Support Microcosm and Learn our Craft on Drip

a screencap of the microcosm drip pageRecently we were approached about starting a new thing on a new platform that was all very top-secret, and we jumped at the chance (we like shiny things). That platform is Drip, Kickstarter’s new subscriptions program, and our project launched today in its inaugural class of creators.

We’ll still be using Kickstarter to fund the production of some of our individual books. Meanwhile, Drip is a little different: it’s about monthly support—it’s similar to Patreon, which we also use. It offers various levels of support; you can get ebooks or credit for our online store. By backing at our core level, you can have access to regular posts with advice about all aspects of our publishing work. You can ask us anything and we’ll do our best to talk you through it. And we’ll share regular windows into the life of our office.

Some posts we have planned for the near future include:

  • How to judge a book by its cover (and make sure yours has a good one)
  • How to run an effective publicity campaign in an era when traditional review outlets are dwindling and reviews don’t work as well as they used to anyway
  • When you SHOULD self-publish and why (spoiler, we don’t think it’s very often, but it’s definitely not never)
  • How our marketing department informs our editorial decisions (controversy alert!)
  • Regular “from the desk of” diaries
  • Whatever YOU want to know!

We’ve been doing this a long time, and we love sharing our books with you. Now, let us share our knowledge and lore, too.

Thank you for your support!

Ask Joe anything!

It’s been more than three years since Joe went on Reddit to do an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session, aka an AMA. The results were surprising… to us, at least. The above image is pretty representative of the kind of “question” he got the first time around.

Never one to be deterred, he’s coming back for another #ActuallyAutistic AMA on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at noon PST / 3pm EST. You’re invited to ask him anything you’d like about publishing, documentary filmmakingliving with autism, dealing with bullying, having a service dog, or how he gets his hair to do that.

Please join us!

It’s been a while, RMC edition.

Hello again from the most radical little green house of books you’ll ever find.

It’s been a while but after a crazy year we’re working on getting back in the swing of things. How are you, though??

 

Microcosm’s staff is an incredible little world of its own, with wildly different personalities, opinions, and preferences. Every now and then we like to check in with everyone and see what we’re all into these days….

 

Kristine (Accounts Manager)
My favorite thing on tv right now is Stranger Things 2, because I like Dungeons and Dragons-themed tv (OK, I have a 13-year-old who loves horror).
I read stuff simultaneously: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Unfuck Your BrainAkata Witch, and the new issue of Harper’s.

pussyriot in their glass cell Fun Fact: the women of Pussy Riot were kept in a plexi-glass cage during their trial. They were THAT dangerous. (From Harper’s)


Cyn (Publicity Director)
the good place holy mother forking shirt balls gif
My favorite thing on tv right now is The Good Place. I started it on a whim because I liked the cast, and how funny and surprising it was blew me away. Eleanor (including her faults, unfortunately) is definitely my spirit animal.
mazzy dancing mural
I’m also obsessed with the Cooking With Mazzy youtube channel, and flipped out when this Mazzy mural went up near the off
ice.
In the book department, lately I’m only reading stuff that haven’t come out yet for work…. the only other thing book-wise is… well, does listening to the High Rise audiobook for the 3rd time count as finishing a book…? It’s just so soothing…

Jeri Cain (Sales Director)
My favorite thing on tv right now is the show Fortitude. It’s quirky.
The last book I read was How to Read Nature. My favorite part was learning that pigeons follow roads.

Kayla (Intern)
Your favorite thing on tv/entertainment right now is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, because it’s funny feminist fun, with fantastic characters & songs—what more do you need? But I haven’t gotten to watch any of Season 3 yet, so don’t spoil it for me!
Last book I finished was Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. My favorite part was [SPOILER!] when Vianne (one of the two sisters the book revolves around) kills the Nazi she’s very conflictedly in love with. Though my critique would be this book teeters on the edge/possibly crosses into too-melodramatic territory pretty often, which is often difficult with WWII fiction.

