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Unf*ck Your Worth Workbook

Unf*ck Your Worth Workbook image

Get your finances in order, work through your values and baggage around money, plan your next career move, negotiate arguments about spending with your partner, and so much more in this jam-packed workbook created by Dr. Faith Harper to go with her instant hit Unf*ck Your Worth.

Read Independent PDX Publishers Bundle

Read Independent PDX Publishers Bundle image

Celebrate and support Portland, Oregon's thriving ecosystem of independent publishers during the pandemic crisis with this stellar bundle of choice nonfiction books. Discover your new favorite book, author, or publisher with this fascinating, varied collection of biographies and memoirs that will open up your world, allowing you to mentally meet new people and travel to new places.

Quit Your Day Job: Build the DIY Project, Life, & Business of Your Dreams

Quit Your Day Job: Build the DIY Project, Life, & Business of Your Dreams image

A practical guide for creative people with great ideas for independent projects who want to achieve success and sustainability.  Drawing on her years of experience helping people succeed with do-it-yourself projects based in independent publishing, music, food, art, craft, activism, and community work, Eleanor Whitney empowers you to clarify your vision, get organized, set goals, create a plan, raise funds, market, and manage your do-it-yourself project. The book is full of real-life inspiration and creative business advice from successful, independent businesses owners and creative people with projects that began in the do-it-yourself spirit.

Firebrands: Activists You Didn't Learn About in School

Firebrands: Activists You Didn't Learn About in School image

Illustrated portraits and life stories of American heroes hailing from Chile, Canada, and everywhere in between, from the 1500s to today. Instead of the powerful rich, white folks history textbooks focus on, these pages recognize the work of grassroots organizers, revolutionaries, visionaries, anarchists, workers, and artists. Get inspired to step up and create the world you want to live in.

Bread of the Resistance

Bread of the Resistance image

Make sourdough at home without measuring or weighing your ingredients, with the help of Tessalyn Morrison's patient, friendly tutelage—she makes it truly easy to build up and maintain a starter, and get an excellent loaf every time. Plus lots of recipes for when you have too much sourdough or want to ferment other foods. Healthy gut bacteria, delicious food, this is the good life.

Unfuck Your Worth

Unfuck Your Worth image

Work through your feelings about money, financial freakouts, and how to achieve your goals with the indomitable bestseller Dr. Faith Harper. Figure out what your monetary baggage is all about, get angry about how capitalism makes it impossible to have a truly healthy relationship with our self-worth, and learn to align your work and budget with your values no matter what your economic status or background.

Unfuck Your Year

Unfuck Your Year image

Dr. Faith Harper's weekly unplanner that's also a workbook to help with your anxiety, anger, adulting, self-care, sleep, relationships, and so much more, all year round.

Seeds of Spring #1

Seeds of Spring #1 image

"The Prince & the Birch Tree" is the first volume of a serialized graphic novel about Canadian Mi'kmaq teenager Naguset, who exchanges books and mix tapes with her pen pal, Chris. Her imagination sparks when he sends her a biography of the 19th century Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin. The story juxtaposes Naguset's personal and political coming-of-age in her loving family home with Kropotkin's rocky upbringing in a princely palace.

Do Not Pet #1: A Service Dog's Graphic Tail

Do Not Pet #1: A Service Dog's Graphic Tail image

The first zine in a series; this issue shows the illustrious history of service dogs, through the lens of author Joe Biel, whose life was saved by a medical alert dog named Ruby.

Essential Oils to Destroy the Patriarchy

Essential Oils to Destroy the Patriarchy image

With a hefty dose of irreverent self-satire, Eryn O'Neal shares the essential oil recipes that she uses to treat her own patriarchal woes, so that you can too. A tincture of clary sage may not dismantle the patriarchy singlehandedly, but it'll help you get enough sleep so you can keep working on destroying the power dynamics that are dragging us all down.

Detox Your Place

Detox Your Place image

Create a healthier home life with Meadow Shadowhawk's wealth of nontoxic strategies for cleaning, product, and furniture choices and best practices for every room in your house or apartment.

In The News

Books for the New Bicycle Revolution

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the streets are suddenly free of traffic, and a lot of folks are rediscovering bicycling—you can tell by looking out the window, or at our order queue.

Books and zines about bicycling (and stickers... oh, the bike stickers!) have long been Microcosm's bread and butter. The interest never goes away, but it's been way up lately. Here's a list of (almost) all of the bike books and zines we publish, and you can find everything bikey in our catalog here.

And here's short list of our recommendations for people who are just getting with riding or wondering how we can sustain relatively car-free streets post-pandemic.

