Microcosm Blogifesto Independent book and zine publisher based in Portland, Oregon focusing on diy, self empowerment, gender, punk, bicycling, and hidden history. http://microcosmpublishing.com/ PHP/5.4.17 webmaster@microcosmpublishing.com Rampant Media Consumption #4 <p>Here's how we're rolling with reality this week.<span style="line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp;</span></p> <h2>Tim<br /> <img style="display:block; margin:6px;" src="http://microcosmpublishing.com/http://microcosmpublishing.com/images/happy1.jpg" alt="poetry" class="floatright" /></h2> <p>I have the (bad?) habit of just kind of flying through books of poetry. I know it's usually the style of writing that demands the most attention, with each word or line-break having a very deliberate and specific meaning, but I often approach it like a song and go for the overall emotional impact. That's what happened the other day when I sat down with <em><a href="http://copingmechanisms.net/if-i-really-wanted-to-feel-happy-id-feel-happy-already-by-jordan-castro/" target="_blank">If I Really Wanted to Feel Happy I’d Feel Happy Already</a></em> by Jordan Castro...one pint of coffee and 160 pages of minimalist prose later, it was back on the bookshelf and I was slumped in my chair. The title is probably enough to know why. RIYL: All those other sad sacks (Mira Gonzalez, Spencer Madsen, Ellen Kennedy, Sam Pink, etc.). But you really can't go wrong with anything from <a href="http://copingmechanisms.net/" target="_blank">Civil Coping Mechanisms</a>. </p> <p>But to be honest, I've spent most of my life lately catching up on Bob's Burgers. It's its own sort of poetry.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp;</span></p> <h2>Jeff</h2> <p>I've been reading <em>Humor</em> by <a href="http://www.slowlydownward.com/" target="_blank">Stanley Donwood</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.3em;">He's one of my favorite artists, he did the covers for all of the Radiohead albums (except Pablo Honey).&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">This isn't an artbook though... this is a collection of his nightmares.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">Which is surprisingly entertaining. Some of it is pretty gruesome, but most of it is oddly funny.</span></p> <p>Also, I've been skimming through <em><a href="http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/5983/">How to Stay Alive in the Woods</a>.&nbsp;</em><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">It's pretty good, once you get passed the killing-small-animals part.</span></p> <p>And of course the new <a href="http://tapeop.com/" target="_blank">Tape Op magazine</a>...which is always great.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.3em;">Especially while listening to lots of Portishead.</span></p> <h2>Elly</h2> <p>I started using Facebook in earnest again last week, after months away. In part, this was for awesome reasons like creating pages for the <a href="http://facebook.com/cratediggerbook" target="_blank">Crate Digger</a> book and <a href="http://facebook.com/feministsagainstfreeways" target="_blank">Feminists Against Freeways</a>. But from there things got out of hand and I was right back to the glazed-eyed clicking and scrolling that I've sworn off so many times. That ate up every moment that I'd normally give to pleasure reading. On Thursday I wasn't feeling well and intended to rest all day, but there was social media, gnawing at my brain. Today I'm using <a href="http://selfcontrolapp.com/" target="_blank">Self Control</a> again and my brain is once more my own. </p> <h2>Nathan</h2> <p>I went to <a href="http://www.powells.com/biblio/9780062072245" target="_blank">yet another book reading</a> last night at Powell's, this time on Hawthorne. Which might work into <a href="http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/artist/tom_moniz">some</a> of our <a href="http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/5247">many</a> parenting titles.</p> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:30:14 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/rampant-media-consumption-4 The Business of Publishing <p>One of our most frequently asked questions here at Microcosm is something along the lines of: How does publishing work anymore?<br /> <a href="http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/1202/"><img style="display:block; margin:6px;" src="http://microcosmpublishing.com/http://microcosmpublishing.com/images/makeazine.png" alt="make a zine!" class="floatright" /></a></p> <p>We have a few ways of answering that.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">Want a big picture look at the state of the industry, Amazon, the Big 5, and where small fry like us can fit in (and thrive)? We've got you </span><a href="http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2014/03/paralleling-the-dinosaurs-or-how-to-be-the-biggest-small-publisher-youve-never-heard-of" style="line-height: 1.3em;">covered</a><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">.&nbsp;</span></p> <div><p> </p> <p>Or would you prefer brass tacks instructions that you can follow along at home? We have that, too.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>We have it in book form: Joe co-authored <em><a href="http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/1202/">Make A Zine</a></em>, which tells you not just how to lay out your type-written treatises for photocopying and handing out at punk shows, but how to publish books with spines, from editorial nuts to distribution bolts.&nbsp;</p> <p>I wrote a <a href="http://takingthelane.com/2011/12/23/how-i-make-these-zines/">blog post</a> a ways back about running a small zine production operation out of my living room and funding it on Kickstarter.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">For people who want to take their book publishing enterprise even farther, Joe has an ongoing series, </span><a href="http://takingthelane.com/tag/business-of-publishing/" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.3em;">The Business of Publishing</a><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">, over on my blog from way back in 2014 when we ran separate enterprises. Each post offers an in-depth guide to a new aspect of the industry, geared toward advanced beginners. If you put out a book through CreateSpace and are wondering why you aren't getting ahead, read this!