Out Now

Unf*cking Our Pandemic, Apart but Together

An umbrella made out of a calendar page with emojis on it stops rain from falling on the words Unfuck Your Pandemic. The second u in unfuck is covered by the Microcosm logo. The graphic is flanked by two uncapped black markers.

It's weird to say, but things have been fairly normal here at Microcosm Publishing & Distribution the last couple of weeks.

Personally, I've worked from home for the past week, which isn't usual for me but it's always been an option. Our small staff of 13 people have always worked staggered shifts and worked from home regularly. There are definitely more bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes being passed around than usual. The skeleton crew in the office is practicing giving each other six feet. We've moved our bookstore operation to mailorder and curbside pickup only. But otherwise, we're getting on with our introverted business more or less as usual. For now.

[Update, three days later: The State of Oregon just went on lockdown, which means... pretty much the same thing, but with even more working from home, even more handwashing, and asking all deliveries and pickups to come to our side gate.]

We've always printed our books here in the United States, and so right now we're not seeing any significant delays in publication of our titles. Orders have slowed a bit, but we're using the time to get caught up on a serious backlog of work that's built up in our last year and a half of hectic growth. Far from reducing hours or laying anyone off, we're cautiously moving forward with the hiring process we began last month. In other news: we aren't going anywhere.

Ultimately, our strength has always resided in how we've built up communities around us, and so we've started to work on strengthening those where we can through a variety of ways:

  • Dr. Faith Harper is doing a live story time with her book Coping Skills on our Facebook page. She'll be doing it nightly at 5 p.m. central until she's done, and the videos will be archived on our page at least until this passes.
  • At the request of the author, we've made the ebook version of Teenage Rebels 99 cents. We hope we can inspire some of the millions of high school students currently sitting at home and help them continue learning. [Update: The author of Crate Digger has also requested we put both the ebook and audiobook versions of this Florida punk scene history on super sale!]
  • If you're bored at home and starting to struggle, we've got a quarantine self-care pack for you - just $20 for the physical books, $15 for the ebooks.
  • We've curated a list of relevant titles on our Quarantine Survival Guide list of project-based books for people who are feeling anxious or just need something to do.
  • If you're stocked up on books and want to help others, you can do that here! We've set up a "give books to people in need" program where you can support sending care packages to spread the book love. As always, we are stepping up to offer ways to offer our books to people who are most vulnerable and in need. We are matching funds from donations at link.
  • We're going to net-90 terms for independent bookstores who place orders placed before April 30th.

We'd love to hear from you, our customers and peers, about how you're surviving these weird, weird times and what we can do to support you.

The Courage Party

The Courage Party image

The illustrated, true, "gently explicit" story of what happens after 10 year old Danielle is assaulted in a park. The women in her life throw a party to celebrate her courage, not as a victim but as a crime fighter. Written for adults and kids to read together, but it's a good and healing book for all of us crime fighters, even if we didn't get to do the fighting part until way later.

My Vag: A Rhyming Coloring Book

My Vag: A Rhyming Coloring Book image

Margalit Cutler's book of whimsical poems and drawings celebrates the vulva in all its glorious forms. Fully colorable, with tear-out pages for your decorating and sharing pleasure. Long live the wondrous vag!

F*ck Happiness

F*ck Happiness image

Ariel Gore wanted to see if science could help her be happier. And the more she read, the more she realized that the psychology of happiness is full of studies by, for, and about straight cis white men. She set out to find out why her own experience as a woman and mother isn't reflected in the research, and how we can do it better. The resulting book is fascinating, lyrical, and profoundly affecting.

How to Resist Amazon & Why

How to Resist Amazon & Why image

The zine that took the bookselling world by storm is finally widely available! Danny Caine, owner of Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas chronicles his pro-local, pro-independent bookstore, anti-Amazon activism and shows you a path to fighting the power, too.

If You're Freaking Out, Read This

If You're Freaking Out, Read This image

This book began as a letter Simone wrote to her future self, with a list of ten steps to take to bring herself back from a state of panic, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Now it's a book-length workbook that you can use and customize to suit your own needs. Bring yourself back from the brink with these expert coping skills that you can practice when you feel okay and use any time you need them. With an intro by the one and only Dr. Faith!

