Out Now

The Encyclopedia of Rootical Folklore: Plant Tales from Africa and the Diaspora

The Encyclopedia of Rootical Folklore: Plant Tales from Africa and the Diaspora image

This A-to-Z treasury of stories and poems features plants of Africa and the wider Caribbean region. With each entry, plants become much more than material for humans to use. They serve as links to the orisha deities of African diasporic religions. They speak for themselves, forming alliances with people and animals. They serve as points of connection between the many generations of people who share their stories.

In The Encyclopedia of Rootical Folklore, botanical folklorist Natty Mark Samuels keeps the oral tradition of plant lore thriving in the present day. The stories sometimes involve characters of his invention (as well as age-old folklore staples like Anansi) and invoke contemporary situations, from bad bosses to mental health struggles. A baobab tree misses his old friend Birago Diop, a poet of the Négritude movement. Basil comes to the rescue for a woman who’s had a rough day. On moonlit evenings in a square in Kingston, kids gather round a Rasta elder to hear tales of dates, guava, and the orishas linked to each plant.

The 88 entries, each accompanied by botanical information, blend age-old lore and modern sensibility to bring the plants of Africa and the Caribbean to life. Includes a glossary, illustrations, multilingual species index, and references.

Mostly True: The West's Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine

Mostly True: The West's Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine image

In Texas in the early 1900s, a little chalk drawing started to appear on boxcars: a minimalist sketch of a figure with a 10-gallon hat, smoking a pipe, signed “Bozo Texino.” This famous railroad tag defied the human lifespan, appearing over 100,000 times over 90 years. Who was Bozo Texino? Artist and filmmaker Bill Daniel set out to solve the mystery of the man behind the pipe and hat. It turned into a 25-year quest, taking Daniel on a tour of railyards and graffiti throughout the US. The result was the documentary Who is Bozo Texino? and the book Mostly True—a chronicle of modern-day hobos, rail workers, and a forgotten outsider subculture. Obscure railroad nostalgia, freight-riding stories, interviews with hobos and boxcar artists, historical oddities, and tons of photos of modern-day boxcar tags are all presented in the guise of a vintage rail fanzine. 

The book spotlights beloved railroad artists Matokie Slaughter (Margaret Kilgallen), Colossus of Roads (Russell Butler), Herby (Herbert Meyer), Mind Detergent (Big Will), Twist (Barry McGee), and others, including an interview with itinerant sign painter Heidi Tullman. Contributing writers, researchers, photographers and artists include: John Held Jr., Joey Alone, Duke Riley, Old Broads, Daniel Leen, Eden Batki, Andy Dreamingwolf, North Bank Fred, Michele Lockwood, The Historical Graffiti Society, Susan Phillips, Walt Curtis, Beau Patrick Coulon, O. Winston Link, Murray Hammond, Brad Wescott, Marisa Evans, Roxy Gordon, and many, many others.

The book's design team was Rich McIsaac, Gary Fogelson, Phil Lubliner, Jordan Swartz, and Vald Nahitchevansky.  

Bikes, the Universe, and Everything: Feminist, Fantastical Tales of Bikes and Books

Bikes, the Universe, and Everything: Feminist, Fantastical Tales of Bikes and Books image

Ever gotten lost in a book? Or on your bicycle? Or both at once, by falling through a portal on the page? Anything is possible in this collection of fifteen very short stories and one comic. Ranging from science fiction to fantasy and traveling in time from a reimagined past to the heat death of the universe, these stories combine the personal and popular power of spokes and words. Meet a young graduate who rides off to become a velo-archivist, a bookstore owner who must learn to bike after cars are banned, a daredevil messenger who makes a harrowing textbook delivery run, a talented scribe who creates a braille bicycle guide, and many more adventurous souls in disparate realities, united by their love for spinning wheels and the written word.

Includes stories by Kathryn Reilly, Kiera Jessica Bane, Julie Brooks, Aaron M. Wilson, Elizabeth Frazier, Annie Carl, Grace Gorski, Gretchin Lair, Cherise Fong, L. Y. Gu, Remy Chartier, Mariah Southworth, Dawn Vogel, Summer Jewel Keown, and Aidan Zingler, and a comic by Allison Bannister.

Missed the Kickstarter? Check out the PledgeManager page to get access to rewards and goodies!