</span></p> </div> <p>There's remarkably little candid information we've found out there about how to publish books in a way that makes economic sense. (Sorry, Smashwords. Sorry, Amazon. You are all sharks, you're out to screw over authors, readers, and other publishers, and you know it.)&nbsp;</p> <p>One refreshing exception came this week from our friend Amelia Greenhall, who wrote this extraordinarily detailed and useful account of <a href="http://blog.ameliagreenhall.com/post/start-your-own-brand-everything-i-know-about-starting-collaborative-feminist-publications" target="-blank">founding a financially successful quarterly journal</a>. (A word of caution: She was able to raise her entire first-year operating budget up-front. If that's not in the cards for you, you may need to be a bit scrappier.)</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">Another great resource on some elements of the most important but undervalued work that publishers do can be found here. The head of our former distributor, IPG, kicked off an extraordinarily helpful series on </span><a href="http://www.ipgbook.com/blog/the-20-habits-of-successful-independent-publishers/" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.3em;">"habits of successful independent publishers."</a><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp;(My favorite part: "They spend a lot of time in bookstores."</span></p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:56:30 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/the-business-of-publishing Rampant Media Consumption #3 <p>Here's how we're allocating our attention spans this week: </p> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:58:03 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/rampant-media-consumption-3 Bike stuff for bike shops! <p>Hello, bike shops!</p> <p>The bicycle transportation revolution is happening, bigtime! More people than ever are getting on bikes for fun, community, and transportation—and we've got stuff that they are really, really stoked about. </p> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:09:09 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/bike-stuff-for-bike-shops Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever Valentine's Day Spectacular <p>We've been thinking a lot about love lately.... specifically about the great historical couple whose epic spats and charming make-ups grace the pages of so many of our favorite books. You know who we mean: Glenn and Henry. Our friend Brett Marren put together this little video in homage to their romance, and to Valentines everywhere, warts and all. </p> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:10:08 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/henry-glenn-forever-ever-valentines-day-spectacular Microcosm Staff: Meet Taylor Hurley, our developmental editor <p>I'm an editor at Microcosm, which technically entails me overlooking the structure of each book we have going to print. I look specifically at obvious things like spelling, grammar, tone, etc., but also whether or not certain ideas have been fully developed, whether main ideas have been adequately explained. Since this job allows me to work from my computer, I operate mostly from my bed or random coffee shops. I don't like looking at books unless I have a lot of time to spend with them, so it often ends up being something I will set aside a whole day or so for anywhere from 3-5 days a week. </p> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:37:06 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/microcosm-staff-meet-taylor-hurley-our-developmental-editor Introducing our Rampant Media Consumption <p>What we're putting in our brains this week: Music to hibernate to, indie novels and coffee, the original American novel, soccer, Cleveland, The Room, radical childbirth, bicycles, et un petit peu de francais </p> Fri, 9 Jan 2015 06:24:51 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/rampant-media-consumption-1 Meet the Microcosm Staff!: Erik Spellmeyer, salesman extraordinaire <p>Microcosm is growing! Our team is working around the clock (yes, our schedules are all over the place!) to bring you the books, zines, t-shirts, patches, and of course the Slingshot Planners that you need to super awesome your life. I'll be interviewing folks for the blog as they come up for air. Starting with our bespectacled Sales Manger... Mr. Erik Spellmeyer! </p> Wed, 7 Jan 2015 12:26:24 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/meet-the-microcosm-staff-erik-spellmeyer-salesman-extraordinaire 2014 Financial Report <p>Everything we earned and spent in 2014, with pie charts and comparisons to Amazon! <img style="display:block; margin:6px;" src="http://microcosmpublishing.com/http://microcosmpublishing.com/images/tenedollars.jpg" alt="ten dollar book microcosm amazon" width="500" /> </p> Thu, 1 Jan 2015 14:04:46 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2015/01/2014-financial-report Santa Claus: A Critical History <p>Many <a href="http://www.theologicalperspectives.com/the-christmas-controversy" target="_blank">theological rejections</a>&nbsp;are quick to point out that Christmas has never been celebrated anywhere near the birthday of Jesus and widespread consumerism has overwhelmed any religious focus in the Western world. So I feel safe assuming that Christmas has little, if any, relationship to Christianity, though if it's your Roman celebration of the Sun God, please carry on. (and send us photos!)</p> <img style="display:block; margin:6px;" src="http://microcosmpublishing.com/http://www.microcosmpublishing.com/uploads/santa.jpg" alt="Saint nick" class="floatright" /> <p>So let's look at popular culture in the U.S. and what's actually going on with Christmas.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.the-american-interest.com/2010/12/28/in-defense-of-a-commercialized-christmas/" target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.3em;">Some capitalists</a><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.3em;">go to great lengths to defend the consumerist tendencies of "the holidaze," but we are going to take a step back in time and look at the origin story of Santa Claus.</span></p> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 06:07:32 PST http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogifesto/2014/12/santa-claus-a-critical-history