Out Now

Cat Party!: Cats We've Known in Words and Pictures

Cat Party!: Cats We've Known in Words and Pictures image

The cats in our lives are always close to our hearts, whether they're napping in a sunbeam, demanding pets and treats, playfully attacking our shoelaces, or haughtily ignoring us. From joy, whimsy, and coziness to nostalgia and loss, these diverse images, comics, and real-life stories span the emotional highs and lows of a life shared with cats and kittens (and, in one case, collectible cat figurines). The many ways of felines are chronicled here in over 50 multimedia contributions, compiled from the first 10 issues of the Cat Party zine along with some new content just for this book. Editor Katie Haegele drew inspiration from the readers of her book Cats I've Known, who wanted to tell the stories of the cats that had touched their own lives. The result is like a series of conversations and encounters with a panoply of some of the most relatable people on the planet: cat people.

These cat people include Quimby's Bookstore founder Steven Svymbersky, cartoonist and performance artist Dame Darcy, punk legend Joe Genaro (Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen), Microcosm founder Joe Biel, comics artist Mardou, Defectivepudding, Heidi Moreno (Heidiroo), Justin Duerr, Vanessa Berry, and many more artists, writers, musicians, homebodies, dreamers, and close observers of the world.

Weird Music That Goes on Forever: A Punk's Guide to Loving Jazz

Weird Music That Goes on Forever: A Punk's Guide to Loving Jazz image

Once you've collected every 7" from your favorite label, broken your back in the mosh pit, and become so well-versed in the interpersonal dynamics of every hardcore band that there's nothing more to learn, what's a punk to do? Try jazz, recommends Bob Suren. No, really. Suren, who wrote Crate Digger about his life and work in punk, turns his obsessive gaze onto another form of rebellious, improvisational outsider music, but this time with more sax.

What does Dixieland have in common with D.R.I.? Did Charles Mingus write the first punk song? And who was the Butthole Surfer of jazz? Suren answers these questions and many more. Reading his irreverent guide to jazz, filled with punk references and colorful language, is more fun than getting arrested for vandalism. Learn about the surprising history and scandalous etymology of jazz, explore its connections to punk, and take in biographical sketches of over 25 notable artists—with plenty of recommendations thrown in for your listening pleasure.

Unfuck Your Business Workbook: Using Math and Brain Science to Run a Successful Business

Unfuck Your Business Workbook: Using Math and Brain Science to Run a Successful Business image

Do you want to start a business? Or does your existing business feel stuck? Either way, this no-fluff workbook will walk you through the steps of planning and troubleshooting your enterprise. Publisher Joe Biel and bestselling author Dr. Faith G. Harper, co-authors of Unfuck Your Business, reunite to help you make your business idea viable, find your niche, and evaluate your growth and success. With the help of worksheets and exercises, you'll make sure the money adds up, plan your strategy for growth, hone your management skills, and work through common pitfalls like imposter syndrome and self-sabotage. Even if you've never run a business before and don't see yourself as a numbers person, you can succeed with the right tools. Work out your dreams on the page and then watch your hard work, critical thinking, and belief in your meaning and purpose make them come true!

Missed the Kickstarter? You can still access all the rewards and add-ons in PledgeManager!

Mushroom Daydream Coloring Book

Mushroom Daydream Coloring Book image

Frolic in a fungal forest, repose upon a toadstool, honor the amanita, whisper to the chanterelle, power up your foraging game, and bask in buttery morel righteousness. Tease your tastebuds and expand your consciousness as you color these lush landscapes and mindscapes in search of delight, inspiration, and that distinctive red-and-white fly agaric, the Waldo of the mushroom world. Gerta O. Egy's illustrations are enchantingly detailed, proliferating across pages and pages. Single-sided art means you can color as intensely as you need to, and tear out each page to share or display.

Check out the PledgeManager page here!

Unfuck Your Anger Workbook

Unfuck Your Anger Workbook image

Anger is a vital emotion for survival, but when it gets out of hand, or if you always bottle it up, it can be disastrous. If you feel irritable all the time, or if your rage is getting the best of you, take a deep breath and open this book. A standalone companion to Unfuck Your Anger by the inimitable Dr. Faith, this workbook is packed with helpful exercises, worksheets, and opportunities for reflection. In these pages, you can build an anger narrative, understand and identify your rage triggers, and figure out where you may avoid acknowledging your anger as well as where your rage may get stuck. You'll also learn practical skills like meditation, communication, and breathing to help you stop going ballistic when you least want to, and you'll find a special model for understanding and embracing forgiveness in order to heal old wounds. Let your pent-up frustration go and turn your righteous anger into healthy, helpful fuel for treating yourself and others well, seeking justice, and living the life you want.