Intimacy Conversation Deck: Reflections and Discussions about Love, Sex, and Dating

Intimacy Conversation Deck: Reflections and Discussions about Love, Sex, and Dating image

"Do you feel content in your current relationship?" "What would you most like your partner to understand about you?" "What turns you on?" Explore these questions and many more in this 52-card deck from Dr. Faith G. Harper, bestselling author of Unfuck Your Intimacy and Boundaries Conversation Deck. Intimacy isn't always easy to talk about, which is why this deck offers approachable, bite-size prompts that you can use to jump-start conversations, gain new insights, and improve your romantic and sexual relationships. Use the cards with one or more partners, among friends, in therapy, or for your own personal journaling and reflection.

Merriment

Merriment image

As many of us do, Mack is having a hard time coping with life in New Jersey. Watching her friends figure their lives out while she is stuck living at home, Mack is looking for any kind of lifeline out of her Mom’s house and into the City where she is convinced she will be happy. Then again, it's hard for anyone to be happy these days, a fact her mother will not let her forget. And what's worse: she thinks she might have committed a murder. And that maybe, just maybe, the FBI is spying on her?

Merriment follows Mack on her quest for happiness and/or sanity, through the horrors of life, as she navigates existential dread, real life dread, and all the dread in between.

How to Get Your Period: A Guide to Performing Menstrual Extraction

How to Get Your Period: A Guide to Performing Menstrual Extraction image

Take charge of your reproductive rights, learn about your body, and build a supportive community.

In 1971, as part of their work with their feminist reproductive collective, Lorraine Rothman and Carol Downer invented menstrual extraction (ME), a suction process to pass the entire period all at once, which has the side effect of ending any undetected early pregnancy. An underground network of providers has kept ME alive ever since, and now, in a post-Roe era, the demand is surging. Written by an anonymous medical professional, this book provides a short history of ME and detailed instructions and diagrams explaining how to safely and effectively perform a manual exam, use a speculum, assemble a Del-Em kit, and complete a menstrual extraction procedure. You'll also learn when not to perform ME and find an overview of other safe and effective options for bringing about menstruation or ending a pregnancy in the first trimester. In addition to heralding the incredible discovery of these historical heroes and affirming the need for abortion rights, this book offers menstrual extraction as a method to understand and protect our own bodies, choices, and reproductive rights even as they are under attack.

Cat Party!: Cats We've Known in Words and Pictures

Cat Party!: Cats We've Known in Words and Pictures image

The cats in our lives are always close to our hearts, whether they're napping in a sunbeam, demanding pets and treats, playfully attacking our shoelaces, or haughtily ignoring us. From joy, whimsy, and coziness to nostalgia and loss, these diverse images, comics, and real-life stories span the emotional highs and lows of a life shared with cats and kittens (and, in one case, collectible cat figurines). The many ways of felines are chronicled here in over 50 multimedia contributions, compiled from the first 10 issues of the Cat Party zine along with some new content just for this book. Editor Katie Haegele drew inspiration from the readers of her book Cats I've Known, who wanted to tell the stories of the cats that had touched their own lives. The result is like a series of conversations and encounters with a panoply of some of the most relatable people on the planet: cat people.

These cat people include Quimby's Bookstore founder Steven Svymbersky, cartoonist and performance artist Dame Darcy, punk legend Joe Genaro (Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen), Microcosm founder Joe Biel, comics artist Mardou, Defectivepudding, Heidi Moreno (Heidiroo), Justin Duerr, Vanessa Berry, and many more artists, writers, musicians, homebodies, dreamers, and close observers of the world.

Weird Music That Goes on Forever: A Punk's Guide to Loving Jazz

Weird Music That Goes on Forever: A Punk's Guide to Loving Jazz image

Once you've collected every 7" from your favorite label, broken your back in the mosh pit, and become so well-versed in the interpersonal dynamics of every hardcore band that there's nothing more to learn, what's a punk to do? Try jazz, recommends Bob Suren. No, really. Suren, who wrote Crate Digger about his life and work in punk, turns his obsessive gaze onto another form of rebellious, improvisational outsider music, but this time with more sax.

What does Dixieland have in common with D.R.I.? Did Charles Mingus write the first punk song? And who was the Butthole Surfer of jazz? Suren answers these questions and many more. Reading his irreverent guide to jazz, filled with punk references and colorful language, is more fun than getting arrested for vandalism. Learn about the surprising history and scandalous etymology of jazz, explore its connections to punk, and take in biographical sketches of over 25 notable artists—with plenty of recommendations thrown in for your listening pleasure.

