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Defensive Eating with Morrissey: Vegan Recipes From the One You Left Behind

Defensive Eating with Morrissey: Vegan Recipes From the One You Left Behind imageMoz is sad. He eats his sandwich. Then he eats your sandwich. Now you are sad too. Fortunately you can cheer yourself up with Automne Zingg's amazing illustrations and make enough food for everyone with Joshua Ploeg's amazing vegan recipes, both of which are steeped in Morrissey's lyrics.

Comfort Eating with Nick Cave: Vegan Recipes to Get Deep Inside of You

Comfort Eating with Nick Cave: Vegan Recipes to Get Deep Inside of You imageIf you're sad, put on some Nick Cave, relate to Automne Zingg's drawings of Cave eating and crying, and cozy up with one of Joshua Ploeg's vegan recipes.

Amica's World: How a Giant Bird Came Into Our Heart and Home

Amica's World: How a Giant Bird Came Into Our Heart and Home imageAmica's World is the at times adorable, at times unbelievable story of Amica, a six-foot-tall rhea who was rescued and raised by a family in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. This full-color photo hardcover book introduces you to the world of large, flightless birds, and to the incredible story of one unique, loving individual. With a foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall.
 

Can You Pass Out Our Poster Catalogs?

Can You Pass Out Our Poster Catalogs? imageFor years we tried to create a catalog that simultaneously meets the needs of the book industry while also serving as a helpful guide to people who love our books and want to know what we've been up to! Last year we gave up on that ridiculous goal and have now begun producing one catalog for the book industry and one for people that do not live in Dewey Decimal. Can you leave our catalogs at record stores and coffeeshops or punk hangouts in your town or on a tour? Send us an address and how many!

Six Days in Cincinnati

Six Days in Cincinnati imageThis comics journalism classic is Dan Méndez Moore's account of the 2001 protests that swept Cincinnati after police fatally shot an unarmed 19-year-old Black man. It's the story of a community peacefully coming together in the face of police violence and the fraught national conversation that resulted. An all-too-timely re-issue.

Punk Rock Entrepreneur

Punk Rock Entrepreneur imageWant to run your business without losing your values... or your shirt? Keep yourself on an even keel with Caroline Moore's sage advice and examples drawn from the world of DIY punk. Having no money or resources can actually be an asset, Moore shows, as it forces you to be creative and resourceful and focus on the things that really matter.
 

The Beard Coloring Book

The Beard Coloring Book imageGorgeous, luscious, swirling beards grace the pages of this coloring book! If you love beards—your own or others'—this dazzling coloring experience crafted by Meggyn Pomerleau will blow your mind and break down your conceptions of beardliness.

The Post-Structuralist Vulva Coloring Book

The Post-Structuralist Vulva Coloring Book imageNever fear, neither gender essentialism nor pretentious continental philosophy are safe from the all-seeing gaze of The Post-Structuralist Vulva Coloring Book. Quotations from postmodern theorists intertwine with diverse vulva imagery from the sacred to the profane to bring you a one-of-a-kind meditative coloring experience. Edited by Elly Blue and illustrated by Meggyn Pomerleau.

Sprouts: Live Well with Living Foods

Sprouts: Live Well with Living Foods imageIan Giesbrecht's Sprouts is a primer on the art of growing your own sprouts and microgreens at home year-round. Packed with tips, science, and recipes, this is an essential guide to healthy, nutritious eating and cooking. Simple yet thorough, with helpful illustrations and step-by-step instructions. Anyone can sprout!
 

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy imageIn the new, updated edition of Elly Blue's Bikenomics, you'll find the economic case for bicycle transportation laid out clearly and on many levels — road paving and maintenance, car ownership, jobs, health and happiness, social justice, and much more.

Manor Threat: Snake Pit Comics 2013-2015

Manor Threat: Snake Pit Comics 2013-2015 imageManor Threat contains three more years of daily diary comics from Ben Snakepit. This episode brings us to the town of Manor (pronounced "MAY-ner"), a suburb of Austin, Texas. Ben buys a house with his wife and adjusts to slow-paced country living. He also turns 40 and gets a new job, and then gets another job. Along the way, he draws a three-panel comic describing each day's events, however dramatic or monotonous. Against that steady march of time, patterns emerge and shift and the result is a meditative, addictive read that captures the humanity of everyday life. Bonus for true fans: A surprise ending!

