no-one gets paid in $$ although contributors and staff can receive free schwag like books to review, coffee mugs, tee-shirts etc. I interpreted this definition from the Hugo Awards. Dark Matter runs at a loss even with the much-appreciated donations from my one and only donor who wishes to stay anonymous. The things I’ve given away – books, DVDs and movie passes – have all been given to Dark Matter for promotional purposes. It’s taken a lot of my time and effort to follow through with these promotions FOR FREE. I haven’t received a cent for my time and effort. No-one who has received free promotional time & space has ever made a ‘donation’.
‘Semi-prozine’: a magazine-type thing that pays contributors in $$, more than little bits of schwag. I haven’t worked out the difference between ‘semi-prozine’ and a ‘professional’ publication. Locus is a semi-prozine: it pays contributors and people purchase the zine, they pay $$ for Locus while Dark Matter is free.
Why is this a problem? Other fanzine editors have stated in writing on the webz and in their publications that Dark Matter is a semi-prozine is a problem because contributors will expect to get paid. And when I can’t pay them, they may change their minds about contributing, believing that I’m ripping them off or singling them out.
If anyone is concerned about the veracity of my claim to fanzine status, you can check out the frequency of my interstate and overseas trips, admire my chauffeur-driven limousine and my uber-fashionable-brand-name wardrobe. 😛