Out Now

F*ck Happiness

F*ck Happiness image

Ariel Gore wanted to see if science could help her be happier. And the more she read, the more she realized that the psychology of happiness is full of studies by, for, and about straight cis white men. She set out to find out why her own experience as a woman and mother isn't reflected in the research, and how we can do it better. The resulting book is fascinating, lyrical, and profoundly affecting.

How to Resist Amazon & Why

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The zine that took the bookselling world by storm is finally widely available! Danny Caine, owner of Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas chronicles his pro-local, pro-independent bookstore, anti-Amazon activism and shows you a path to fighting the power, too.

If You're Freaking Out, Read This

If You're Freaking Out, Read This image

This book began as a letter Simone wrote to her future self, with a list of ten steps to take to bring herself back from a state of panic, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Now it's a book-length workbook that you can use and customize to suit your own needs. Bring yourself back from the brink with these expert coping skills that you can practice when you feel okay and use any time you need them. With an intro by the one and only Dr. Faith!

Unfuck Your Boundaries Workbook

Unfuck Your Boundaries Workbook image

Get ready to dive deep with this workbook companion to Dr. Faith's Unfuck Your Boundaries. Examine your personal history with boundaries and consent, figure out which relationships in your life need attention, do a "wheel of consent" exercise, and †

Unfuck Your Boundaries

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Dr. Faith takes on the vital topics of boundaries and consent, offering her trademark combination of brain science, trauma-informed therapy, and funny, no-BS approach. How do you maintain a respectful, trusting, non-harmful relationships with anyone, be they an intimate partner or the person in line in front of you at the grocery store? What are relationship red flags you need to be aware of? How do you make sure you're respecting the boundaries of everyone around you, and make amends when you haven't? All these and many more questions answered in this necessary book.

The Life & Times of Butch Dykes

The Life & Times of Butch Dykes image

Eloisa Aquino's gorgeous illustrated homage to people who've defined gender stereotypes around the world, from a century ago to today. Find some new queer heroes and reflect on their lives and accomplishments in these colorful pages.

Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships

Friending: Creating Meaningful, Lasting Adult Friendships image

25% of adults in the US don't have a single person they feel they can confide in. Gina Handley Schmitt gently walks you through the ins and outs of making and maintaining close friendships as an adult. Includes scripts and instructions for identifying potential friends, asking them to hang out, setting healthy boundaries, staying in touch when life pulls you in different directions, and, when need be, ending friendships.

Unf*ck Your Anger

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Dr. Faith's newest book is all about putting your frustration and rage to work rather than letting them run your life and poison your relationships. Learn to manage your anger in the moment, listen to what it has to tell you and act wisely, and hardest of all, the fine art of forgiveness.

This is San Francisco

This is San Francisco image

In the same vein as his other two evocative love letters to cities, This Is Portland and This Is Shanghai, Alexander Barrett again plays quirky tour guide in This is San Francisco. Distilling the charm of San Francisco into colorful, illustrated pages, he reveals the city's magic in this good-humored, earnest homage. This isn't a guide book that will tell you where to stay or what to eat; rather, it's an invitation from a friend to come along on a walk down one of San Francisco’s historic streets, up one of its urban staircases, or along its many shorelines. Through thoughtful and funny anecdotes, essays, and illustrations, Barrett takes you on a journey through one of America’s most famous cities and makes you wish you were right there with him.

The Practical Witch's Almanac: 2020

The Practical Witch's Almanac: 2020 imageThis almanac has everything you need to reconnect with nature and tune into your witchy energy.† This almanac allows you to harmonize with the flow of natures energies. You will find easy notations of events, magical days and seasonal occurrences as well as calendars, trivia, incense recipes and more!

What About Tomorrow?

What About Tomorrow? image

Alexander Herbert's oral history tells the stories of punk rock in western Russia, from the Soviet era to today.