Walking with Ramona: Exploring Beverly Cleary's Portland

Walking with Ramona: Exploring Beverly Cleary's Portland imageWalking with Ramona explores the streets, schools, characters, and neighborhoods of author Beverly Cleary’s Portland. With this newest and most unusual Portland guidebook, readers can walk the very sidewalks Beverly walked and climb the very school steps that Beverly climbed. You'll see the grocery parking lot where Ramona got stuck in the mud, the park lawn where Henry Huggins hunted nightcrawlers, and the real Portland street that became Klickitat Street, their fictional home. Beverly Cleary’s Portland was much different than the Portlandia of today. Walking with Ramona brings to life what that 1920s and 1930s Portland was like for the “girl from Yamhill” who went on to become an internationally beloved author. Characters like Ramona and Beezus, Henry and Ribsy, and Ellen and Austine come to life on this hour-long walking route through the Northeast Portland neighborhood where Beverly grew up. The book features an approximately three mile walk (or bike ride!) around Northeast Portland, plus other Oregon destinations.
 

In The News

Vegan Morrissey and Cave Kickstarter

Vegan Morrissey and Cave Kickstarter imageThis month on Kickstarter we bring you Defensive Eating with Morrissey and Comfort Eating with Nick Cave, featuring hilarious art by Automne Zingg and vegan recipes by Joshua Ploeg. Back them now and we'll save some for you.

Punkscription

Punkscription imageSubscribe to all of Microcosm's music books, as they come out. Scene histories, punk memoirs, journalism and cultural commentary about DIY music, in-depth looks at record labels... you'll get 'em all.

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.
 

Microcosm In Your Town!

Microcosm In Your Town! imageWe're coming through your town soon! If you’re planning an event and you’d like the Microcosm gang to participate (by tabling, presenting, showing films, etc) please let us know!!

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 Wikipedia? Do you want a reason to hunt out some people you respect for them to fill in the gaps?

Well, the Scene History series is an opportunity to do just that. Like our Simple History Series, we will publish two paperbacks each year of the Scene History Series that tell the story of a particular city's scene.

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!

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!

Punk Rock Entrepreneur: An interview with Caroline Moore

Punk Rock Entrepreneur coverCaroline Moore came to us with a book that really hit home: Punk Rock Entrepreneur: Running a Business Without Losing Your Values. We’re thrilled with how the book turned out. Moore’s examples are drawn from her own life, other scrappy entrepreneurs including bands like Green Day. This is like the anti-startup guide. Instead of coming up with an idea and looking for funding, this book is about turning your craft and art—what you would do no matter what—into a viable business without the benefit of having much (or any) money.

You can find out more about Moore’s design, illustration, and photography on her website, and check out her sweet goods (some of them Punk Rock Entrepreneur-related) in her Etsy shop. Oh yeah, and we still have a bunch of signed and doodled copies of her book. Order soon and snag one of them!

1. What’s the origin story of Punk Rock Entrepreneur? Where’d the idea come from? How did you end up with Microcosm?
Depending on how far back you want to go, the origin story is an interview I did with a group that focuses on entrepreneurship for teens. They asked what made me want to start a business, and I didn’t have a great answer for them, so I spent some time thinking about it. The truth is, when I started out, I didn’t even really think of it as starting a business, in an official way. I was used to my punk friends touring, starting zines, making and selling art, and that’s what I did—starting my photography business was very unceremonious.

After I’d put some serious time and thought into it, I found that a lot of what I knew about starting and running a business was from that DIY scene. I had been volunteering for a few years with Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, and it seemed like the kind of thing that would go over really well with their crowd. So I pitched it to Jeff Finley and Joseph Hughes (Jeff founded the Fest, and Joseph was handling the speaker lineup that year), and they let me have a spot on their stage. So the idea got upgraded to a 30 minute… well, it was supposed to be 30 minutes, but closer to a 40 minute conference talk. One of my favorite comments that someone tweeted about that was something like “punk enough to get kicked off stage, professional enough not to knock down the podium on her way out.”

My process for writing conference talks is that I basically write an essay, exactly what I want to say, and then practice that and make an outline to actually use as a reference on stage. Which meant that I had everything all typed up, so I posted it to my blog after I got home for anyone that had missed the talk. I was still doing contract work for a design agency a few days a week then, and my boss there said “you should turn this into a book.” I knew I had a ton of material that I had to cut for time, so I started putting together proposals to send out to publishers. I had heard of Microcosm because I’d done some interior illustrations for Bobby Joe Ebola’s book, which they published. After meeting with Joe and Elly at a Dinner and Bikes event in Pittsburgh, and looking over the catalog, the book seemed like a really good fit both for the types of books that Microcosm puts out, and the way that they do business.

