Out Now

The History of Miami Hip Hop

The History of Miami Hip Hop image

In the late 90s, the music scene in Miami was at the infancy of becoming the multi-million dollar cultural and artistic force that it is today. Musicians like Pitbull, DJ Khaled, and countless others staked Miami’s claim as the newest Mecca for Hip Hop heads and graffiti artists. During this time, The Cipher was created. An independent newspaper that followed the scene and included reviews, interviews, essays, photos, and more, The Cipher was the choice source for discovering Miami’s underground. The History of Miami Hip Hop chronicles the ups and downs of this legendary rag during its short tenure. Author John Cordero presents both a memoir of his time as one of the newspaper’s creators, and an anthology of some of The Cipher’s greatest hits. An essential chapter in the history of Hip Hop’s third coast. 

The Transmasculine Guide to Physical Transition

The Transmasculine Guide to Physical Transition image

This in-depth exploration of all aspects of physical transition is an accessible and supportive guide for transgender men, transmasculine people, and nonbinary people. Drawing on their personal experience and extensive research, Sage Buch walks you through a wide array of safe transition options. Inside, you'll learn about non-medical interventions like chest binding and packing, explore the varieties and effects of hormone replacement therapy, and get a comprehensive primer on choosing, preparing for, and recovering from top and bottom surgery.

Creative, Not Famous Activity Book

Creative, Not Famous Activity Book image

Are you a small potato, pursuing your creative passions without expectations of fame or fortune? This playful workbook is designed to help adults with years of creative experience explore unconsidered art forms, amp up your creative approach, and wrangle your personal triumphs into a sustained and fulfilling practice. Interactive exercises and assignments will inspire you to write, draw, sing, rhyme, craft, improvise, observe, engage, document and express yourself in every medium imaginable. Get out of your rut, embrace your inner child, and see which seeds will bear the fruit of larger projects. Prepare to discover fun ways to increase your creative visibility, live by the Golden Rule, and expand your community.

Bicycles & Broomsticks

Bicycles & Broomsticks image

A coven races—literally—to fight off the magic smog that threatens their city. A janitor at the last rocket launch site on a dying planet sends the rocket up with a special spell of comfort. Instead of casting the resiliency spell she asked for, a girl's grandmother teaches her to ride a bike. A midwife's bicycle is stolen, resulting in a fitting comeuppance. An urban witch falls for a bicycle mechanic and learns to reconcile her double life. Smash the petropatriarchy and enjoy these and more science fiction and fantasy stories in the pages of the supernatural 9th volume of the popular Bikes in Space series. 

The Autism FAQ

The Autism FAQ image

What's it like to be autistic? As many as one in forty-five people live that reality every day, but our culture remains full of myths, stigma, and dangerous misunderstandings of this type of neurodiversity. This guide to life on the autism spectrum is a must-read for autistic adults, their friends, coworkers, partners, and parents—and for anyone who wants to understand the experiences of many people they meet every day. Joe Biel, who was diagnosed as an adult, writes about what it's like to be autistic, joined by the bestselling Dr. Faith G. Harper who speaks from her experience as a parent, friend, and therapist to autistic people. Their real talk and accessible language discuss a wide range of topics, including the diagnostic criteria for autism and how they play out in practice, what it means for autism to be a disability, and co-occurring conditions like depression and anxiety. They answer many frequently asked questions from neurotypicals, and offer some basic life and social skills that the world doesn't always think to explicitly teach autistic folks. Most of all, they affirm the many strengths of the autistic brain and point the way to a world where autism is just another way of being. 

From Conflict to Community

From Conflict to Community image

Conflict is everywhere: our living rooms, our streets, our community organizations, and every corner of the internet. But few of us have the training to successfully intervene or resolve these conflicts. In these pages, experienced peacemaker Gwendolyn Olton shows you how to use your existing skills and intuition to transform a wide variety of conflicts from insurmountable impasses to working relationships where everyone's needs are met. The result is a practical, kind, realistic guidebook for anyone who's found themselves in a conflict (their own or someone else's) and wondered, "How did we get here and what can I do to make it better!?"

The Practical Witch's Almanac, 2023

The Practical Witch's Almanac, 2023 image

The theme of this year’s classic almanac by Friday Gladheart is Infinite Spells. In these pages, you’ll learn how to understand the spells you already use and develop your own based on the fundamental principles of magic. Learn how to prepare yourself and your space for magic, how to use your almanac to help you find the perfect time to cast your spells, and how to use the magical correspondences to give your spells a boost. 