Elly (Marketing Director)
I am seriously enjoying this band and their one lonely album…

On the Podcast: Unfuck Your Brain with Dr. Faith Harper

Our brains are doing our best to help us out, but they can be real assholes sometimes. Dr. Faith is here to help! Sometimes it seems like your own brain is messing with you—melting down in the middle of the grocery store, picking fights with your date, getting you addicted to something, or shutting down completely at the worst possible moments. That’s where Dr. Faith’s practice comes in. With humor, patience, and lots of swearing, Unfuck Your Brain shows you the science behind what’s going on in your skull and talks you through the process of retraining your brain to respond appropriately to the non-emergencies of everyday life. If you’re working to deal with old traumas, or if you just want to have a more measured and chill response to situations you face all the time, this book can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together and get your life and brain back.

August’s Bike Books for Uncertain Futures

Happy Wednesday!

It’s officially August, and this month we’re thinking a lot about the possibilities of the future. We’re thinking about independence and freedom, oppression and diversity, healing our selves and our pasts, and all the little things we need to work on to change the world.

The books we have pubbing this month reflect these thoughts, with dystopic bike stories and self-care through bikes and yoga.

First up is the new Bikes in Space collection, Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction in Extreme Futures. Edited by Elly Blue and featuring writing by herself, Jessie Kwak, Sarena Ulibarri, Leigh Ward-Smith, and more, this collection takes on the possibilities of extreme futures with 10 bike-centric stories (and 1 mini-comic) of freedom, rebellion, and survival, by bike.

Get the book today.

Also officially out this month is Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling by Kelli Refer. This charming, very useful little purple book is your one-stop guide to yoga perfect for bicyclers.

Sections include:

How to breathe your way up the steepest hills (and the science behind bike paths and air quality);

a flow chart of stretches to ease your achy knees and sore back;

a guide to your and your bicycle’s chakras that will charm any skeptic’s heart; and more.

This has been available on our site and in our shop for quite a while, but August 8th is its official new release, with a fresh ISBN and all the same informative charm.

Get the book now.

 

Finally, to celebrate this month’s rad, bike-centric releases, we’re giving away…

10 copies of Biketopia over on Goodreads, August 4-11th, and

50! copies of Bikes in Space Volume 2 — one of the zines that began it all — August 14th- 28th

So keep an eye out for those and get lucky!

 

Also this month, we’ve launched the Kickstarter project for Dr. Faith’s radical, swear-filled new book on taking back your brain from anxiety, depression, anger, trauma, and more: Unfuck Your Brain

Check out the video below and the kickstarter here, and help us make this Do-It-Your-Fucking-Self metal health book a reality!

 

Stay strong out there,

Cyn & the Microcosm team

On the Podcast: Corbett Redford, director of Turn it Around: The Story of East Bay Punk

TURN IT AROUND excavates 30 years of the California Bay Area’s prolific punk past, highlighting Berkeley’s landmark 924 Gilman Street music collective and its community of bands, many of which also appeared on the roster of Lookout Records. It features original research and cool tellings of the history of bands like Jawbreaker, Operation Ivy, Green Day, and Rancid with lots of never-before-seen footage as well. Corbett (Bobby Joe Ebola Songbook, Meal Deal with the Devil) has been an entrenched part of this scene for decades and was chosen by Green Day (the executive producers) as the unique individual who could make all of the participants, scene, and fans happy—even though this is his first feature documentary! Aaron Cometbus did the lettering. Iggy Pop did the narrating. Jesse Michaels did the illustration. The film will be playing in Portland on August 3-4 at Cinema 21 and the national theatrical release is happening now! Corbett, Elly, and Joe sat down to talk about trauma, healing, and the importance of having a community to make you greater than yourself.

Bringing Basic Back

Fermented foods are great for your health, and this book is a great resource for learning to use the microbes around you. Wanna learn how to make your own?

Previously available as the zine “Wild Fermentation,” this classic fermentation book needed an upgrade — and now with step-by-step photos and a lovely paper-over-board cover, it’s ready for new life! And, seriously, it’s beautiful.

Officially out today and available at your favorite bookstore, Basic Fermentation explores the simplest ways to ferment at home, with delicious recipes for kefir, injera, honey wine, vinegar, and way more.

And it’s officially out TODAY!!

