Amateur Press Association
Amateur Press Associations (APAs for short) are very similar to zines in that they are interactive independent publications created by and for a specific community. They are, as zines, an example of a painstaking effort of fans.
The first APA was a journal called NAPA (the National Amateur Press Association). It was a batch of newsletters by journalists to other members, simply a bundle of newsletters, often materials only other journalists might find interesting.
In the 1940s with FAPA (the first science fiction/fantasy Amateur Press Association) Donald A. Wollheim pioneered what's part of most newsletters today: Mailing Comments. These are individual members' feedback on what the others have produced. FAPA remains active today, though with a smaller roster.
APAs can deal with different topics, both generalized (such as comic books and role-playing games) or specific (such as dedicated to a specific series like the Legion of Superheroes, a specific genre like furries, or a specific role-playing game system like GURPS). All develop their own communities and inside jokes over time.
An APA is similar more to the early online bulletin board systems in that Mailing Comment discussions between members can stretch for years. While the Internet has brought the age of instant communications, there are still many who prefer these less rapid conversations.
Every member creates his or her own newsletter (often a mix of original content and Mailing Comments) and makes a number of copies as decided in the group's bylaws. The copies are mailed to the person designated the Central Mailer (CM, or DM for Distribution Manager). In turn, this person will compile volumes with one copy apiece of every newsletter, bind them with a front and back cover and sometimes an opening editorial and table of contents, then mail these finished volumes back to the contributors.
(This section will grow over time)
--Jeffrey Allan Boman 17:56, 11 July 2006 (EDT)