Self-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.
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 options are more costly than others, be sure to do your research first.
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.
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