In a season of rapid development and growth of the independent publishing phenomenon, publishers are putting effort in expanding the community even more by preparing events such as book fairs and celebrations. On October 1st and 2nd, the first annual ‘Seoul Zine Festival’ (SZF2016) was held in Café Gallery We.AN, Hongdae, hosted by two Independent Publishers ‘ZimFree’ and ‘Ihubooks’. The festival was welcome to any authors who are part of, or interested in the independent publishing community, and any readers looking forward to meeting authors and explore more of independent publishing.
This small festival attracted numerous book enthusiasts. The festival was a special opportunity for the authors to encourage the public to have an interest in their works. Outside of the café gallery building, a live stage band performed on the courtyard, providing a welcoming “Indie” ambiance for the participants. In the building, several booths were held by creators to greet readers, sell copies of their books, and promote their own works of literature and art. Many artistic authors also created postcards and hand-crafted notepads designed with themes of their own novel and photography.
As part of the “Indie” culture, independent publishers encourage authors to challenge themselves to create a huge variety of genres. Therefore, this type of publishing heavily relies on creativity and the authors’ individuality and does not limit types and content of print works. It is a better publishing method than traditional publishing in a typical publisher for authors who merely want their content to be distributed to the public as intended. Novels, photo albums, journals, picture books, magazines, no matter what kind of works or creative content they are, independent publishers allow them to be published for the public.
Some of the most inspirational works presented in ‘SZF2016’ included ‘Sister’s Yard’ (a series of magazines showing women’s unique lives other than beauty and fashion - content of typical magazines targeted to women), ‘FISSSH’ (photography albums of marine and sea creatures), seasonal photo books promoting works of new artists, and so much more.
언니네마당 ‘Sister’s Yard.’
Many of the creators sought ‘SZF2016’ as a privilege and a significant event in their independent publishing life. “It is the very first time for most of the creators and me to be part of an independent publishing festival in Seoul,” said the creator of ‘FISSSH.’ “To greet other numerous creators and authors and to share my work that I’ve been working on since last year was a golden opportunity. Also, to be part of the very first annual festival is something quite memorable.”
‘FISSSH’, 마지막 장 ‘Last Page’, 아이스란드간접여행서 ‘Iceland Travel Journal’
As a new author myself participating in the ‘Seoul Zine Festival,’ it was intriguing to see how many people are part of the independent publishing community, and how much they were enthusiastic about their creations. Though unfortunately, I could not participate as a creator and was not able to feel how to present my works, talking with other fellow creators and authors and sharing experiences was fascinating enough. Based on my experience writing a book, I am definite that all participants in the ‘SZF2016’ know how much time and effort it takes to write and assemble a book and finalize it for the public to read, and how much essence there is a single book. The independent publishing communities are hoping for even better growth, seeking future authors who are willing to promote their endless creativity, and enjoy being part of a group of people who once experienced the joy of book publishing.
Grace Jiyoung Lim
Branksome Hall Asia
Grace Jiyoung Lim firstname.lastname@example.org
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