Firebrands: Activists You Didn't Learn About in School

Firebrands: Activists You Didn't Learn About in School image

This illustrated history celebrates American changemakers and revolutionaries that are often left out of public narratives about our shared past. These firebrands hail from Canada, Chile, and everywhere in between, from the 1500s to today. Instead of focusing on the powerful, rich white folks so often featured in textbooks, these gorgeous portraits with accompanying biographies recognize the work of grassroots organizers, revolutionaries, visionaries, anarchists, workers, and artists. These heroes put their bodies and souls into fighting injustice and making their communities better, and they often gave their lives for the causes they believed in. Each story is vividly illustrated by a member of Justseeds Artists' Cooperative and offers a radical glimpse into how individuals can work to change the world. A new introduction by editor Shaun Slifer launches the third edition of this beloved collection, which 15 years later remains a powerful resource for anyone of any age seeking the role models they missed out on in school.

Firebrands include Frida Kahlo, Audre Lorde, Sitting Bull, Gloria Anzaldúa, Pablo Neruda, Nina Simone, Emma Goldman, Fred Hampton, Buckminster Fuller, Paulo Freire, W.E.B. Du Bois, Sojourner Truth, Chico Mendes, Tupac Shakur, Grace Lee Boggs, Muhammad Ali, Yuri Kochiyama, and many more. 

Unfuck Your Kink: Using Science to Enjoy Mind-Blowing BDSM, Fetishes, Fantasy, Porn, and Whatever Your Pervy Heart Desires

Unfuck Your Kink: Using Science to Enjoy Mind-Blowing BDSM, Fetishes, Fantasy, Porn, and Whatever Your Pervy Heart Desires image

What turns you on? Maybe it's something vanilla, but chances are good that there's more to it than that. Dr. Faith G. Harper, sexologist, therapist, and author of bestselling titles like Unfuck Your Intimacy and Unfuck Your Blow Jobs, tackles the whys, whats, and how-tos of the very wide range of human erotic experience—much of which doesn't involve actual touching. She debunks myths, explains the science behind why we like what we like, and discusses how to engage safely, shamelessly, and satisfyingly in BDSM, pornography, fantasies, role-play, and fetishes both common and rare. Whatever gets you off, there's a way for you to feel good while feeling good about yourself. Leave shame behind and let the sex positivity resound!

The Bicyclist's Guide to the Galaxy: Feminist, Fantastical Tales of Books and Bikes

The Bicyclist's Guide to the Galaxy: Feminist, Fantastical Tales of Books and Bikes image

The power of the pedal and the page shine through in these ten joyfully feminist science fiction and fantasy stories. Two strangers and their bike fall through a plot hole and into a fantasy novel, an author attempts to chronicle the solar cycling trend, a sixth grader's beloved novel is stolen by a horde of bicycling fae, an interstellar book preservationist takes a bike to fit in and gets a wilder ride than she bargained for, and more adventures are set in imagined realities not so different from our own futures, pasts, and present-day lives. Take these stories for a spin and enjoy an escape from the perils of everyday sexism and fossil fuel dependence. 

Includes stories by Kathleen Jowitt, Christopher R. Muscato, Shelby Schwieterman, Cara Brezina, Jamie Perrault, Avery Vanderlyle, Lisa Timpf, Taru Luojola, Rose Strickman, and Elly Blue.

Missed the Kickstarter? Check out our PledgeManager page for all the details on the book, rewards, and add-ons you can still get!

Our Strangers: Stories

Our Strangers: Stories image

“An overflowing treasure chest of jewel-like stories . . . A collection that you'll want to keep on your bedside table by one of America’s most original short story writers." –Kirkus Review, starred review

From one of the most accomplished writers of our time comes another brilliant collection of short fiction. Artful, deft, and inventive, Lydia Davis’ newest collection of stories delves into topics ranging from marriage to tiny insects. These stories are a celebration of language and careful observation that once again confirms Davis’ sincere love and mastery of the form.