 

Praise for Basic Fermentation, 3rd Edition:

a “must-have little book”Foodista

“invites readers into Katz’s kitchen to try some extra-funky homemade yogurt and fresh-baked sourdough—and to learn the theory, practice, art, and magic of fermentation. Don’t be surprised if you get hooked.”Spoonful Magazine

best-selling author and fermentation evangelist Sandor Katz is the consummate guide. Follow his lead, and get your funk on.” PureWow

Enter to win a copy over on Goodreads, or buy one today from us and get it next week!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

Basic Fermentation

by Sandor Ellix Katz

Giveaway ends July 15, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

BAGGAGE CALL! [a call for submissions]

Ever want to know what makes Microcosm tick? Now you can. To celebrate Microcosm Publishing’s 21st anniversary, the Microcosmonauts are putting together a new zine!

Dear readers, zinesters, writers, and friends,

To celebrate Microcosm’s 21 years in business, I want to produce the next piece of our story: a zine about the experiences and passions of the people that have made up Microcosm’s sweat, blood, and tears. I want to celebrate the people who have made Microcosm what it is now through good and bad, and to share our voices and all the reasons why we do what we do.

The theme for this zine is BAGGAGE (We’ve All Got It). Because like any business, we are made up of folks who are people, and like all people, we’ve all got some kind of baggage. Emotional, psychological, physical, familial, legal, romantic; the list could go on, right? Who doesn’t have somethin’?
So let’s talk about it.

In this zine collection of essays, articles, and art from Microcosmonauts past and present, we’re talking about our lives: our pasts, our passions, and our problems. What brought us here and what the hell keeps us going?
But for this to truly celebrate the people who make Microcosm what it is, we also need you.We wouldn’t be anything without all the zinesters, readers, and BFFs out there that keep us going. So tell us about you.

How did you discover Microcosm Publishing?
What draws you to our titles? What do you like about them or us?
Has a Microcosm book or zine ever helped you through a problem or critical situation or led you on an adventure?
What kind of baggage has something from Microcosm helped you to unpack, solve, or sort through?
Has a zine ever gotten you through a panic attack, a bad hair day, or tough times?
Tell us about it!

We’re looking for short personal essays, stories, mini-comix, or zine pages having to do with Microcosm, our books, our mission, what we do, etc. The theme we’re using to bring all of this together is (We’ve All Got) “Baggage”, so think about ways your work might reflect or fit into that theme.

Some other questions you might consider if you’re interested: What do you think makes Microcosm unique, and why do you like it? What part of our mission or brand reflects or differs with your own personal values, perspectives, or identity​? What do you wish you saw more of?

Deadline is August 1st, and submissions should be 300-1000 words (though feel free to submit art/other media) and can be as creative as the above call to action strikes you.

Email me directly at Cyn@microcosmpublishing.com with questions and submissions. Include [BAGAGGE Submission] in your subject line.

Thank you for keeping us going, and here’s to 21 more years of punk rock publishing.

Cyn Marts
Publicity Director
Stay strong out there.

New Kickstarter: A zine about bikes, class, and social justice

The new (14th!) issue of Elly’s feminist bike zine, Taking the Lane, is called Bikequity and it’s live on Kickstarter right now.

Inside you’ll find a mix of new and familiar voices, from Bicycle / Race (forthcoming from Microcosm 2018) author Adonia Lugo’s motivational tale of cofounding an iconic cycling event to a stunning personal essay by many-times Bikes in Space contributor Gretchin Lair. Writers tackle issues of how bicycling interacts with their identity and socioeconomic status in diverse and compelling ways.

Oh, and the project was selected to participate in Kickstarter Gold, a month-long initiative to bring back the creators of iconic past projects. We’re honored to get to be part of it.

We think you’ll like this zine-book. Please consider backing it!

the book cover

The cover of Bikequity

Six Days in Cincinnati Out Now, & Other Social Justice Titles To Survive Trump’s Amurica

This month sees the official publication of our comics journalism re-release, Six Days in Cincinnati: A Graphic Account of the Riots that Shook the Nation a Decade Before Black Lives Matter by Dan Mendez Moore.

This is the graphic history of the 2001 Cincinnati riots, told for the first time from the perspective of the participants.

When Timothy Thomas, a 19 year old black man, was fatally shot by police, the city broke out into nonviolent civil disobedience that was met with further police violence.