Unfuck Your Boundaries Workbook

Unfuck Your Boundaries Workbook image

Get ready to dive deep with this workbook companion to Dr. Faith's Unfuck Your Boundaries. Examine your personal history with boundaries and consent, figure out which relationships in your life need attention, do a "wheel of consent" exercise, and †

Unfuck Your Boundaries

Unfuck Your Boundaries image

Dr. Faith takes on the vital topics of boundaries and consent, offering her trademark combination of brain science, trauma-informed therapy, and funny, no-BS approach. How do you maintain a respectful, trusting, non-harmful relationships with anyone, be they an intimate partner or the person in line in front of you at the grocery store? What are relationship red flags you need to be aware of? How do you make sure you're respecting the boundaries of everyone around you, and make amends when you haven't? All these and many more questions answered in this necessary book.

The Life & Times of Butch Dykes

The Life & Times of Butch Dykes image

Eloisa Aquino's gorgeous illustrated homage to people who've defined gender stereotypes around the world, from a century ago to today. Find some new queer heroes and reflect on their lives and accomplishments in these colorful pages.

Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships

Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships image

25% of adults in the US don't have a single person they feel they can confide in. Gina Handley Schmitt gently walks you through the ins and outs of making and maintaining close friendships as an adult. Includes scripts and instructions for identifying potential friends, asking them to hang out, setting healthy boundaries, staying in touch when life pulls you in different directions, and, when need be, ending friendships.

Unf*ck Your Anger

Unf*ck Your Anger image

Dr. Faith's newest book is all about putting your frustration and rage to work rather than letting them run your life and poison your relationships. Learn to manage your anger in the moment, listen to what it has to tell you and act wisely, and hardest of all, the fine art of forgiveness.

In The News

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! 
Proud to Be Retarded 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 for the title lies in 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.  The deadline for issue #5 is May 1, 2020 the theme is Relationships. The deadline for issue #6 is November 1, 2020 and the theme is Burnout. Submissions should be 500-2,000 words as a rough guideline! 
Your Neurodiverse Friend features 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 theme for issue #5 is At the Doctor's Office, with a deadline of August 1, 2020. The theme for issue #6 is Gender and the deadline is February 1, 2021. 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

Good Life BFF

Good Life BFF imageYour sustainable living toolkit! Subscribe to all of our most popular books, as they come out: Cookbooks, DIY project books, books about healthy relationships, bicycling, fermenting, building, mending, growing, and generally living the life you want in every way.

A People's Guide to Publishing Podcast

In 2012, Microcosm founder and CEO Joe Biel started writing blog posts. Biel wanted to share 25 years of experience and how Microcosm sold millions of books to leave a trail of bread crumbs for others to have similar success. Biel has also written a book about the topic, A People's Guide to Publishing. But the requests for consultation and questions kept coming so we launched a weekly podcast and vlogcast. Submit your question for us!  

An overview / 

What a Publisher Does /

Paralleling the Dinosaurs /

Title Development /

How to Pitch Your Book /

Data About Your Book's Details (MetaData) /

Profit & Loss Statement /

Am I Stealing Your Art? /

The Economic Case for Traditional Format Offset Printing  /

Distribution Question (with infographic) /

The Print Run /

Working with The Printer /

Formatting for Print /

How to Pack Books /

Social Media for Authors /

Self-Promotion for Authors /

Organizing a book tour /

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! There's a full calendar at the bottom of the page.

2020 Author Events

Dr Faith Harper poses over a shelf of her books at Powell's City of Books

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


2020 Tabling Events

Where we'll be selling books, zines, and merch!

  • CANCELED: We'll be showcasing our work at the Get Lit! Literary Arts Festival in Spokane, WA 
  • April 25: Join us at the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair at Omni Commons in Oakland, CA
  • June 20-21: Come enjoy all things geeky, nerdy, cute, and smart with us at Geek Craft Expo in Portland, OR
  • June 25-28: We'll be among the most radical media-makers at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit.
  • POSTPONED TILL JULY: We'll be getting deep into our mental health and recovery shelves at Peerpocalypse in Seaside, OR
  • July 15-19: Oh hell yes, roller derby is the best and we'll be living it up at RollerCon in Vegas!
  • CANCELED: September 10-13: Internet artists unite at XOXO in Portland, OR!

a customer browsing a table full of books

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.