This title is NOT AVAILABLE THROUGH AMAZON.COM. Only available at independent bookstores and libraries, by request of the author.

Promote Your Book: Spread the Word, Find Your Readers, and Build a Literary Community

Promote Your Book: Spread the Word, Find Your Readers, and Build a Literary Community image

So you've written a book—now what? Your next step is to find your readers and get that book into their hands.

Eleanor Whitney, author of Quit Your Day Job, offers perspective, practical advice, and checklists for shepherding your new book into the wider world. Traditionally published, self-published, and hybrid authors alike will benefit from these accessible tools and frameworks. No matter what kind of book you've written or where you are in the writing or publishing process, you can always build a community of readers, strengthen your literary support system, and have fun doing it.

Combining her deep marketing and community-building knowledge, Whitney also interviews a variety of authors and publicists writing in different genres about what worked for them and what they learned the hard way. She walks readers through creating and executing a plan to promote their book on their own terms, with whatever resources and time they have available. She provides a timeline of promotional activities to consider before and after publication, while reminding us that publicity is a long game that you can begin well before your book is finished and continue long after its release. Ultimately, promoting your book is about connecting with a reader through ideas that inspire you both. And that is something we can all do.

Unfuck Your Stress: Using Science to Cope with Distress and Embrace Excitement

Unfuck Your Stress: Using Science to Cope with Distress and Embrace Excitement image

Stressed? Hell yeah, you are. It's part of living in this modern world. But you don't deserve to feel like you're constantly being chased by your monstrous, growing list of responsibilities—or, worse, like you have to say no to positive opportunities because you just can't take another thing. Dr. Faith G. Harper, author of bestselling books like Unfuck Your Brain, Unfuck Your Boundaries, and Coping Skills,is here to help. Stress isn't inherently bad for us, she points out, although our stress responses can really harm us over time if they get out of hand. She offers strategies for coping with intense feelings and overwhelm in the moment and for shifting our perspective, habits, and self-talk in the longer term to transform distress into helpful motivation, excitement, and action. She also walks us through understanding our physiological stress response and what happens when it turns into chronic stress and adrenal fatigue. The book is full of practical advice for understanding and managing your own stress response so that you can find solid ground and feel excited and engaged with your life again.

In The News

In Interview with Karen Finlay, owner of Alibi Bookshop in Vallejo, California

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country. This month, we're featuring Alibi Bookshop in Vallejo, California, owned by Karen Finlay.

Your name and pronouns?
Karen Finlay, she/her

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
We moved to Vallejo from Oakland in 2017, and there was a tiny used bookstore with a small selection; I was disappointed that we didn't have something *more.* Some people can't live away from water, and I can't live far away from a bookstore. One day I said, "I wish I could open a bookstore in Vallejo!" Well, be careful what you wish for -- we wound up buying the store and opened in 2019. Not the greatest timing because a pandemic was looming, but our community has kept us here and we are so, so grateful.

Vallejo, the most diverse city in the US, is an interesting and historical town with its share of issues, but the best community anywhere. It was a navy town , but the navy left in the late '90s and the city declared bankruptcy in 2008, and our downtown still reflects that. But we are working hard to bring back some vitality, and it's been fantastic! The pandemic derailed our initial efforts, but we've been ramping up again. We've had sold out events at the local movie theater, two active book clubs, author events, a writing group, partnerships with local businesses... And anchoring downtown to bring in more businesses. We love it here so much. We try very hard to explain that shopping locally is one of the best things you can do for your city, and the message is starting to take hold. We have a ways to go, but the baby steps are getting bigger.

We don't have a shop cat -- we have two enormous "kittens" who are useless at shelving, so they have to stay home.

What got you into bookselling?
In high school I got a job at Upstart Crow, was an English/Creative Writing major in college and grad school, worked in publishing for nearly 20 years (a year of that with THE GREAT ANNA-LISA), and voila, now I own a bookstore!

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
There are continual surprises and delights in this store -- sometimes I think it MUST be haunted. For years this space was a legendary cigar shop, but it was also a jeweler, an egg store in the 1930s, the Democratic Headquarters for Vallejo for Robert Kennedy's campaign so Teddy Kennedy was here, but my favorite incarnation was that it was "Foxy Lady Boutique" that specialized in hot pants. And I just discovered that the movie star Raymond Burr lived in this building as a child!

