Out Now

Cards for Couples: 54 Prompts for Intimate Conversations

Cards for Couples: 54 Prompts for Intimate Conversations image

Deepen and improve your communication in your intimate relationships with these simple, accessible, inclusive cards designed to help couples learn about each other and spark conversations and closeness. Open-ended card prompts are divided into three categories: Hot & Juicy cards provide erotic prompts, like "What turns me on just thinking about is…". Sweet & Cozy cards invite you to voice your appreciation, with statements like, "Little things you do that make me smile are…" And Brave & Edgy cards invite vulnerability, as in "One of the hardest moments in our relationship was…". Inspired by the practices of Authentic Relating and vulnerability, these cards are an effective and playful way to support the healthy relationship maintenance for couples of all genders and sexual orientations. Perfect for bonding at home, on road trips, or for use in therapy sessions. Packaged in an attractive two-piece gift box.

Dead Theorists: A Card Game for Disillusioned Philosophers and Aspiring Academics

Dead Theorists: A Card Game for Disillusioned Philosophers and Aspiring Academics image

In this turn-based card game, the ghosts of Simone De Beauvoir, W.E.B. Du Bois, Michel Foucault, and Karl Marx have returned from beyond the grave to complete a bit of unfinished business. Become the specter of one of these four great (but deceased) thinkers as you seek to recruit your last great protégé from the ranks of students on one college campus. But you’ve encountered two challenges you didn’t expect: First, the forces of neoliberalism have been hard at work dismantling the education system. It will be tough to train your final pupil from within today’s profit-oriented university. Second, you’ve got competition! Other spirits have also awoken and they’re dead set on halting your progress and advancing their own ghostly agendas. Can you train your protégé in order to complete your unfinished business — and be the first one to do it? Satirical, educational, and a ton of fun for battle-hardened academics and philosophical novices alike.

Unf*ck Your Cunnilingus

Unf*ck Your Cunnilingus image

Vulvas rejoice! Here is the expert guide you need to the art and science of giving and getting oral pleasure. Learn techniques for causing great pleasure and for communicating desires, needs, and boundaries. Find out the science of why oral sex feels so damn good, work through societal and cultural messages that might get in the way of full enjoyment, and get a good grip on the health, safety, and hygiene stuff you need to know. Dr. Faith G. Harper, sexologist and bestselling author of Unfuck Your Brain and Unfuck Your Intimacy, brings her humor, knowledge, and compassion to help you gain a wonderfully fulfilling sex life.

Unf*ck Your Blow Jobs

Unf*ck Your Blow Jobs image

Penises rejoice! Here is the expert guide you need to the art and science of giving and getting oral pleasure. Learn techniques for causing great pleasure and for communicating desires, needs, and boundaries. Find out the science of why oral sex feels so damn good, work through societal and cultural messages that might get in the way of full enjoyment, and get a good grip on the health, safety, and hygiene stuff you need to know. Dr. Faith G. Harper, sexologist and bestselling author of Unfuck Your Brain and Unfuck Your Intimacy, brings her humor, knowledge, and compassion to help you gain a wonderfully fulfilling sex life.

Enter Sandwich: Some Kind of Vegan Cooking with No Connection to Metallica

Enter Sandwich: Some Kind of Vegan Cooking with No Connection to Metallica image

Oh, aging rockers. We've all seen them struggle to get along and cope with life. Maybe they just need to sit around a backyard picnic table, share a vegan feast, and talk about their feelings. After all, to live is to stir fry. Automne Zingg, genius mastermind behind Comfort Eating with Nick Cave and Defensive Eating with Morrissey is back with hilarious illustrations of the band's revolving cast eating their feelings and expressing their enthusiasm for food, but in a tough and intense way. "Yeahms!" sings James, riffing on a giant yam. Zingg's work is coupled with the inventive and flavorful recipes of chef and queercore punk musician, Joshua Ploeg. Written in lyrical form, the recipes parody 40 of the most quintessential tunes. Crank up the volume while concocting plant-based recipes like Master of Nuggets, Pie of the Beholder, an All Nightmare Footlong, or maybe just a little stock. So let it be eaten. (Just don't try to illegally download this book.)

