My First Zine – Making Of

In collaboration with Blurb


While I am no stranger to publishing my writing (online on this site and others + IRL in book form) and I am also no stranger to zine culture (lived it and breathed it in the 90s) I haven’t ventured into any kind of purposeful zine making (I think my 1995 “90210” pamphlet doesn’t count). But after recent developments in my life mentioned in one of my latest posts, I decided it was time for me to dip my toes in the zine waters, with a little help from Blurb, my go-to creative book-making and self-publishing platform.

Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember that some time in 2010, I had already made a book compiling interviews with some of my favourite people. That was made using Blurb! Those of you who know me personally and have been to my house may also have been subjected to my collection of travel photo books, made religiously each time I go somewhere, also using Blurb. So while the service isn’t new to me, it is the first time I’m using it to make a magazine which is why I thought it’d be nice to document the process for you.

Let’s start at the beginning… Pretty much since I moved to Los Angeles, I have been compiling some landscape images, at first without any particular intention, but soon it became apparent they all belonged together. There were a lot of images of my trips to the desert, some from my hikes, some taken in the heart of DTLA. As I was editing them and looking through, I realized they represented my growing knowledge of this new world I live in. Hence the title for the series: “Local Knowledge“. I thought I may make it into a run of prints to sell on my site or in local stores, but then decided they’d work well in a zine format, peppered with snippets of text telling the story of my move, life in California and my very own Gold Rush.

When it comes to photo editing, I use Lightroom and and I was excited to learn that Blurb has an available plug-in for it! If you like using InDesign, there is also a Blurb plugin for that. Sadly for me, I am not great with InDesign (but I am working on it!). For the purpose of this project I chose to use BookWright instead, which is Blurb’s proprietary software. I just liked the interface better and it allowed me to use graphics and colors really easily.


My First Zine – Making Of

Once I decided on the format (8×10), I had a look at the Blurb swatch kit to pick my paper… I was originally going to go for a slim photo book acting as a luxurious zine and using the beautiful ProLine Pearl Photo paper (190GSM), but after feeling the Premium Magazine paper (118GSM), I decided to go for a more classic zine format. The paper feels great and is perfect for photo and design heavy content. Also, the magazine format would allow me to keep the cost low, which means the price of the finished product is more zine and less coffee table book. The idea for me is that you guys can purchase a copy as easily as you would buy your favourite quarterly publication and without denting your budget. As a side note, when you order a swatch kit for $7.95, you’ll get a promo code that lets you apply the cost of your kit toward your book purchase.

I had so much fun making this “Local Knowledge” zine that I decided I was going to make a few more from other photo series I’ve been working on. I think it is a great way to put my work out there and something new and exciting to do as well. I’ve just ordered my own copy to check everything is as I designed it, so I will give you an update once I’ve received and inspected it! In the meantime, if you want a little sneak preview, you can head over to my bookstore on Blurb

If you are so inclined, you should definitely try to make your own books, whether you sell them or order them for yourself or as a gift, it really is a great experience! Looking forward to sharing the final version with you!


This post is sponsored by Blurb as part of a creative collaboration