Zine Fest Tips, Tricks & eTiquette

Richmond Zine Fest, currently hosted by Richmond Public Library, can be an overwhelming but worthwhile event. We’re a two-day zine fest with programming on one day, and all tabling on day two. We broke it down to two separate days to give tablers the opportunity to attend workshops, but also it was just too much in a short period of time now that this annual festival typically has a little more that 120 zine vendors taking up two levels, which includes six spaces in the library. The first floor has a few smaller rooms with a limited number of tablers while the basement is predominately our main auditorium space.

Below are a few tips specific to our event and any zine fest in general. You can also read any of the articles listed at the bottom of the page.

  1. Vendors: When arriving and checking in as a tabler, remember what you’re registered under on the website because that will be what our volunteers have on the list to direct you to your table.
  2. Shoppers: Zines are typically $1-$5, and it’s standard for many vendors to be cash-only. If you’re trying to trade zines, make sure your zine and the desired zine or merch is an even trade, and be respectful if the tabler declines. Zine Fest is not a place for haggling or strong-arming indie artists to get your way. Vendors: Bring enough change for your customers. If you accept venmo, paypal, square, or trades, create a sign for your table that lets attendees know their options. The nearest ATM is located one block north at the Wells Fargo on 122 E.Grace Street.
  3. Vendors: Bring a table cloth. We rent tables from a company with used wooden tables. Be wary of splinters.
  4. Vendors: Bring food and drinks or enlist a friend to bring you food and drinks. While there are food spots nearby, zine fest hours fly by and you may not be able step away and walk to a market or restaurant to pick up food. We’ll have a limited number of volunteers to check in on solo-tablers, but they can’t run errands that take them away from the festival.
  5. Vendors: Bring a sharpie! Scissors! And tape! Certain office supplies come in handy when setting up your table. You’ll undoubtedly be able to make friends as people ask you if they can borrow your scissors 😉
  6. Be patient with zine n00bs and kiddos. Since we are in a public library, we often get a lot of strangers to zines and zine fest wandering through. You may even be asked, “what’s a zine? what is this event?” One of the fun things about being in a public library is that we can introduce zines to a whole new audience.
  7. Vendors: If you’re splitting a table with a friend or stranger, be mindful of the invisible 3 foot line that makes it an even split.

Got any more tips of the trade we should add? Let us know at zine.fest@richmondzinefest.info

Check out the following websites that have other tips for zine-makers:

Zine Fests: Meccas of Joy for Writers

Tips & Tricks for Tabling Success

The Quail Bell Guide to Tabling at a Zine Festival

Ten Tips for First Time Zinesters

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