Hey Ho Let's Dough!: 1! 2! 3! 40 Vegan Pizza Recipes Unrelated to the Ramones

Hey Ho Let's Dough!: 1! 2! 3! 40 Vegan Pizza Recipes Unrelated to the Ramones image

When you don’t wanna go down to the pizzeria, whip up these vegan pizzas. Automne Zingg—mastermind behind Comfort Eating with Nick Cave, Defensive Eating with Morrissey, and Enter Sandwich—has illustrated these colorful pizza-themed homages to the boys from Queens, as they eat pizza, sneer at pepperoni, and play pizza guitars. Joshua Ploeg’s recipes wittily incorporate vaguely familiar lyrics and humor. Pizzas range from traditional marinara with vegetables and veggie sausage (Texas Chain Sauce Massacre) and white sauce specials (Carbonara Not Glue), to variations like Beet on the Brat, Havana Pizza Affair, Thyme Bomb. “Well, I’m Against It,” comments Johnny, but you’ll find a pineapple pizza recipe in here as well. Pizza is deconstructed, reconstructed, and, like the best bands, turns into something far better than the sum of its parts. 

Healing Your Magical Body with Plants and Minerals

Healing Your Magical Body with Plants and Minerals image

A helpful, hand-written compendium for herbal remedies for a wide variety of body systems, from the teeth to the nerves, plus info about herbally treating various ailments like colds, parasites, and heavy metal toxicity. Sections on herbal preparations, recipes, aromatherapy, and general principles for health. So much is packed into the pages of this zine it's incredible.

The Black Man's Guide to Getting Pulled Over

The Black Man's Guide to Getting Pulled Over image

In this bitingly satirical - and unfortunately still hyper-relevant - zine, author Johnny Parker II and illustrator Felipe Horas depict the dreaded and statistically extremely fatal incident of a Black man at a traffic stop. After a night out on the town with his girlfriend, the protagonist is stopped by a cop on the way home simply for driving while Black. The zine offers practical advice for other Black men to avoid being murdered by the state on their evening commute, and paints a hyper-realistic image of all the bullsh*t things cops say to pretend that they reason they stopped you wasn't their overt racism. Finally, The Black Man's Guide to Getting Pulled Over offers hope by encouraging the reader to channel their righteous anger into pathways towards change. 

If Animals Could Talk

If Animals Could Talk image

If animals could talk, what would they say? Certainly nothing polite, according to this hilarious illustrated book. On these pages, you'll meet over 100 uncensored animals showing the whole range of human emotions and foibles, from sassy to grumpy, arrogant to dejected, glib to nonplused. "How old did you say you were?" asks the cougar. "Rise and shine, assholes," trills the bird. "Ball is life," proclaims the hamster. "I have zero interest in seeing you later," quoth the alligator. Giggle and belly laugh your way through this definitely not-for-kids, probably not-safe-for-work collection of brilliant insights into the filthy animals all around us.

Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto

Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto image

Few artists achieve fame and fortune, but that doesn't mean your creative life can't flourish. Writer, illustrator, zinester, and playwright Ayun Halliday interviewed dozens of creative people and shared her own experiences to produce this rallying cry for the "small potato"—someone whose focus is making cool, meaningful work and living a creative life rather than achieving wealth or celebrity. Sections range from the practice of artmaking to wrangling self-doubt to DIY marketing and self-promotion. Along the way, Halliday shows that your art can bring you satisfaction, success, community, and a modest income—without losing sight of your reasons for doing it in the first place. 

From Big Idea to Book

From Big Idea to Book image

Want to write a book? Half the battle is finding a writing practice that works for you. Successful author and creativity expert Jessie Kwak is here to help you do just that—and have fun doing it. In her view, every part of the process is important: idea generation, development, research, planning, drafting, revising, and publication and are all covered here in friendly, accessible detail. Kwak helps you set up a system that makes the most of your creative ideas and helps them find their best form—and their audience. Fiction and nonfiction writers alike can use this book as a muse, a checklist, and a resource for getting your ideas out of your head and into the world. 

In The News

Summoning All Witches

Since 1996, Microcosm has published and distributed books, zines, and other goods that put your power in your hands. Including, lately, an increasing number of pagan, mystical, and othersuch witchy books, zines, and decks.

We've recently updated our submission guidelines to make it extra clear: We're looking to publish and distribute more works of magic, witchcraft, and pagan spirituality. Send us your anarcha-feminist oracle deck, your spellbook for finding queer platonic relationships, your comics journalism about the history of witchcraft, a guide to the magic your grandparents taught you, agricultural tips for witches, adorable drawings of animals on broomsticks, or whatever creative way you've found to help people see beyond the pale of normalcy to change their lives and the world.

