Digital magazines, zines & chapbooks

zines chapbooks magazines bannerSelf-publishing isn’t just about creating ebooks or print books. There are also new ways to create digital magazines, as well as traditional ways to create zines and chapbooks. Because of their humble origins, chapbooks are sometimes overlooked. However, it is worth having a brief glimpse of their history.

Chapbooks are sometimes overlooked. Although small, chapbooks have a big history. One of their first roles was to help bring books to the masses.

In the 17th-19th century in England, many novels began as lavish books with extravagant wide margins that only the very rich could afford. Eventually the masses would get a low-cost version in the form of a chapbook with narrow margins, smaller type, and more common wording.

After the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, new laws banned chapmen from peddling their wares. But in the 20th century, chapbooks came back with the help of artists and beat poets. Today, amid ebooks and online forms of writing, artists, illustrators, cartoonists, poets, and activists … all continue the chapbook tradition. Taking the art further are publishers who specialize in high-quality collectable chapbooks. There are also combination magazine-books (bookazines or mooks), and tiny books that are small works of art.

Digital magazine creation tools

If you want to create digital magazines, there are many options. Because some are more costly than others, be sure to do your research first.

Readz – list of options
Review of Yumpu and Issuu

Paper Zines (small hand-made magazines)

Zines are grassroots, self-published, non-slick magazines. They are also usually produced in small quantities and have niche topics that other magazines don’t cover. Broken Pencil, with its focus on Canadian zines, is especially notable.

Broken Pencil –  a Magazine of Canadian Zines
How to make a Zine
Etsy Zine Listings
A deep definition of zines

Paper Chapbooks

What is a Chapbook (video) 
How to make a chapbook

Chapbook publisher – Displaced Snail
Celebrating the Chapbook
How to make a Zine/Chapbook


What is a Bookazine?
What is a Brand Mook?

Magazine publishers

Magazine Association of BC – Resources for magazine publishers
Canadian Society of Magazine Editors
The Stack Podcast (news about the world of print from glossy to gritty)

Did you find any of the resources listed especially helpful? Maybe you have an idea for a resource that should be listed? Please send an email!

In addition, you can check under the Self-Publishing Resources tab for more information to help you learn about self-publishing.

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

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