This year's weekly planner pages give you more space than ever to record your important events, appointments, and meaningful days, with monthly planning pages so you can chart the course of your days with the phases of the moon and the rotation of the planets.

This is the year for you to embrace your power and use your magic to grow, heal, and be your authentic, Witchy self!

The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World

The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World image

Born in 1878, bicycle racer Marshall "Major" Taylor became the first Black sports star to become a global celebrity when he won the world cycling championship in 1899. Throughout his bike-racing career, he won awards and set records on and off the track. But in his native United States, he faced racist discrimination and violence at every turn, causing him to spend most of his time in Europe where fans saw his value. After he retired from racing, Taylor wrote and published his autobiography and traveled the world promoting it. Written in the 1920s, his story feels fresh, contemporary, and readable. His life was too short, but his legacy lives on in the many organizations and clubs that bear his name, and the generations of new cyclists who look up to him. His intelligence, good humor, and global perspective shine through on every page in this candid account of a remarkable life. 

The Enduring Legacy of Portland's Black Panther Party

The Enduring Legacy of Portland's Black Panther Party image

In the 1960s through 1980s, the Black Panther Party rose up throughout the United States, envisioning a world without systemic racism and police violence. This is the story of Portland, Oregon's chapter of the Party, told from original interviews, first-hand accounts, and extensive research, including police surveillance documents. This account shows a vivid picture of neighborhood activists determined to improve their community by creating their own social services, and wildly succeeding—despite the best attempts of police, city officials, and media to paint them as violent extremists, and to spy on, infiltrate, and violently suppress their activities. Portland's Black Panther chapter innovated healthy free breakfasts for children in poverty, the longest-running Panther free health clinic, the Panthers' first dental clinic, and a powerful system of self-directing neighborhood associations.

Culpeper's Complete Herbal

Culpeper's Complete Herbal image

A new edition of the 17th Century classic, with a new introduction and annotations by herbalist JJ Pursell, with your choice of a white or black cover.

For the last 350 years, since the reign of Elizabeth I, Nicholas Culpeper's encyclopedic compendium of the uses and properties of medicinal herbs has been unrivaled in completeness or charm. From Adder's Tongue to Yellow Loosestrife, each of the 316 herbs is described in detail, along with its "government and virtues," remedies and cautions—much of which has held up remarkably well through many advancements in scientific understanding. This new edition has been updated and annotated by Dr. J.J. Pursell, author of The Herbal Apothecary. Dr. Pursell has added modern scientific names, usage notes and contraindications, and a fascinating new introduction that frames Culpeper's remarkable life and work through a modern lens. This timely upgrade to a classic work retains the brilliance of the original while making its valuable information available to new generations of herbalists, house witches, students, and anyone who wants to know more about the plants growing in their backyard. 

The Mycocultural Revolution

The Mycocultural Revolution image

Discover the glorious world of mushrooms, lichens, and micro fungi, as described by Peter McCoy, one of today’s foremost experts in the field. Covering the essential information and skills for identifying, cultivating, and celebrating the uniqueness of fungi, this book enables anyone to quickly and easily engage in the art and science of mycology—the study of fungi. Mycology offers vast opportunities to enhance our lives, support our communities, and heal the environment. This first-of-its-kind introductory text is accessible for anyone just getting started in mycology, as well as for those seeking a fresh perspective on this important science.

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

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! 
Neurodivergent Pride: What Autistic Minds Can Teach Each Other and the World 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 emerged from 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. Featuring 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 #13 is Animal Companions and the deadline is March 1, 2023. The deadline for issue #14 is July 1, 2023 and the theme is Mutual Aid. The theme for issue #14 is Creativity and the deadline is November 1, 2023. The theme for issue #16 is Emotions and the deadline is March 1, 2024. The theme for issue #17 is Controversies and the deadline is July 1, 2024. Submissions should be 500-2,000 words as a rough guideline! 
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? Reach out!!


Upcoming Tabling Events

Where we'll be selling books and zines!

  • March 8-11, 2023: AWP, Seattle, WA
  • May 8-11, 2023: Peerpocalypse, Seaside, OR

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.

  • January 29-February 2, 2023: Las Vegas Market (In the Wild Rumpus Room, C-1064)
  • February 20-23, 2023: Winter Institute, Seattle

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.


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!

From Big Idea to Book! An interview with author Jessie Kwak

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we sat down with Jessie L. Kwak to discuss her new book, From Big Idea to Book: Create a Writing Practice that Brings You Joy. Jessie’s an accomplished and successful writer who knows how to get creative work done. We also talked about her next book, From Dream to Reality, which is all about how to be a freelance writer (and which is funding on Kickstarter right now!).