The Chainbreaker Bike Book is our classic manual, now in its third edition. Learn to repair your bike (especially if it's an older bike), and get inspired by the rich history of DIY bicycle culture.
Adonia Lugo's instant classic, Bicycle/Race, is a must-read for any aspiring or experienced bicycle advocate who wonders how we can work towards safe, inclusive transportation in a deeply unequitable system?
Everyday Bicycling is your guide to getting started as a transportation cyclist, including tips on carrying everything from lumber to kids to cupcakes.
Bikenomics is the definitive economic argument for investing in bicycle transportation at a personal and civic level. This is the one to give to your city councillor or business district development group, or just hone your own arguments for why bike-friendly streets make sense for everyone.
The perspectives in True Trans Bike Rebel about bicycling and walking from transgender and nonbinary authors and artists range from delightful to thought-provoking; all worthwhile reading for anyone who's ever felt like an outsider in the cycling world.

In issue #4 of the Bicycle Culture Rising zine, read about how Kittie Knox, a teenage cyclist in the late 1800s, changed bike culture forever.

We are currently Kickstarting our newest volume of feminist bicycle science fiction: Trans-Galactic Bike Ride!

Call for Submissions: Bicycles & Broomsticks

Now funding on Kickstarter: Bikes in Space #7: Trans-Galactic Bike Ride

We are accepting submissions now for the witchcraft-themed ninth volume of the Bikes in Space series of feminist bicycle science fiction anthologies, scheduled to come out at the beginning of 2022.

Working title: Bicycles & Broomsticks

Please submit your original short fiction that combines themes of witchcraft and bicycling, through a feminist lens. Both witchiness and bicycles must be inherent to accepted stories—ie, if you swapped these elements out for detectives and toasters, the stories would not work. The witchcraft can be informed by actual Paganism or another tradition, or be more along the lines of Kiki's Delivery Service or Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or something entirely new. Creative, subversive, feminist magic is key.

Stories should have a feminist perspective, even if feminism and identity are not overt topics. We especially welcome submissions from queer, trans, disabled, and BIPOC authors and welcome stories that portray more diverse perspectives than are found in mainstream sff.

All fantastical genres welcome: science fiction, fantasy, mythology, speculative fiction, climate punk, slipstream, supernatural horror, fractured fairy tales, or anything in between or beyond. No fanfic, poetry, or erotica for this series. Black and white comics and illustrations are also welcome. If you're not sure what works, you may find it helpful to familiarize yourself with other books in the series.

Word count: a 1,000 - 6,000 word range is typical, but make your story the length it needs to be, and if it's right for the anthology, we'll work it out in editorial.

Format: Google doc or Word preferred; PDF or text documents are also fine. If submitting an illustration, please get in touch about format and dimensions before you start working on it.

Payment: A portion of profits after expenses from the Kickstarter project used to fund the book is split between contributors; payments are not less than $30 each. Contributors also receive copies of the book.

Deadline: September 1, 2020

Please send your submissions and any questions to elly at microcosm publishing dot com

Now funding on Kickstarter: Bikes in Space #7: Trans-Galactic Bike Ride

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.

We are shipping every day out of the Microcosm Publishing & Distribution HQ in Portland, Oregon!

All mail orders are going out within 24 hours. If you choose "pick up at store" as your shipping option, you can come ring our doorbell Mon-Sat 11am-3pm and we'll do a no-contact handoff.

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. 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.

Call for Submissions: Queering Consent

To start Queering Consent off I’m looking for nonbinary pairings. Nonbinary folks with each other, nonbinary folks with men, nonbinary folks with women, nonbinary folks in polycules… So long as at least one of the characters is explicitly nonbinary, I’m not too fussed about who they’re with or what pronouns they use.

A really successful erotica anthology also needs a theme to go with the pairing. For that, I started asking what we needed more of, but in reality, I didn’t have to look any further than my own passion and knowledge of popular erotica and romance: historical romance, pre-1950s.

Why? My first two books were both anthologies, and I found myself enjoying working with multiple authors considerably. When my publisher (and now employer), Microcosm Publishing, announced they’d start doing queer erotica, I knew I had to start doing anthologies for that too. I pitched them three (!) and they eagerly accepted all of them, which I was not expecting.

To get a better feel for the market, we’re doing them as a zine series, entitled Queering Consent.

Submissions are due by August 1, 2020 DEADLINE EXTENDED now due August 28, 2020

The nitty gritty:

Word count: 1,000 to 3,000 words (longer stories are welcome, but may be published separately or considered for a later book version) or 2-6 pages of black and white comics

Format: Word, .ODT, PDF or Google document emailed to lydia(at)microcosmpublishing(dot)com

(If submitting comics, please ask for specs before submitting artwork.)

Works must be original fiction (no fanfic, sorry!) though reprints are allowed. 