Unfuck Your Business Workbook: Using Math and Brain Science to Run a Successful Business

Unfuck Your Business Workbook: Using Math and Brain Science to Run a Successful Business image

Do you want to start a business? Or does your existing business feel stuck? Either way, this no-fluff workbook will walk you through the steps of planning and troubleshooting your enterprise. Publisher Joe Biel and bestselling author Dr. Faith G. Harper, co-authors of Unfuck Your Business, reunite to help you make your business idea viable, find your niche, and evaluate your growth and success. With the help of worksheets and exercises, you'll make sure the money adds up, plan your strategy for growth, hone your management skills, and work through common pitfalls like imposter syndrome and self-sabotage. Even if you've never run a business before and don't see yourself as a numbers person, you can succeed with the right tools. Work out your dreams on the page and then watch your hard work, critical thinking, and belief in your meaning and purpose make them come true!

Missed the Kickstarter? You can still access all the rewards and add-ons in PledgeManager!

Mushroom Daydream Coloring Book

Mushroom Daydream Coloring Book image

Frolic in a fungal forest, repose upon a toadstool, honor the amanita, whisper to the chanterelle, power up your foraging game, and bask in buttery morel righteousness. Tease your tastebuds and expand your consciousness as you color these lush landscapes and mindscapes in search of delight, inspiration, and that distinctive red-and-white fly agaric, the Waldo of the mushroom world. Gerta O. Egy's illustrations are enchantingly detailed, proliferating across pages and pages. Single-sided art means you can color as intensely as you need to, and tear out each page to share or display.

Check out the PledgeManager page here!

Unfuck Your Anger Workbook

Unfuck Your Anger Workbook image

Anger is a vital emotion for survival, but when it gets out of hand, or if you always bottle it up, it can be disastrous. If you feel irritable all the time, or if your rage is getting the best of you, take a deep breath and open this book. A standalone companion to Unfuck Your Anger by the inimitable Dr. Faith, this workbook is packed with helpful exercises, worksheets, and opportunities for reflection. In these pages, you can build an anger narrative, understand and identify your rage triggers, and figure out where you may avoid acknowledging your anger as well as where your rage may get stuck. You'll also learn practical skills like meditation, communication, and breathing to help you stop going ballistic when you least want to, and you'll find a special model for understanding and embracing forgiveness in order to heal old wounds. Let your pent-up frustration go and turn your righteous anger into healthy, helpful fuel for treating yourself and others well, seeking justice, and living the life you want.

In The News

Events! Microcosm In Your Town

Want to meet us in person, check out our books, or see an author speak? We've got author events and convention events coming up!

Upcoming Author Events

Katie Haegele celebrates the release of Cat Party!

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024 | Tattooed Mom, Philadelphia
    6–9 p.m. | FREE

    Join Katie at beloved Philly institution T-Mom's, where you’ll be able to buy your copy of Cat Party! before it’s available in stores, get yourself some cat-themed merch (including records with original music by contributor Joe Carlough!), and hang out with tons of local artists while enjoying a catty playlist. It’s gonna be a blast! More info | RSVP

Interested in having an author at your store or event? Reach out!!


Upcoming Tabling Events

    • None coming up, check back for more later!

[caption id="attachment_4567" align="alignnone" width="640"] Microcosm at Rollercon 2023[/caption]

Upcoming Trade Shows and Industry Events

Usually not open to the public, these industry events are a chance for store buyers to peruse our books, write orders, and chat about terms. We plan to either attend or exhibit at the following events. If you'll be there too, drop us a line—we'd love to meet you.

 None currently, but keep an eye on the space!

Planning an event and want us to be part of it (speaking, author readings, movie screenings, setting up a book and zine pop-up shop, etc.)? Let us know!!

In the Portland area? We can set up a book fair at your workplace like the ones your school used to have.


Bookstore Solidarity Project: An Interview with Paul McKay of King's Co-op Bookstore in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country (and beyond!)

For April, we're featuring King's Co-op Bookstore, in Halifax!

King's is a kickass store, which they cheekily claim is "Canada's hardest to find indie bookstore." It's Halifax's only co-op bookshop, and they're definitely good friends to the Microcosm community.

Check out our interview with Paul below!