Hardcore Anxiety

Hardcore Anxiety image

Punk rock and mental health have been intertwined since the very beginning. Nervous breakdowns, anxiety, seeking acceptance, attempting to overcome internalized demons, and reacting to harmful and oppressive systems—punk rock embodies and emboldens all our feelings and experiences, positive and negative. Hardcore Anxiety charts and tracks punk movements from the 70s till today, from small towns to stadiums, from the struggles in our heads to the people actively harming us in our communities. Told from the point of view of a young man discovering punk and working through mental illness in Evansville, Indiana, this stunning nonfiction graphic novel gives punks the most important advice of all: "You aren't alone. You're going to make it through alive."

In The News

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! 
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 #4 is Co-occuring conditions, with a deadline of December 1, 2019. 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.
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 March 1, 2020 the theme is relationships. Submissions should be 500-2,000 words! 
email submissions/questions to joe at microcosmpublishing daht com

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!

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

Interested in having an author at your store or event? Reach out!!


2020 Tabling Events

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

  • March 4-7: We'll be hanging with Dr. Faith and holding down a table with our books at AWP in San Antonio, Texas. 
  • March 6-9: Find our witchy selections at the NW Tarot Symposium / Psychic Fair in Clackamas, OR
  • April 17-18: We'll be showcasing our work at the Get Lit! Literary Arts Festival in Spokane, WA
  • April 20-23: We'll be getting deep into our mental health and recovery shelves at Peerpocalypse in Seaside, OR
  • April 25: Join us at the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair at Omni Commons in Oakland, CA
  • May 2-3: Celebrate the power of the written word with us at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, CA!
  • June 20-21: Come enjoy all things geeky, nerdy, cute, and smart with us at Geek Craft Expo in Portland, OR
  • July 15-19: Oh hell yes, roller derby is the best and we'll be living it up at RollerCon in Vegas!
  • September 10-13: Internet artists unite at XOXO in Portland, OR!

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? Do 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 paperback 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, but really 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? 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!

The Microcosm Publishing Annual Money Report: 2019 Edition (with graphs!)

There’s no way around it: our first year returning to self-distributing was an incredible success!

Unbelievably, our 2019 sales went up 55.77% over 2018, making 2019, again, our best year ever! In the past year we’ve also increased staff wages by 38.94%, with more to come!

At the same time, 2019 really taxed and tested us in ways that we haven’t seen before. We are shipping an average of six times as many packages every day as we were when we moved into this building eight years ago. We are receiving six times as many boxes every day as well. All of this leads to the increased need for diligence and refinement as we outgrow old systems. 

Sure, everyone works harder as well and it’s nice to have that acknowledged. 2019 also saw the implementation of the employee ownership program and we now have five owners with more on the way. We also switched our podcast from quarterly to weekly and added a vlogcast version.

As the growth seems constant and endless, we have to stop and ask bigger long-term questions: when will we need to hire another staff person (February?)? When will we give the next round of raises (April!)? These are wonderful problems to discuss and the opposite of our situation eight years ago when the current staff took over the company. 

We are publishing more books than ever (and reprinting more books than ever too!) and most of this year has been spent implementing new systems to use data to make better decisions and where we have the most growth opportunities.

Most important is the constant feedback we receive from our work. We’ve expanded our books to prisoners program as well this year and many people write back, shocked that we responded at all—let alone sent me them a pile of books to read. Seeing readers recommend our books on social media has been flattering but nothing holds a candle to someone spilling their guts about how much they were singularly impacted in a private letter.

Let’s look at the numbers.

Our total sales for the year were $1.273 million dollars. Here’s what we are selling:

Here are our bestsellers, by dollars:

Expenses this year were also right at $1.27M, partially due to the 38.94% staff raises:

And the real shocker, comparing 2019 to 2018:

And a friendly reminder: While we’re legally a “for-profit” organization, we choose to operate on a break-even basis. This means that when we have profits (which isn’t all the time, but we try), they don’t go into our owners’ yacht fund; they go into staff wages and taking a chance on publishing new books we believe in. Getting to do work we care about every day and put books out there that help people change their lives is way better than a yacht. Which is an important attitude to have in the publishing industry!