This was the first major uprising of the 21st Century, matched only the LA riots a decade before and the protests in Ferguson over a decade later. Author and

 

illustrator Dan Mendez Moore was 17 at the time and participated in the six days of protests that shook the city between Thomas’s death and his funeral.

Mendez Moore’s comics journalism account sensitively captures a fiery moment in U.S. history through interviews with protesters, community leaders, bystanders, and a frustrated looter. He portrays the tension of a city boiling over, political leaders taking advantage, and an inner-city community coming together.

Six Days in Cincinnati is an all-American story of systemic racism and the power of popular movements, more relevant today than ever before.

→ Behind the Scenes Note:

Six Days was originally published as Mark Twain Was Right,

referring to a protest sign seen at the March for Justice that quoted Mark Twain:

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati.

Everything comes there 10 years later.” ←

Check out an interview with creator Dan Mendez Moore over at Literary Hub, or check out some of the other love on Library Journal or Broken Frontier.

Get one now!

And if you can’t afford a copy, our website offers sliding scale pricing, so you can pay what works for you.  If you still can’t, check out this Goodreads Giveaway, starting today and ending June 20th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Six Days in Cincinnati by Dan Méndez Moore

Six Days in Cincinnati

by Dan Méndez Moore

Giveaway ends June 20, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Here are a few of our other social justice and activism titles, because resisting matters when the rules are wrong.

Activism-Inspiration

Teenage Rebels: Stories of Successful High School Activists From the Little Rock 9 to the Class of Tomorrow — tells the stories of teenagers that took matters into their own hands and got shit done. [Want to win a copy? Check out the goodreads overstock giveaway open from June 19th to July 1st.]

Things That HelpHealing Our Lives Through Feminism, Anarchism, Punk, & Adventure — zinester Cindy Crabb talks healing, helping, and moving forward with feminism and activism.

Think! Eat! Act!: A Sea Shepherd Chef’s Vegan Recipes — a Sea Shepherd’s guide to eating delicious food without compromising your values.

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save The Economy (Updated and Expanded) — explores how bicycling infrastructure can build healthy economies and help with activism and social justice.

Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures — deals a lot with societies in need of activism. “By the time I was done [with “Shelter”] I was an angry feminist myself.” (source)

Edible Secrets: A Food Tour of Classified US History

Bipedal, By Pedal! #3: A history of bicycle activism in Portland, OR

Hurt: Notes on Torture in a Modern Democracy

Rad Dad #21: Occupy

Support: Feminist Relationship Tools to Heal Yourself and End Rape Culture

Hidden Histories and Surviving Fascism

Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking — comics-journalist Anne Elizabeth Moore and the LadyDrawers take on the global fashion industry and their many crimes against their employees, customers, and planet.

Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution – Tells the comics-memoir story of Julia Alekseyeva’s great-grandmother, a self-educated woman making her way through life in soviet Ukraine.

On The Books: A Graphic Tale of Working Woes at NYC’s Strand Bookstore

CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting: Dark Deeds & Derring-Do from 1950 to Today

100 Years of Modern Iran (1891-1991)

Getting Through it All

How to Plan for Action: A Protest Prep Zine

Coping Skills: Because sometimes life is some serious Bullshit

This is Your Brain on Anxiety: What Happens and What Helps

Surviving: Getting Through The Shit Life Throws At You

How Not To Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists

 

Further Reading

Join the Microcosm Rebel Alliance

Native Resistance Toplist– from Firebrands: Portraits of the Americas and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, to Empower Yoself Before You Wreck Yoself: native american feminist musings and Everyone Calls Themselves An Ally Until It Is Time To Do Some Real Ally Shit.

Welcome To Trump America Toplist – from How to Plan for Action: A Protest Prep Zine to How Not To Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists, Becoming a Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies, and Advice for Changing Our World and Introducing Fascism: A Graphic Guide

Take PRIDE! – from Indestructible: Growing up Queer, Cuban, and Punk in Miami to Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City and My Brain Hurts.

 

Want to be a part of the social justice rebellion? Check out our Rebel Alliance Super Pack. Elly put this together after the 2016 election, carefully picking out some of our most educational and inspirational titles centered on activism, human rights, politics, and rebellion. Get inspired and go make some changes!