Calling for submissions for the Scene History series!

Are you stoked about the history of your town? Do you find out interesting nuggets by talking to those who came before you or by scouting out details on Google and Wikipedia? Do you want a reason to hunt out some people you respect and fill in the gaps? Well, the Scene History series is an opportunity to do just that. Like our Simple History Series, we will publish a paperback each year of the Scene History series that tell the story of a particular city's scene. (the series does not profile individuals, albums, or bands, but really must be framed around a real scene, no fiction!) Suggested length is 15,000-30,000 words. Get as creative as you find gratifying. Learn about your favorite places and how things developed. Check out the existing Scene Histories here! To pitch, just send a general summary of the scene that you are profiling, the years profiled, and your qualifications/interest to profile it! Will it be prose or comics? Do you have access to photos and images? Why are you excited to do this? Submit or ask questions to joe at microcosmpublishing daht com

BFF Book Subscription

BFF Book Subscription image

Be our Best Friend Forever (BFF)! For 6 months you'll receive every new title we publish. The subscription is sliding scale price $10-30/month, and you can either pay in one sum upfront here or pay-as-you-go here. Thanks for your support!  Google+

Blogifesto!

Unf*cking Our Pandemic, Apart but Together

An umbrella made out of a calendar page with emojis on it stops rain from falling on the words Unfuck Your Pandemic. The second u in unfuck is covered by the Microcosm logo. The graphic is flanked by two uncapped black markers.

It’s weird to say, but things have been fairly normal here at Microcosm Publishing & Distribution the last couple of weeks.

Personally, I’ve worked from home for the past week, which isn’t usual for me but it’s always been an option. Our small staff of 13 people have always worked staggered shifts and worked from home regularly. There are definitely more bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes being passed around than usual. The skeleton crew in the office is practicing giving each other six feet. We’ve moved our bookstore operation to mailorder and curbside pickup only. But otherwise, we’re getting on with our introverted business more or less as usual. For now.

[Update, three days later: The State of Oregon just went on lockdown, which means… pretty much the same thing, but with even more working from home, even more handwashing, and asking all deliveries and pickups to come to our side gate.]

We’ve always printed our books here in the United States, and so right now we’re not seeing any significant delays in publication of our titles. Orders have slowed a bit, but we’re using the time to get caught up on a serious backlog of work that’s built up in our last year and a half of hectic growth. Far from reducing hours or laying anyone off, we’re cautiously moving forward with the hiring process we began last month. In other news: we aren’t going anywhere.

Ultimately, our strength has always resided in how we’ve built up communities around us, and so we’ve started to work on strengthening those where we can through a variety of ways:

  • Dr. Faith Harper is doing a live story time with her book Coping Skills on our Facebook page. She’ll be doing it nightly at 5 p.m. central until she’s done, and the videos will be archived on our page at least until this passes.
  • At the request of the author, we’ve made the ebook version of Teenage Rebels 99 cents. We hope we can inspire some of the millions of high school students currently sitting at home and help them continue learning. [Update: The author of Crate Digger has also requested we put both the ebook and audiobook versions of this Florida punk scene history on super sale!]
  • If you’re bored at home and starting to struggle, we’ve got a quarantine self-care pack for you – just $20 for the physical books, $15 for the ebooks.
  • We’ve curated a list of relevant titles on our Quarantine Survival Guide list of project-based books for people who are feeling anxious or just need something to do.
  • If you’re stocked up on books and want to help others, you can do that here! We’ve set up a “give books to people in need” program where you can support sending care packages to spread the book love. As always, we are stepping up to offer ways to offer our books to people who are most vulnerable and in need. We are matching funds from donations at link.
  • We’re going to net-90 terms for independent bookstores who place orders placed before April 30th.

We’d love to hear from you, our customers and peers, about how you’re surviving these weird, weird times and what we can do to support you.