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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.

Back Amica's World on Kickstarter

Amica's World is a story of the amazing connection between a Portland-area family and a giant, human-sized bird. Amica is a 6-foot tall rhea, the kind of bird that inspired Wile E. Coyote's nemesis.

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.
 

Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking

Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking imageEver wondered who makes your clothes? Who sells them? How much they get paid? How the fashion and sex industries are intertwined? Threadbare draws the connections between the international sex and garment trades and human trafficking in a beautifully illustrated comics series. Anne Elizabeth Moore, in reports illustrated by top-notch comics creators, pulls at the threads of gender, labor, and cultural production to paint a concerning picture of a human rights in a globalized world. Moore's reporting, illustrated by members of the Ladydrawers Comics Collective, takes the reader from the sweatshops of Cambodia to the traditional ateliers of Vienna, from the life of a globetrotting supermodel to the warehouses of large clothing retailers, from the secondhand clothing industry to the politics of the sex trade. With thoughtful illustrations of women's stories across the sex and garment supply chain, this book offers a practical guide to a growing problem few truly understand. Featuring the work of Leela Corman, Julia Gfrörer, Simon Häussle, Delia Jean, Ellen Lindner, and Melissa Mendes.

Zinester's Guide to Portland: A Low/No Budget Guide to the Rose City

Zinester's Guide to Portland: A Low/No Budget Guide to the Rose City imageBilled as a "low/no budget guide to visiting and living in Portland, Oregon, the Zinester's Guide to Portland breaks down the PDX grid by neighborhood with descriptions of good restaurants, thrift stores, bars, bridges, places to loiter, etc. (lots of etc.). The newly overhauled and illustrated fifth edition gets shoulder-deep into the history and local lore, providing a well-rounded argument as to why (fill in the blank) deserves your time. It also demystifies the TriMet public transportation system, bike events and culture, outdoorsy stuff, the public libraries—basically anything you need to know as the new kid in town. (Of which there seems to be tons; the Zinester's Guide has been on Powell's Books' top 20 since 2006.) To the wrong eyes the book's title might imply a guide to Portland zine culture, and indeed it originated in 2001 as a hand-stapled zine. But as editor Shawn Granton says in the introduction, the Zinester's Guide is not just for zinesters, that "It's always been about sharing the interesting and unique things that make Stumptown great, and also helping people get by that aren't swimming in scads of money." For those of us that can't so much as dog-paddle most days, this is community at its mightiest.

Can You Pass Out Our Poster Catalogs?

Can You Pass Out Our Poster Catalogs? imageFor many years we've been trying 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 or are at least interested in what we've been up to over the previous year. But stop worrying. We have given up on that ridiculous goal and have now begun producing one catalog for the book industry and one for people that do not breathe 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!
 

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!

Business of Publishing: How to Write a P&L statement

This is the ninth post in our ongoing Business of Publishing series. This edition tackles an important but more advanced question, “how do I know how many copies of my book that I can expect to sell?”

While, on the surface, any answer to a question like this seems to be built from a steady diet of bullshit, books are remarkably consistent. Unlike cookies or soft drinks, most books are not branded. A book from a major house sits next to your book and others from indie presses. If you’ve successfully developed your book, you should be able to stand toe to toe against the competition. And each reader is left to make a choice based on their own observations and tastes.

For those following along at home, I’ve created this spreadsheet that you can download or duplicate and edit. And as you’ll see, there are fairly predictable formulas for everything.

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The upper left hand corner begins with the title, author, and book’s release season. Lines 5 and 6 include retail prices for each format. If you’re doing a hardcover, you’d include that as well. Lines 9 and 10 list the author’s royalty by format as well as any advance payment that they receive. Traditionally this advance is your projected first two years of royalties paid in advance.

Line 13 is income from selling film or translation rights or foreign territory rights but it’s best not to plan for this in advance since even commitments can fall apart as the licensee changes their plans.

Beginning in column D, lines 4-5 predict what will likely be the sales in bookstores as well as returns and revenues. These numbers are based on your comparable titles and their selling habits. It’s best to be conservative here so that your expectations are reasonable and you aren’t shocked when you see your actual sales and returns.

Lines 7-8 predict similar sales in the direct market, which would include sales at your own events, via your own website, to non-trade stores that buy non-returnable, and books sold to the author. Again, these numbers should be conservative and based on figures in reality that you are seeing elsewhere.

Scooting over to column I, we’re looking at the publisher’s expenses for putting the book together from editorial to production to licensing to eBook conversion to paper, printing, and binding costs. Fiddle with these numbers to see what you can afford for a project before committing with an author.

Next, back on column D and lines 12-16, we’re looking at sales minus returns minus development costs minus author royalties. This will tell you what your gross profit is.

Next, we subtract operating costs (“the bottom line”), like rent, staff, telephones, envelopes, warehousing, etc. These should comprise every expense that you’ll have to pay for even if you don’t work on a book during a given month. Subtracting your gross profit from your bottom line will tell you how much actual profit the publisher is earning from each book. In this example, it’s less than $62. This example represents the most statistically likely outcome for a book like this. Publishing is about volume so to make up for these low returns, you can either produce tons and tons of books (called a “paper mill” in the industry”) or land a few heavy hitters every year. Your choice, kind of.

Alternately, to demonstrate how these traditional contracts still benefit the author, I showed an alternate royalty model where the author takes 50% of the profit. But as you can see, comparing cell G29 to G15, 8% of the cover price ends up being more than 50% of gross profit in most cases until you really land a bestseller.

Due to Amazon’s immense marketing budget and campaign to convince authors that publishers are greedy and obsolete, many authors don’t understand why the traditional 4-8% paperback royalty is still much more in their favor than self-publishing on Kindle and CreateSpace so I’ve made a chart for that too.

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