More about the theme:  There simply aren’t enough nonbinary people represented in historical fiction, even though nonbinary folks have always been here. So… why not make it sexy?

Also, if it’s not consensual it’s not sex and not welcome in this series!

Payment: $25 flat fee; if we include your contribution in a book edition, there will be additional payment

I am encouraging marginalized authors who do not see themselves in most mainstream fiction to submit, including (but not limited to) BIPOC, disabled, neurodiverse, queer and trans folks. Write the stories you wish had been published and submit them to us. #OwnVoices work is encouraged, but not strictly required.

If this pairing or theme isn’t up your alley, the next two themes and pairings are:

  • woman/woman in science fiction or fantasy settings
  • man/man’s tender first times (with each other, or first time at all)

You can submit those whenever (or if you have an idea for future themes, let me know!) or you can sign up for my newsletter to find out when the submission period officially opens for future volumes. 

Reposted from LydiaRogue.com

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 June 1, 2020 the theme is Relationships. The deadline for issue #6 is December 1, 2020 and the theme is Interactions with Police. The deadline for issue #7 is June 1, 20201 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 September 1, 2020. The theme for issue #6 is Gender and the deadline is March 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

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

Virtual author events!

Microcosm Presents: a series of streaming interviews with our authors. Watch them live or later on our YouTube channel.

These in-person events are still scheduled to occur; we will update as this changes.

  • Sunday, October 25th: Dr. Faith G. Harper at Beastly Books, Santa Fe, NM, 4-6pm Mountain Time

Interested in having an author at your store or event after this is all over? Reach out!!


2020 Tabling Events

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

  • TBD

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? handwritten "clean up your mess" sign at Speak in TonguesDo 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 new volume 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, and 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?
The most common trap that people run into writing for this series is that they want to write an encyclopedia—everything that happened in sequence, include all of their friends, and generally share every detail and almost immediately they spiral away from any kind of coherent narrative at all.
In any writing and especially for this series, it's important to maintain a narrative structure—the scene is the protagonist and your story needs to show the scene changing as a result of resolving the conflict.
Create an outline for us to review—Intro, Chapters, Conclusion—with one to three paragraphs describing each section. Each section's description should open by stating the main knowledge and skills the reader will take from that chapter, and giving us a little color about what sort of research, science, details, and/or examples it touches on. This isn't busywork and typically becomes the frame and the actual opening text to each chapter. Even after work has been accepted, this exercise is the first step towards the editorial process.
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!

Rest in Purpose, Ruby

This is a sad one.

Ruby and Joe at Powell’s Books in January, 2019

Ruby was the medical alert dog for Microcosm founder and CEO Joe Biel from February, 2012 to June, 2020. She was a constant presence in our office and at events.

At a reading at WhyNot Fest in Minot, North Dakota

Her service dog training meant she was skilled at making herself invisible most of the time, often sleeping curled up next to Joe’s desk or under the table at a convention or a restaurant. Even so, she made friends everywhere she went, when she ventured out at Joe’s side, or to occasionally alert someone passing by that their blood sugar was dropping (she did this by poking their leg with her nose). When she walked by one of Portland’s many brunch spots, she would often go down the line of people waiting, alerting them all. One day, a couple was fighting on the street and she ran up to alert them. She wanted to help everyone. Her intelligence and loyalty were astounding. Once she had met someone, she considered them part of her pack forever, even when meeting them again years later.

Long convention hours meant lots of napping on the job.

Along with her remarkable skill at detection, she was also trained for public access, which meant she could handle herself gracefully in situations, like a grocery store, restaurant, airplane, or train, that would challenge even a well-trained pet dog. She never learned to pedal her own bike, but we celebrated her bikeyness a couple of years ago with this fanciful enamel pin.

Just another daily commute.

Thanks to her unique assistance in managing his disability, Joe was able to lead Microcosm out of the recession, growing us from a small press to a midlist publisher and wholesaler, and more important, to begin to regain his health and safely live a full, active life.

Joe, Ruby, and Elly at the Microcosm office. Photo by Laura Stanfill

Ruby loved to travel everywhere with Joe by train, plane, and bicycle. Food was her primary motivation. And she loved people; her training taught her to be standoffish when she was wearing her service dog vest, but in her off-hours she loved nothing more than a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears. And even when working, she knew when someone was talking about her and perked up with great interest.

Ruby and Joe walking in Detroit.

She passed away on Tuesday, June 23rd, just hours before her first book, Do Not Pet, arrived from the printer. She is dearly missed by all who knew and admired her.

Ruby’s trainer told us that she was the rare dog who found her purpose. In her honor, we’re continuing to center our own meaning and purpose every day. We hope that her legacy will outlive her, educating people about the amazing work of service animals in opening up the world to people with many kinds of disabilities.

In Downtown LA