I think the thing people are surprised about that there's a bookstore here at all! People think that bookstores are a thing of the past, and we gladly prove them wrong. Just now a woman was in here -- she drove here from a different town because she had heard about us and wanted to see what the "fuss was about," and said that I proved them all right! Take THAT, Amazon.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
Vallejo SHOWS UP for us. We have a dedicated core group of customers, and they try to support by buying books/gifts, sharing on social media, spreading the word or even bringing us strawberries or flowers from the farmer's market, and today a lady brought me a donut because she was thinking of me. But my favorite are the people who stop by to make sure I've gotten something to eat! I love our community so, so much.

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
My favorite handsells are "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" and right now, "The Great Believers" and "Just Kids."

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
On our Bookshop.org page!

Be sure to follow Alibi on Facebook and Instagram, and check back in a few weeks for their podcast episode!

You can read our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to get a copy of How to Protect Bookstores and Why.

An Interview with Josh Christie, co-owner of Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine.

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country.

For January, we managed to wrangle Josh Christie of Print: A Bookstore, in Portland, Maine. Fun fact about Print— it's where Abby the Marketing Manager was first really introduced to Microcosm, thanks to Print's awesome selection of zines and books!

Your name and pronouns?
Josh Christie, he/him

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
We love being the most progressive, most queer-friendly bookstore in our already lefty little city. We've been a store for 7 years in November (!). No store cat, through four of us have dogs and one of us has pet bunnies.

What got you into bookselling?
I couldn't figure out what else to do with a degree in political science. This is my 20th year as a bookseller, so now it's hard to imagine doing anything else.

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
Our store has been many things prior to our tenancy, including a furniture designer's workshop, hardware store / scuba shop, and girls school. Plus, the store is haunted.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
The community is super-supportive of all our social media antics, which is loads of fun. They've also really latched on to our book clubs - we've got four now, and each pulls at least a dozen attendees for every meeting.

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins by Helena de Bres and Black Punk Now, edited by Chris L. Terry and James Spooner

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
Our website! Printbookstore.com.

https://www.tiktok.com/@printbookstore/video/7008556895262821637?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7315093221389092398


Be sure to follow Print: A Bookstore on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok (you definitely want to check out their Tiktok). Check back in a few week's for Josh's podcast interview!

You can read our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to get a copy of How to Protect Bookstores and Why.

An Interview with Rick Griffith, owner of The Shop at MATTER in Denver, Colorado.

Welcome to the next installment of the Bookstore Solidarity Project! Every month, we’ll be highlighting indie bookstore owners and booksellers across the country.

This month, we're featuring The Shop at MATTER in Denver! It's a Black- and woman-owned store that also triples as a design consultancy and letterpress workshop.

Your name and pronouns?
Rick Griffith (He/Him/Them)

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
Since 2014 our bookstore has been the only Black- and woman-owned independent, full service (internet and brick) cultural justice bookstore in the United States Mountain Time Zone. We are a haven for fem, queer, non-binary, trans, LatinX, Indigenous, AAPI, and Black persons. We have always respected and invested in the intellectual and creative products of the people who represent our community. We have a print shop with five letterpress printing presses and thousands of pieces of wood type that we employ to print community projects that are pro-democracy, pro-liberation, and pro-freedom. We are political—and we are activists. A bookstore to integrate Art, Design and Cultural Justice for all generations.

What got you into bookselling?
The desire to positively affect the lives of the people we know and love with books and products that acknowledge those of us in the margins.

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
We are working on a lending library for our community so everyone can have access. We have five 19th and early 20th century printing presses. We letterpress print for our community and ask people to pay what they can afford for most of our prints.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
Besides buying books, buying our prints and posters. Ordering for personal and business book clubs. Having us bring our pop-up to conferences and large gatherings. Getting the word out. Shopping in pairs.

What are two books you can't wait for people to read, or your current favorite handsells?
Can't Pay Won't Pay and There are Places in the World Where Rules are Less Important than Kindness

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?
on the internet: shopatmatter.com

Anything else you would like us to know?
We are love, revolution, and abolition.