Your name and pronouns?
Paul MacKay, he/him

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
Our store was primarily created in 2006 by students who needed an easy and affordable place to buy their coursebook texts. The Foundation Year Programme at the University of King's College is about 45 books in very specific editions and translations and it could be incredibly hard to find exactly what you needed. A group of students got together and found a free spot on campus which is quite small but special shelves were created that allowed the bookshelves to open and close and lock up so that common areas could still be usable for the bookstore. (This shows an old video showing how it works, I've since updated the fixtures and it looks a lot better)

We're pretty hard to find at first, being in the basement of a building on campus, so I leaned into it and describe us as Canada's Hardest to Find Bookstore since even google maps will only put you on campus but not right at the store. Since we're owned by the students we're not like usual university bookstores and we're also a regular indie bookstore with fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, etc. We're also totally open to the public and do special orders all the time either in store or on our website where we promote ourselves as a friendly and easy amazon alternative. We like to engage with things we think are important in the community and we like to champion books and reading, and work hard to bring authors to town who people might not usually have the chance to see.

Our standing in the community grew a lot as word of mouth got out of what we were doing during covid. Since the university closed we had to stay closed too, but I would run books outside for people and also delivered books on my bike. People really liked that idea and also were looking for ways to support local since so many businesses were struggling. Between that and a more personal approach to social media we've really become more of a community bookstore which was always my goal when I took over this place (about 6 years ago)

How did you choose your store's name?
The store name was already chosen by the time I took over the store. I do appreciate it's specificity, King's co-op bookstore, a co-op bookstore at King's. Does what it says on the tin.

What got you into bookselling?
This was never something I ever really intended to do. I've always loved books and would often cut classes in school to go hang out at the bookstore and learn things I cared about, but my real career plan was to be a musician and music professor. I picked up the guitar when I was around 18 and really took to it, earning a double major degree in music and psychology shortly after, and then went for more schooling in jazz guitar performance. That was my sole reason for being for years and it was all I cared about but eventually the strain and overuse of my arm caused repetitive strain injury that meant I had to quit playing. When I take to something I get kind of obsessive, so I was practising from about 8am to 10pm every day which my body just kind of revolted against.

I moved back home and needed to get a job quickly so I applied at the same chain bookstore i used to hang out at when I cut classes. I got hired there and would shelve books with my one good arm. I got promoted to being one of the managers of that store after a few years and during that time I met a lot of great people who introduced me to amazing books that really changed my life and that I developed a real passion for books that has only grown over the years

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
I think the most surprising thing about our store is how we fold up and close down every day like we're a pop-up shop every day. As far as I know we're the only bookstore in the world like it, and it's always something I show people when authors come to visit. I wasn't around at the time the bookstore was started but I do love that it was a very DIY project with a sort of "whatever, we'll do it ourselves" punk attitude. Bookselling is getting harder and hard nowadays and there's a huge financial barrier to opening a bookstore or even buying one that's for sale, so I take pride in what we've been able to accomplish in such a weird space without much in the way of money

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
We recently started a program with Books Beyond Bars which is a local group that works to get books to inmates in the women's prisons here. I asked them to share their book requests with me and I put them on our website with a promo code so people can buy the books to support the program at a 20% discount.

So far we've managed to get them close to 100 books and we're all really happy about it. The people supporting the program get to pay less, we help give the prisoners books they actually want to read, and the money stays the community instead of going you know where. You never know how a certain initiative will land with people and I've been really happy with the response this has gotten.

Outside of that, I manage all the social media for the store and people taking the time to make posts about how much they like the store or recommending us to others is always nice. They absolutely don't need to do anything like that so if they feel the desire to do something like that you know they mean it :)

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
I'm really stoked for the new Hanif Abdurraqib book There's Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension. I read an advanced copy of it and like everything he does it's just amazing. I'm not a big sports fan at all and even I was taking breaks from reading it to watch slam dunk contents from like 30 years ago because the way he writes about them is so incredible.

Kaveh Akbar's Martyr! is easily one of my favourite fiction books in the last year too. It's his first novel after some poetry collections, and his writing is just beautiful. Another one that I just devoured and want everybody to read.

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
Our website kingsbookstore.ca has everything on it that we have in store and we offer a flat $5 fee for shipping whether it's 1 book or 20 books. we can also order in anything we don't currently have also, so instead of going to the evil A they can just go to our website instead :)

twitter and facebook are: kingsbookstore , instagram is kingscoopbookstore , my personal instagram is @talentedruins

(Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance. - James Baldwin)

Anything else you want to share?
I won the contest for Danny Caine's How to Resist Amazon and Why a while back which was great. I sold tons of them and also left copies at busy places in the city for people to find. Danny mentions us in the book which was a nice surprise when I was first reading it :)

Be sure to follow King's Co-Op on their socials, and check back in a few weeks for their podcast episode!

