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Making Stuff and Doing Things

Making Stuff and Doing Things imageEdited by Kyle Bravo, this classic collection of "DIY guides to just about everything" is now in its fourth edition and better than ever. Now you can make your own everything, do all the stuff you need for yourself, and never be bored again!

Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, IL, 1973-2005

Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, IL, 1973-2005 imageThis is the story about the power of underground music in Rockford, Illinois, at the heart of the post-industrial midwest US, from the 1970s til recent times. This is the third volume of Microcosm's Scene History series, where we showcase the stories of people making their own music, culture, and mayhem.

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.
 

In The News

Soviet Daughter Kickstarter

Soviet Daughter Kickstarter imageThis month on Kickstarter we bring you Soviet Daughter, featuring an intergenerational and intersectional graphic story of the Soviet Ukraine by Julia Alekseyeva..

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!

We're coming through your town soon! We're on the road! A lot. Find us! If you’re planning an event and want us to be part of it (speaking, author readings, movie screening, book and t-shirt slinging, 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!

Independent Publishing Love: Our Radical Friends at OR Books

the team at OR BooksAs part of our Year of Independence, we’ve been interviewing independent booksellers who we love. This month, instead of a bookstore, we’re turning to OR Books, a fellow radical independent publisher that, like us, also sells a substantial portion of its books directly to readers. That’s a relative rarity in the publishing world, where it’s the norm for every book to go through a string of distributors, wholesalers, and booksellers before making its way into your hands. We were stoked to meet these kindred spirits and immediately started gleefully conspiring to support each other… another activity that breaks the mold of mainstream publishing.

Check out their offerings, we think you’ll like them. Their recent releases include such helpful gems as Pocket Piketty and The Animals’ Vegan Manifesto.

OR Books publicity manager Natascha Uhlmann answered our questions over email.

1. What’s the story of OR Books? What matters most to you as publishers?
OR Books arose out of a desire to forge a different path for publishing—one centered around progressive politics, selling direct to consumers, and intense marketing. Our model varies pretty drastically from the standard publishing houses: we avoid Amazon and other traditional distribution methods. It allows us to sidestep some of the pitfalls of traditional publishing and focus our energies where they should be: on the book itself.

2. You are a politically progressive publisher—what does that mean to you?
It means taking on titles that are progressive, transgressive, and sometimes outright bizarre. I think we can all recall wrestling with a book that made us engage with the world in a different way—it’s a revolutionary, world changing thing, and I hope to recreate that same experience for others.

3. What are your personal favorite books from the OR backlist? Any favorites you’ve recently read from other publishers?
Extinction: A Radical History by Ashley Dawson makes the case that the environmental crisis we currently face is fundamentally tied to our economic system. Ashley traces the history of extinction and ties its catastrophic rise to capitalism’s unrelenting drive to expand.

What’s Yours is Mine by Tom Slee is a critical look at the sharing economy. He pushes back against the portrayal of platforms like Uber and AirBnb as democratic, pointing to the means by which these technologies simply shift risk onto the worker and encourages us all to settle for less.

Beautiful Trouble ed. by Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell is a tactical manual for radicals. It traces a wide variety of activist groups and the approaches that they have found valuable. I’ve found it to be an incredibly valuable resource throughout my organizing, and a great primer for interested younger activists.

As for others:

In Defense of Housing by David Madden and Peter Marcuse (Verso Books) explores the commodification of housing and the violence of gentrification. They highlight that housing is endemic, not incidental, under capitalism and point to the successes of several movements organizing for housing justice – and how we can learn from these.

Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel (Melville House) is a brilliant look at the global food economy and engages with some urgent questions: How are hunger and obesity interrelated? What avenues for resistance do we have in an ever consolidating system of food production?

Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination by Alondra Nelson (University of Minnesota Press) explores the Black Panther Party’s fight for health justice. We as activists owe so much today to their organizational tactics, and I think their articulation of health politics greatly informs current debates around single payer activism.

4. What are the most urgent issues facing the publishing industry right now? If you could look into your crystal ball, what is the biggest piece of advice would you give to yourself and other independent publishers?
The advent of new technologies means that it’s harder to command the attention of would-be readers. That said, the field is adaptable and at the end of the day, no one walks away from a good book.

I think the best advice I can offer is to remember why we’re here: because we believe deeply in the power of ideas. To get to work on a book that may go on to shape the way someone sees the world is an incredible gift. It’s a challenging field, but an utterly rewarding one.