Be sure to follow The Shop at MATTER on Instagram and Facebook, and check out their interview on our podcast here!

Check out our other Bookstore Solidarity Project posts here!
And click here to check out How to Protect Bookstores and Why.


Call for Submissions - Queer Halloween!

We’re seeking your queer Halloween feminist bicycle science fiction and fantasy stories for the 13th anthology in the Bikes in Space series of books, guest edited by Summer Jewel Keown!

Please submit your original queer Halloween short fiction (in written or comics form) about bicycling from a feminist perspective. We’re looking for stories that give us a shiver or make us leave the hallway light on at night. Raise our hair and make our spines tingle. We’ll also consider Halloween-themed stories that aren’t as frightful, but they should still be infused with all things spooky season.

Stories should be written by authors who consider yourself queer (in whatever way you identify), and should feature Halloween and/or otherworldly elements, and queer characters/themes, as well as feminism. All four elements should be intrinsic to the narrative:

  1. Halloween (or stories sufficiently scary or thematic enough to be read around Halloween)
  2. Queer
  3. Feminism (it is sufficient to simply not include sexist themes or tropes)
  4. Bicycles

The genre can be anything fantastical—ghost stories, horror, hard sci-fi, comedic fantasy, slipstream, or anything in that constellation—despite the series title, stories need not be be set in space. No fanfic, poetry, nonfiction, or erotica for this series, please. Stories should not include extreme body horror or graphic violence.

For this volume of the anthology, we ask that all authors be queer/part of the queer/LGBTQIA+ community, in some way, shape or form. We aren't the queer police (which sounds both fabulous and like a bad idea) and if you identify as queer/LGBTQIA+, that's good enough for us.

We welcome submissions from marginalized authors and first-time authors.

Stories are submitted in consideration for inclusion in the anthology. Submission is not a guarantee that any given story will be accepted or included. All stories are selected by the editors. 

Word count: 500 – 6,000 words

Format: MS Word or PDF. Comics submissions of up to 6 pages can be submitted in thumbnails. Contact us if you are unable to submit in one of these formats.

Payment: A portion of profits after expenses from the Kickstarter project used to fund this book is split between contributors, with a guaranteed minimum of $50 each, plus copies of the book.

Deadline: April 15, 2024

Submit via Google Form here: https://forms.gle/41PxyvJUtiLR1kqb7 

Questions? Email summer@microcosmpublishing.com. Please do not email your submissions. We don’t want any getting lost in spam!

Haven't checked out the other Bikes in Space books yet? Take a look at them here!

Events! 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!

Upcoming Author Events

Danny Caine's Events for How To Protect Bookstores and Why

Teresa Bergen appearances for Sober Travel Handbook:

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


Upcoming Tabling Events

    • None coming up, check back for more later!

[caption id="attachment_4567" align="alignnone" width="640"] Microcosm at Rollercon 2023[/caption]

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.

 None currently, but keep an eye on the space!

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.


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

We're proud to publish Friday Gladheart's annual The Practical Witch's Almanac — an incredible resource and weekly planner.

Francesca Black's Year of the Witch: A Planner and Spellbook for the Novice Witch is a great resource for beginners, and also serves as a weekly planner.

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

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

WorkingLit launches in beta on October 30th!

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. 

WorkingLit is currently in beta and open to any publisher who would like to use it in exchange for letting us know about bugs and giving us feedback on how to make it better.

On October 30, 2023, we launch in beta! Sign up for our email list to get notified when we go live.

Features

  • Manage your product and author metadata
  • Track your sales and expenses
  • Manage your customer account data
  • Calculate royalties and track payments to authors
  • Understand the health of your business and what you need to do to grow
  • See our spec sheet for all current and planned features.

Pricing

The first month is free so you can kick the tires. Beta users who sign up before February 1, 2024 will get 25% off their first year.

PlanFeaturesPrice per month
Free planUp to 10 productsFREE
Basic Plan11-25 products$25
Basic Plus Plan26-100 products$69
Premium Plan101-500 products$299
Premium Plus Plan501-1000$599
All Access PlanUnlimited products!$1299

Get stuck or have questions? Check out our site documentation and instructions or email workinglit at microcosmpublishing dot com for help.

Get involved and stay in touch!