You can read our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to get a copy of How to Protect Bookstores and Why.

Bookstore Solidarity Project: An Interview with Charlie Hunts, owner of Charlie's Queer Books in Seattle, WA

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country.

For March, we're featuring Charlie's Queer Books, in Seattle, Washington! Charlie's isn't the first queer bookstore in Seattle, but it is the first in 20 years. They opened last year, with a focus on diversity and intersectionality in their titles.

Your name and pronouns?
Charlie Hunts (He/him)

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
We began as a magic disco-tiled book cart doing pop-ups and then we opened our brick and mortar home in Nov 2023. Our shop is in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. It's a funky part of town that's home to a massive bridge troll sculpture, a rocket, former home to a famous clown, and self-proclaimed "Center of the Universe," so where better to open a queer bookstore? The Seattle/Tacoma area has the third-highest percentage of LGBTQ+ people among the nation’s 15 largest metros only behind San Francisco/Oakland and Boston/Cambridge, so this city was eager to have a "third place" other than nightlife to hang out at.

What got you into bookselling?
I was a college dropout Harley Davidson mechanic who happened to get in a motorcycle accident *shocker* that left me bed-bound for more than a year. In that time, I fell in love with reading! I went back to school as an English major, started my career in publishing, and then pivoted to marketing for different industries. With the onslaught of book bans, anti-LGBTQ legislation, and the need in the market for queer spaces, I felt like the time was right to return to books.

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
The Seattle Times said we have the best bookstore bathroom in the city. Seriously.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
In the short time we've been open we've had everything from a couple's first kiss under our mistletoe, to a wife and wife who gifted each other the same book, both purchased here. SO gay, ha. We have a great mix of tourists, locals in the neighborhood, and folks who seek us out. We have our upstairs dedicated to community hangs with tables, reading nooks, and a meeting space. They have shown up big time at our events too.

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
Love After the End and Gearbreakers. Our top-selling non-book item is the Ronald Reagan's Grave is a Gender Neutral Bathroom sticker.

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
charliesqueerbooks.com

Be sure to follow Charlie's Queer Books on Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram, and check back in a few weeks for their podcast episode!

You can read our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to get a copy of How to Protect Bookstores and Why.


An Interview with Karen Finlay, owner of Alibi Bookshop in Vallejo, California

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country. This month, we're featuring Alibi Bookshop in Vallejo, California, owned by Karen Finlay.

Your name and pronouns?
Karen Finlay, she/her

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
We moved to Vallejo from Oakland in 2017, and there was a tiny used bookstore with a small selection; I was disappointed that we didn't have something *more.* Some people can't live away from water, and I can't live far away from a bookstore. One day I said, "I wish I could open a bookstore in Vallejo!" Well, be careful what you wish for -- we wound up buying the store and opened in 2019. Not the greatest timing because a pandemic was looming, but our community has kept us here and we are so, so grateful.

Vallejo, the most diverse city in the US, is an interesting and historical town with its share of issues, but the best community anywhere. It was a navy town , but the navy left in the late '90s and the city declared bankruptcy in 2008, and our downtown still reflects that. But we are working hard to bring back some vitality, and it's been fantastic! The pandemic derailed our initial efforts, but we've been ramping up again. We've had sold out events at the local movie theater, two active book clubs, author events, a writing group, partnerships with local businesses... And anchoring downtown to bring in more businesses. We love it here so much. We try very hard to explain that shopping locally is one of the best things you can do for your city, and the message is starting to take hold. We have a ways to go, but the baby steps are getting bigger.

We don't have a shop cat -- we have two enormous "kittens" who are useless at shelving, so they have to stay home.

What got you into bookselling?
In high school I got a job at Upstart Crow, was an English/Creative Writing major in college and grad school, worked in publishing for nearly 20 years (a year of that with THE GREAT ANNA-LISA), and voila, now I own a bookstore!

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
There are continual surprises and delights in this store -- sometimes I think it MUST be haunted. For years this space was a legendary cigar shop, but it was also a jeweler, an egg store in the 1930s, the Democratic Headquarters for Vallejo for Robert Kennedy's campaign so Teddy Kennedy was here, but my favorite incarnation was that it was "Foxy Lady Boutique" that specialized in hot pants. And I just discovered that the movie star Raymond Burr lived in this building as a child!

