Last updated: January 6, 2022
Your timeline should be a combination of how much work you wish to undertake, and how long people interacting with your project will require.
For example, people in fandoms with many active zines, or with many personal projects, will most likely be more sensitive to timelines, and need longer for a creation period.
Though the “usual” way of making zines nowadays is a hype announcement, interest check, applications, etc, etc, by skipping or combining phases, the timeline can be compressed. (Zines which combine mod apps and interest check demonstrate this.)
When you set check-in days:
Most people do their work on Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays.
If check-in days are on Friday/Saturday, expect to support extension requests that cover the weekend.
If check-in day is during the week (e.g. Tuesday), have any forms or check-in methods ready on Saturday, to accommodate early check-in for people who work during the week.
Remind people at least 2-3 weeks in advance if it’s an important deadline (give them time to cram and ask for extensions).
Some people will have a lot of time to work on pieces over holiday periods (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year) while others have many other obligations and their time is zero. If your check-in is after the holiday, consider letting people check in before the holiday, to give them flexibility.
For fulfillment, be aware of the Lunar New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival on procurement from China.
Before the Lunar New Year, prices tend to be higher (high demand).
After the Lunar New Year, it may take 2 weeks for factories to return to normal.
Please accommodate this into your schedule if you are running something such as a calendar, or a Valentine’s zine.
Prices and shipping costs/shipping times will also go up before Christmas/New Year.
COVID-19 has an impact on industries which require people:
Shipping times go up as there are less people to process packages (* Mostly applicable to Sea Freight; Air Courier prices have gone up instead)
The production of goods which require human processes, e.g. assembly of charms, sewing, some parts of the book printing process, may be slowed.
We have experienced packages ready to be shipped be delayed in being shipped out.
If you are ordering from China:
You can check the news and ask your factory for information about regional shutdowns.
Some regions and industries in China are being affected by electricity limits on the populace. This has increased the cost of goods and the amount of time it takes.
In addition to COVID-19, flooding and natural disasters have also caused delays.
Supply chain effects such as port disruptions have also caused some manufacturers more difficulty in acquiring their raw materials, meaning delays or increased prices to you.
Cost of raw materials for eco friendly packaging has gone up in the US due to shortage.
There is also a paper shortage in the US.
There is info about an acrylic shortage increasing prices.
Lastly, there has been an increase in money flowing through the zine space due to conventions being cancelled. When conventions re-open (as of the time of writing, conventions in USA are in fact slowly resuming again), and other avenues of expending disposable income also open up, it is safe to assume that there will be less money in online sales.
We have noticed emails possibly going to spam more often. (anecdotal)
PayPal's fee went up in 2021. It is now marginally cheaper to process payments via Stripe. (We recommend both)
Production has generally been hit severely in 2021. Items which might have taken 2 weeks are now taking a month.