  • Join our email list
  • Are you a programmer? We're looking to grow our team. Email apply 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 deadline for issue #14 is January 1, 2024 and the theme is Mutual Aid. The theme for issue #15 is Creativity and the deadline is July 1, 2024. The theme for issue #16 is Emotions and the deadline is January 1, 2025. The theme for issue #17 is Controversies and the deadline is July 1, 2025. 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

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!

The History of Microcosm in 10 Books

Essential titles for understanding who we are, what we do, and why we do it

Some of these books hold the key to the Microcosm ethos; others are books that marked a turning point or opened significant doors for our publishing operation. Each is a damn good read selected by Elly for your reading, learning, and DIY-ing pleasure. Shop the collection or read on to learn more about the role each has played in the life of Microcosm!

Making Stuff and Doing Things: DIY Guides to Just About Everything by Kyle Bravo
When Tree of Knowledge folded their publishing operation in 1996, this was one of the first books we published and still one of our perennial bestsellers. 28 years later, this cut-and-paste zine-style compilation of how-to guides on subjects ranging from crafts to health to community is still capturing imaginations and turning 20-somethings away from consumer culture.

Make a Zine: Start Your Own Underground Publishing Revolution by Bill Brent and Joe Biel
The late, great Bill Brent started this guide to the ultimate, original form of self-publishing. Brent invited a young Joe Biel to be involved with the project as a way to appeal to younger readers. As zine popularity waxes and wanes, so does this little book, now in its fourth edition and almost completely rewritten for modern times. Is there anything more punk than putting out a zine?

Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs
This friendly, handwritten book came out in 2007. In 2008, just as the recession hit, it got a bunch of great blog write-ups and sold thousands of copies overnight. It was our bestseller by a mile until Dr. Faith came along.

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: Ridiculously Complete Edition by Tom Neely and Friends
This little comic began as a joke scribbled by cartoonists on napkins in a bar. We never sought out a lick of publicity for this book, but it quickly went viral and has escalated from there into more comics and much astonished laughter. If you get it, you get it.

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy by Elly Blue
We’ve long published books about bikes, starting with the iconic Chainbreaker. Elly Blue wrote Bikenomics for Microcosm in 2012 and then got hired three years later, proving that you actually can leverage writing into making a living, sort of. Elly Blue Books and Microcosm merged companies in 2015, and we continue to publish feminist bicycle books and zines today.

Good Trouble: Building a Successful Life and Business with Autism by Joe Biel
Joe Biel’s honest, earnest, and sometimes harrowing memoir from 2016 also tells the story of Microcosm. Its publication deliberately marked a transition to new era and new culture for the company, in which we grew up and professionalized a bit while holding on tight to our values and spirit.

Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-outs, and Triggers by Dr. Faith G. Harper
Dr. Faith appeared in our office one day in 2015 with what looked like notes for a powerpoint presentation called “Your Brain Is an Asshole.” Over the course of the next hour and a half, we developed it into the seed of a book (and series, and line of books by other authors about mental health and healthy relationships) that’s changed millions of lives around the world.

A People’s Guide to Publishing: Building a Successful, Sustainable, Meaningful Book Business From the Ground Up by Joe Biel
We made Joe sit down and write notes on everything learned about publishing in over the last quarter century, primarily so we could unlock that knowledge for ourselves. This one caused the book industry to really take notice of the work Microcosm has been doing, and, more important, has helped countless new publishers get their start.

The Practical Witch’s Almanac by Friday Gladheart
Around 2017, we had a salesperson on staff who discovered that witchy stores really, really like to buy books, so we started looking for witchy books to publish. Our turning point was meeting Friday Gladheart, who began publishing her almanacs the same year Microcosm started. It only took us 20 years to find each other. We started out distributing her 2018 almanac and became her publisher in 2019—the 2025 edition is now available for preorder!

How to Resist Amazon and Why: The Fight for Local Economics, Data Privacy, Fair Labor, Independent Bookstores, and a People-Powered Future! by Danny Caine
Danny Caine, owner of The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, KS, started publishing this zine during the height of the pandemic. Our publicist at the time found it on social media and reached out to see if Danny wanted a hand with production and distribution. We helped free up his bookstore team from stapling zines in their back office so they could focus on other groundbreaking initiatives, while we were able to help bring this ray of resistance to indie bookstores around the world.