I think the thing people are surprised about that there's a bookstore here at all! People think that bookstores are a thing of the past, and we gladly prove them wrong. Just now a woman was in here -- she drove here from a different town because she had heard about us and wanted to see what the "fuss was about," and said that I proved them all right! Take THAT, Amazon.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
Vallejo SHOWS UP for us. We have a dedicated core group of customers, and they try to support by buying books/gifts, sharing on social media, spreading the word or even bringing us strawberries or flowers from the farmer's market, and today a lady brought me a donut because she was thinking of me. But my favorite are the people who stop by to make sure I've gotten something to eat! I love our community so, so much.

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
My favorite handsells are "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" and right now, "The Great Believers" and "Just Kids."

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
On our Bookshop.org page!

Be sure to follow Alibi on Facebook and Instagram, and check here for Karen's podcast episode!

You can read our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to get a copy of How to Protect Bookstores and Why.

WorkingLit: Publishing Software from Microcosm

WorkingLit is live in beta! Sign up now!

a logo showing an open book

WorkingLit is cloud-based software developed by Microcosm Publishing that gives independent publishers tools to thrive and grow at their own pace. Our industry is run by billionaires and conglomerates, and we want to give our fellow publishers the freedom to market and sell your books, understand your business, and painlessly pay royalties.

Microcosm built our own software from scratch starting in 2002, and we owe it our survival, success, and continued independence. Now we want to share it with you. 

WorkingLit is currently in beta and open to any publisher who would like to use it in exchange for letting us know about bugs and giving us feedback on how to make it better.

Features

  • Manage your product and author metadata
  • Track your sales and expenses
  • Manage your customer account data
  • Calculate royalties and track payments to authors
  • Understand the health of your business and what you need to do to grow
  • See our spec sheet for all current and planned features.

Pricing

The first month is free so you can kick the tires. After that, our rates are based on the number of products (with separate ISBNs) that you manage in WorkingLit:

PlanFeaturesPrice per month
Free planUp to 10 productsFREE
Basic Plan11-25 products$25
Basic Plus Plan26-100 products$69
Premium Plan101-500 products$299
Premium Plus Plan501-1000$599
All Access PlanUnlimited products!$1299

Get stuck or have questions? Check out our site documentation and instructions or email workinglit at microcosmpublishing dot com for help.

Get involved and stay in touch!

  • Sign up to use WorkingLit
  • Join our email list
  • Are you a programmer? We're looking to grow our team. Email apply at microcosmpublishing dot com with your skillset and why you're interested in being part of WorkingLit
  • Take the tour:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/uRj8l2paG2Y

An Interview with Josh Christie, co-owner of Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine.

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country.

For January, we managed to wrangle Josh Christie of Print: A Bookstore, in Portland, Maine. Fun fact about Print— it's where Abby the Marketing Manager was first really introduced to Microcosm, thanks to Print's awesome selection of zines and books!

Your name and pronouns?
Josh Christie, he/him

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
We love being the most progressive, most queer-friendly bookstore in our already lefty little city. We've been a store for 7 years in November (!). No store cat, through four of us have dogs and one of us has pet bunnies.

What got you into bookselling?
I couldn't figure out what else to do with a degree in political science. This is my 20th year as a bookseller, so now it's hard to imagine doing anything else.

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
Our store has been many things prior to our tenancy, including a furniture designer's workshop, hardware store / scuba shop, and girls school. Plus, the store is haunted.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
The community is super-supportive of all our social media antics, which is loads of fun. They've also really latched on to our book clubs - we've got four now, and each pulls at least a dozen attendees for every meeting.

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins by Helena de Bres and Black Punk Now, edited by Chris L. Terry and James Spooner

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
Our website! Printbookstore.com.

https://www.tiktok.com/@printbookstore/video/7008556895262821637?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7315093221389092398


Be sure to follow Print: A Bookstore on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok (you definitely want to check out their Tiktok). Check out his podcast interview here!

You can read our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to get a copy of How to Protect Bookstores and Why.

An Interview with Rick Griffith, owner of The Shop at MATTER in Denver, Colorado.

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country.

This month, we're featuring The Shop at MATTER in Denver! It's a Black- and woman-owned store that also triples as a design consultancy and letterpress workshop.

