Digital magazines, zines & chapbooks

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Self-publishing isn’t just about creating ebooks or print books. There are also many new ways to create digital magazines, as well as many old ways to create zines and chapbooks.

Magazine resources

If you want to create digital magazines, there are many options. However, be sure to check costs first.

Resources for BC magazine publishers


Zines (short for magazine or fanzine) are self-published, hand-made, usually produced in small quantities, and often have niche topics. According to Zine Basics (Barnard College), zines are a do-it-yourself “subculture self-publication, usually made on paper and reproduced with a photocopier or printer.”


Chapbooks are small in size with humble origins, however, they played a big role in the history of bringing books to the masses.

In the 17th-19th century in England, many novels first were published as lavish editions that only the very rich could afford. Eventually, the masses could get a low-cost edition in the form of a chapbook with narrow margins, smaller type, and simpler wording. These books were sold by ‘chapmen’.

After the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, new laws banned chapmen from peddling their wares (including chapbooks). But in the 20th century, chapbooks returned thanks to artists and beat poets (PDF). Today, amid ebooks and blogs, many artists, illustrators, cartoonists, poets, and activists continue the chapbook tradition.

Another small category of publications are bookazines or mooks –combination of both magazine and book. These can be seen in the form of special edition magazines (e.g. Time or National Geographic).

Learn more:

What is a Chapbook (2022 video, McMaster University Library) 
How to make a chapbook
Displaced Snail small zine publisher
Celebrating the Chapbook (NYC, 2009)
How to make a Zine or Chapbook (cheapest, quickest, and easiest)

Finally, there is one more category –– small works of art in the form of tiny books. According to the Miniature Book Society, these books are “no more than three inches in height, width, or thickness” and are highly collectible. In addition, there are also “macro miniature” (3 to 4 inches), “micro miniature” (1/4 to 1 inch), and, the very, very tiny “ultra micro miniature” which is less than 0.25 inches. (Source:

For more resource to help you on your self-publishing journey, check under the Self-Publishing Resources tab.

Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. In addition, accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified. Finally, please note links do not indicate endorsement. 

Updated October 2023 by 3PennyPublishing – Victoria, BC, Canada; researching and sharing self-publishing resources with writers since 2010.

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