Fanzine to Ezine!

by Michael Green

There is a world of wonder started from the Fanzine to Ezine! This article is all about the Ezine Publishing I started at this page. But, the following article is a guest article sent to me long years ago.


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From 'Fanzine' to 'Ezine' - A brief History of Ezines

Maybe it shouldn't come as a big surprise, but most people out there don't actually know what we mean when we casually utter the word 'EZine'.

So let's cut to the chase....An EZine is in fact an Electronically delivered Newsletter. And that means that it is usually delivered by Email.

Phew! That was sure simple!

But if understanding EZines is straightforward enough, then appreciating the origin of the word EZine is anything but a piece of cake!

So Where was the Term 'EZINE' Born?

Well the most popular school of thought is that 'EZine' is in fact short for the words 'Electronic' and 'magaZINE'. Put them together and you get 'EZine'.

Yet although this has become the almost universally accepted explanation, it probably ISN'T actually true!

For one thing we've just explained that an EZine is an Electronic Newsletter, NOT an Electronic Magazine. And of course the 'Z' that comes from the word 'magaZine, doesn't even exist in the word 'NEWSLETTER'.

So the reality is that there must have been another explanation for the creation of this new word in our dictionary. Here's a rival theory:

Way Back in Time Came the Humble 'Fanzine':

A fanzine was a publication with a small number of subscribers - (perhaps from 5 - 1,000). Fanzines were targeted publications geared towards specific interests like: SciFi, Fantasy and Football clubs.

They were frequently run by committed supporters and the small-time, close knit style of the fans would often contribute to a cult like status for their printed publications.

Those printed publications were called 'FanZines', but were frequently referred to as 'Zines' instead.

Most Ezines are Based Around Specific Interest Groups

Back to the modern day and most EZines are based around specific interest groups, just like the Zines once were.

Adding an 'E' on the beginning brings us to the word EZine and this offers us a much more logical explanation for the creation of this new word in the English language.

Ezines are More About Profit Than Fanzines Ever Were!

The proliferation in the number of EZines has been dramatic. My best estimate, based on researching and counting directories of EZines, is that there are now in excess of 500,000 different EZine titles out there.

And the reason for the variety of EZines is blindingly obvious: "It's inexpensive to become an EZine editor and publisher".

Having said that it's cheap to get into the market of publishing EZines, most people underestimate the immense amount of effort involved in publishing on a weekly, monthly or on occasion daily basis. EZines can be hard work to produce at high quality - all the time.

And my research has revealed that the purpose of EZines has shifted too.

Whereas EZines were originally published in the FanZine tradition (enthusiasts writing about a subject they love), nowadays most EZines are published for PROFIT.

Savvy Editors Know There's Money to be Made

You see people have realized that an Opt-In EZine publication cannot only pay for itself, but it can also generate very significant levels of income for their owners through the promotion of online products and services in particular.

Savvy editors know that their personal endorsement for a third-party product can net a rich return from a loyal EZine readership.

So whilst the origin of the word EZine may still be shrouded in mystery, the current day purpose of many EZines isn't. And the best EZines of all provide rich content to their readership and a welcome source of income to their owners.

Good luck with your own Ezine.

Michael Green ©

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