Your name and pronouns?
Rick Griffith (He/Him/Them)

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
Since 2014 our bookstore has been the only Black- and woman-owned independent, full service (internet and brick) cultural justice bookstore in the United States Mountain Time Zone. We are a haven for fem, queer, non-binary, trans, LatinX, Indigenous, AAPI, and Black persons. We have always respected and invested in the intellectual and creative products of the people who represent our community. We have a print shop with five letterpress printing presses and thousands of pieces of wood type that we employ to print community projects that are pro-democracy, pro-liberation, and pro-freedom. We are political—and we are activists. A bookstore to integrate Art, Design and Cultural Justice for all generations.

What got you into bookselling?
The desire to positively affect the lives of the people we know and love with books and products that acknowledge those of us in the margins.

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
We are working on a lending library for our community so everyone can have access. We have five 19th and early 20th century printing presses. We letterpress print for our community and ask people to pay what they can afford for most of our prints.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
Besides buying books, buying our prints and posters. Ordering for personal and business book clubs. Having us bring our pop-up to conferences and large gatherings. Getting the word out. Shopping in pairs.

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
Can't Pay Won't Pay and There are Places in the World Where Rules are Less Important than Kindness

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
on the internet: shopatmatter.com

Anything else you would like us to know?
We are love, revolution, and abolition.

Be sure to follow The Shop at MATTER on Instagram and Facebook, and check out their interview on our podcast here!

Check out our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to check out How to Protect Bookstores and Why.


Call for Submissions - Queer Halloween!

We’re seeking your queer Halloween feminist bicycle science fiction and fantasy stories for the 13th anthology in the Bikes in Space series of books, guest edited by Summer Jewel Keown!

Please submit your original queer Halloween short fiction (in written or comics form) about bicycling from a feminist perspective. We’re looking for stories that give us a shiver or make us leave the hallway light on at night. Raise our hair and make our spines tingle. We’ll also consider Halloween-themed stories that aren’t as frightful, but they should still be infused with all things spooky season.

Stories should be written by authors who consider yourself queer (in whatever way you identify), and should feature Halloween and/or otherworldly elements, and queer characters/themes, as well as feminism. All four elements should be intrinsic to the narrative:

  1. Halloween (or stories sufficiently scary or thematic enough to be read around Halloween)
  2. Queer
  3. Feminism (it is sufficient to simply not include sexist themes or tropes)
  4. Bicycles

The genre can be anything fantastical—ghost stories, horror, hard sci-fi, comedic fantasy, slipstream, or anything in that constellation—despite the series title, stories need not be be set in space. No fanfic, poetry, nonfiction, or erotica for this series, please. Stories should not include extreme body horror or graphic violence.

For this volume of the anthology, we ask that all authors be queer/part of the queer/LGBTQIA+ community, in some way, shape or form. We aren't the queer police (which sounds both fabulous and like a bad idea) and if you identify as queer/LGBTQIA+, that's good enough for us.

We welcome submissions from marginalized authors and first-time authors.

Stories are submitted in consideration for inclusion in the anthology. Submission is not a guarantee that any given story will be accepted or included. All stories are selected by the editors. 

Word count: 500 – 6,000 words

Format: MS Word or PDF. Comics submissions of up to 6 pages can be submitted in thumbnails. Contact us if you are unable to submit in one of these formats.

Payment: A portion of profits after expenses from the Kickstarter project used to fund this book is split between contributors, with a guaranteed minimum of $50 each, plus copies of the book.

Deadline: April 15, 2024

Submit via Google Form here: https://forms.gle/41PxyvJUtiLR1kqb7 

Questions? Email summer@microcosmpublishing.com. Please do not email your submissions. We don’t want any getting lost in spam!

Haven't checked out the other Bikes in Space books yet? Take a look at them here!

Summoning All Witches

Since 1996, Microcosm has published and distributed books, zines, and other goods that put your power in your hands. Including, lately, an increasing number of pagan, mystical, and othersuch witchy books, zines, and decks.

We've recently updated our submission guidelines to make it extra clear: We're looking to publish and distribute more works of magic, witchcraft, and pagan spirituality. Send us your anarcha-feminist oracle deck, your spellbook for finding queer platonic relationships, your comics journalism about the history of witchcraft, a guide to the magic your grandparents taught you, agricultural tips for witches, adorable drawings of animals on broomsticks, or whatever creative way you've found to help people see beyond the pale of normalcy to change their lives and the world.