We are always, especially, looking for submissions from authors and artists who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, mixed race, disabled, neurodivergent, queer, transgender, nonbinary, or who don't see themselves well represented in mainstream publishing.

What we publish

Our first tarot deck, The Gold Lyre Tarot, was funded on Kickstarter in early 2021:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/microcosmpublishing/the-gold-lyre-tarot/

We're proud to publish Friday Gladheart's annual The Practical Witch's Almanac.

3 ornate books

And we have many more books, zines, and stickers in print and on the way, like these:

To submit your work to our publishing program, check out our submission guidelines to assess if we might be a good fit. We aim to work with authors and creators who can work within our processes, so following our guidelines exactly is an important first step when submitting a project.

What we distribute

Microcosm is also a specialty wholesaler, selling thousands of books, zines, and decks from other publishers, big and small primarily to non-book-focused gift stores. We work with Big 5 publishing houses, zinesters cutting and pasting in their closets, and everyone in between. And these folks are putting out more and more books celebrating paganism, crystals, astrology, tarot, the occult, the moon, and more.

a screenshot of a page from microcosm's catalog
A page from our online catalog, sorted by the "Witchy" subject tag

If you already have your own publishing program and want to see if our wholesale program is a good fit, check out our distribution info.

WorkingLit: Publishing Software from Microcosm

a logo showing an open book

WorkingLit is cloud-based software developed by Microcosm Publishing that gives independent publishers tools to thrive and grow at their own pace. Our industry is run by billionaires and conglomerates, and we want to give our fellow publishers the freedom to market and sell your books, understand your business, and painlessly pay royalties.

Microcosm built our own software from scratch starting in 2002, and we owe it our survival, success, and continued independence. Now we want to share it with you. 

Get involved and stay in touch!

We're planning to launch our first phase publicly in summer, 2022.

  • Take our survey for publishers
  • Join our email list
  • Are you a programmer? We're looking to grow our team. Email elly at microcosmpublishing dot com with your skillset and why you're interested in being part of WorkingLit
  • Take the tour:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/uRj8l2paG2Y

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 #7 is July 25, 2022 and the theme is Burnout. The deadline for issue #8 is January 25, 2023 and the theme is Mutual Aid. The theme for issue #9 is Emotions and the deadline is July 25, 2023. 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 #6 is Animal Companions and the deadline is October 25, 2022. The theme for issue #7 is Creativity and the deadline is April 25, 2023. 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.

Joe and Microcosm's marketing director Elly now make the weekly People's Guide to Publishing People's Guide to Publishing podcast. You can listen to it on your preferred app, or watch the video version as a vlogcast.

Got questions about the publishing industry or need help troubleshooting your own process? Submit your question to podcast at microcosmpublishing dot com, and we'll try to address it on an upcoming episode.

Find the series of blog posts that started it all here:

An overview

What a Publisher Does

Paralleling the Dinosaurs

Title Development

For authors: How to Pitch Your Book to a Publisher

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 for Shipping

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.

Upcoming 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 after this is all over? Reach out!!


Upcoming Tabling Events

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

 

Upcoming Trade Shows and Industry Events

Usually not open to the public, these industry events are a chance for store buyers to peruse our books, write orders, and chat about terms. We plan to either attend or exhibit at the following events. If you'll be there too, drop us a line—we'd love to meet you.

  • October 3-4, 2021: PNBA, Portland, Oregon (table tbd)
  • October 7-9, 2021: MPIBA FallCon, Denver (table 47)
  • January 23-27, 2022: Las Vegas Market (room 1064)
  • February 3-5, 2022: PubWest, Denver
  • February 13-16, 2022: Winter Institute, Cincinnati

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 imageBe our Book Friend Forever (BFF)! For 6 months you'll receive every new title we publish. The subscription is sliding scale price $15-30/month—check it out here!  Thanks for your support!

Blogifesto!

Can you be your own publishing agent?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly answer a question from someone who wonders if they can act as their own agent. It’s a legit question, especially since a lot of major publishing houses and imprints (though not all!) only accept agented submissions. How can you get around this requirement? Or should you even try? Only you can decide that, but we have fun discussing the processes and issues involved.