2. This is your first book (congrats!). What has surprised you about writing and publishing a book? Any advice for other first-time authors now that you’ve been around this block once?
Thanks! One of the first things that surprised me was the sheer volume of words that I needed to write. It seems like you have so much to say, but then you type everything up and it’s six pages. I had gotten used to writing for blogs, for twitter, for conferences, for things that are meant to be short form. You have to be really concise and get to your point. Which is still important in longer form books, no one wants to read you droning on belaboring a point, but you do have a lot more room to really flesh out a concept. I also say something in the book, “you can’t edit a blank page, but you can edit a bad one.” Staring at a blank sheet messes with you, so just start putting words down. Even if they’re terrible, stupid words, just start writing for the sake of having something that you can work with. We learned to write in chunks when I was in college, and that’s still how I do it. The introductions are the last thing that I write, I start in the middle.

3. In Punk Rock Entrepreneur you propose the counter-intuitive idea that not having a lot of money or resources can actually be the best thing for someone starting a business. Can you elaborate a little bit on this?
It’s certainly not the easiest way. Having a huge pile of money to throw at a project would make things much easier. But not having a ton of cash up front does make you think creatively about how to get your business off of the ground, and it makes you look at the money and resources you do have VERY critically. In particular, you’re very thoughtful about what you’re getting for spending that cash. A band with a trust fund might be able to get an RV to tour in, spend a lot of cash on hotel rooms, food, top of the line gear, clothes, you name it. But that stuff might not be helping them bring in any more money (or fans). They have a lot of money going out, but may not have any more money coming in than the band that’s touring in their car and sleeping on floors. Those folks are keeping their overhead low, so they get to keep the money they bring in.

4. What are you listening to or reading right now that inspires you?
I’m actually giving a talk in Louisville in October (at MidwestUX) about how routine input leads to routine output. I’m really big on interdisciplinary education, because I think the bigger your pool of experiences, the more connections you can potentially make to create interesting work. I’m actually working on condensing that entire chapter (“We Live Our Lives Another Way”) down to a 10 minute lightning talk. I don’t have a ton of dedicated reading time right now (I have a 15-month-old), so I’m reading a lot of psychology articles. Why people behave the way they do is really interesting to me from both a human perspective and a business one. I just discovered the joy of Instapaper to keep track of all the things I want to read.

As far as music, I’m a little all over the place. My husband and I just discovered Smoke or Fire’s The Speakeasy, which is great because they stopped being a band in 2004, which is a recurring theme when we find albums that we both like. I’ve had that in the car on loop lately. I just picked up Signals Midwest’s new one, At This Age. We did a joint book launch/record release show, and I don’t have enough nice words to say about those guys or the music they make. And the last show that we went to was Sikth, which is sometimes hard for me to listen to, because they’re super erratic. But they’re doing some really cool things that I don’t hear much elsewhere, so I find it really interesting even though sometimes it makes me agitated.

5. What’s next for you, in business, art, and life?
This is always a super busy time of year for me, for some reason October is always booked solid. We’re taking our kid on his first plane ride, to go to his dad’s work conference. We’ve already done a work conference each this year, and we both have another one coming up where we’ll be separated. So for this one, we’re going as a family to spend some time together, plus also the hotel is right next to Legoland. I have a few events coming up, Whiskey & Words in Pittsburgh, then Midwest UX in Louisville. I’ve got a wedding to shoot, and I’m setting up mini portrait sessions to benefit Children’s Hospital’s Free Care Fund. Definitely more speaking engagements coming up, and some more events where I can set up and talk to folks about the book.

Things tend to slow down in the winter, and I can get into my “someday” list. Throughout the year I’ll have ideas for art that I want to make, and it just goes into the giant someday pile for whatever time I carve out for personal projects. Sometimes I don’t write up the best description, though, and months later I don’t understand my own notes (like that episode of 30 Rock where Kenneth has a notebook that just says “bird internet.”) I’m also rebranding the photography site over the winter, Ryan Troy Ford agreed to work on a new logo for me, and I’m pretty excited to update that. It feels weird to hire someone to design anything for me, since my undergraduate degree is in design, and I’ve spent a lot of years working as a designer. But designing for yourself is so much harder than for clients, and fighting the urge to just tweak it for all eternity is difficult. Getting someone a little more removed from it is definitely going to be good for the project.

For the business, this is the first time I’ve very intentionally done it part time. Even when I had a full time job, I was still really treating the business as a full time endeavor (which was not great for my health, but that’s a whole other interview.) Being our son’s primary caregiver, I can’t also work full time. We decided I was going to stay home with him, instead of doing day care, so my hours are limited. It’s a good balance for us right now, and I’m happy with the direction it’s taking. But the rebrand is part of a bigger theme of refocusing what I’m putting out there, so that I’m really getting the right clients to work with during those limited hours. Another thing that comes up in the book is how important it is to be attentive to your goals, and to revisit those goals to see if that’s still what you want. I can’t just look at someone else’s business to see what they’re doing, I have to really consider what I want out of my own business, and whether my actions are getting me closer to that.