We are always, especially, looking for submissions from authors and artists who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, mixed race, disabled, neurodivergent, queer, transgender, nonbinary, or who don't see themselves well represented in mainstream publishing.

What we publish

We're proud to publish Friday Gladheart's annual The Practical Witch's Almanac — an incredible resource and weekly planner.

Francesca Black's Year of the Witch: A Planner and Spellbook for the Novice Witch is a great resource for beginners, and also serves as a weekly planner.

Our first tarot deck, The Gold Lyre Tarot, was funded on Kickstarter in early 2021.

And we have many more books, zines, and stickers in print and on the way, like these:

To submit your work to our publishing program, check out our submission guidelines to assess if we might be a good fit. We aim to work with authors and creators who can work within our processes, so following our guidelines exactly is an important first step when submitting a project.

What we distribute

Microcosm is also a specialty wholesaler, selling thousands of books, zines, and decks from other publishers, big and small primarily to non-book-focused gift stores. We work with Big 5 publishing houses, zinesters cutting and pasting in their closets, and everyone in between. And these folks are putting out more and more books celebrating paganism, crystals, astrology, tarot, the occult, the moon, and more.

a screenshot of a page from microcosm's catalog
A page from our online catalog, sorted by the "Witchy" subject tag

If you already have your own publishing program and want to see if our wholesale program is a good fit, check out our distribution info.

Call for Submissions for Neurodiversity zine series

Neurodiversity now occupies a similar place in the public consciousness at this moment as gay rights did in the 1970s: no one understands it and The Borg demand our assimilation! 
Neurodivergent Pride: What Autistic Minds Can Teach Each Other and the World offers exposition on neurotypicals' neurophobia and the frequent claim that they are supportive of #ActuallyAutistic people...as long as we act like they do. One reviewer for my book Good Trouble mentioned that she couldn't believe that I wasn't part of a radical zine community on the forefront of Autistic theory...so I decided to start one! The inspiration emerged from the homocore roots of punk and Don't Be Gay in the 1980s. Queer punks were told that they would be accepted as soon as they acted like straight people. Featuring advice and explanatory narrative about the neurodiverse experience for the less divergent, so we can be seen as real, whole people, if you are neurodiverse, you should contribute to the next issues! The deadline for issue #14 is July 1, 2024 and the theme is Mutual Aid. The theme for issue #15 is Creativity and the deadline is January 1, 2025. The theme for issue #16 is Emotions and the deadline is July 1, 2025. The theme for issue #17 is Controversies and the deadline is January 1, 2026. Submissions should be 500-2,000 words as a rough guideline! 
We want your personal narrative, origin story, misconceptions you've faced, how people could better interact/collaborate/interface with you, and aspirations of how you would like the movement to grow that can serve as a narrative for NTs understanding our people's experiences. 500-2,000 words is a good guideline.
email submissions/questions to joe at microcosmpublishing daht com

BFF Book Subscription

BFF Book Subscription imageBe our Book Friend Forever (BFF)! For 6 months you'll receive every new title we publish. The subscription is sliding scale price $15-30/month—check it out here!  Thanks for your support!

Blogifesto!

Events! Microcosm In Your Town

Want to meet us in person, check out our books, or see an author speak? We’ve got author events and convention events coming up!

Upcoming Author Events

Katie Haegele celebrates the release of Cat Party!

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024 | Tattooed Mom, Philadelphia
    6–9 p.m. | FREE

    Join Katie at beloved Philly institution T-Mom’s, where you’ll be able to buy your copy of Cat Party! before it’s available in stores, get yourself some cat-themed merch (including records with original music by contributor Joe Carlough!), and hang out with tons of local artists while enjoying a catty playlist. It’s gonna be a blast! More info | RSVP

Interested in having an author at your store or event? Reach out!!


Upcoming Tabling Events

    • None coming up, check back for more later!

Microcosm at Rollercon 2023

Upcoming Trade Shows and Industry Events

Usually not open to the public, these industry events are a chance for store buyers to peruse our books, write orders, and chat about terms. We plan to either attend or exhibit at the following events. If you’ll be there too, drop us a line—we’d love to meet you.

 None currently, but keep an eye on the space!

Planning an event and want us to be part of it (speaking, author readings, movie screenings, setting up a book and zine pop-up shop, etc.)? Let us know!!

In the Portland area? We can set up a book fair at your workplace like the ones your school used to have.