When everything goes well, we love our books. But you don’t always have to take our words for it… In the first review of 2019, fall intern Chris shares her thoughts on This is Your Brain on Depression.
Dr. Faith Harper brings us ‘This is your Brain on Depression’; a quick and insightful read that seeks to help the reader understand how Depression affects our brains; as well as the way we think and act.
I learned about this great little book from my sister, who was so excited to introduce it to me and other members of our family. You see we all have depression. To varying degrees and with different symptoms, but depression nonetheless. Upon reading the book I can see why she was excited.
I have always retained a significant amount of doubt for books that claim to explain or help you treat depression. I generally expect to find empty self help books that promise change and do nothing but repeat the same mantras over and over again.
But in this book I found something far different. The author breaks down depression on multiple levels in order to go over the varying stages, influences, and misunderstandings. She explains it all concisely and without making the writing seem stunted, or the information seem compressed.
Explore your relationships and sexuality, with yourself and with others, with this new book by Dr. Faith, author of bestselling Unfuck Your Brain. Written particularly for people who are in intimate relationships, but also incredibly useful if you’re single or dating and trying to unpack your past or plan for your future. With science and humor, Dr. Faith demystifies topics such as kink, consent, shame, and trauma recovery. Contains many exercises and questions to think, talk, or write about, on your own or with a partner. Read this book to learn vital life skills like listening to your body and your gut, setting boundaries, and communicating your needs. If you’re looking to heal from past wounds, make better choices, or improve an existing relationship, this book is for you. Better sex and relationships are totally possible! You’ve got this.
You know those days when you just can’t even? When everything is haywire and everyone, including yourself, seems to be against you, not to mention against reason? Your to-do list is a mile long, your kid is sick, traffic sucks, and you just spilled coffee all over yourself as you were about to walk out the door? How do you cope? Most of us don’t have great coping skills, and turn instead to addictions, zoning out, or freaking out. Dr. Faith, author of the bestselling Unfuck Your Brain, offers a range of healthier strategies for getting through tough moments, gaining perspective, and shifting your attitude.
Whatever the stories are in your community that most need to be told, the best person to tell them is you. Whether you’re writing for your local newspaper, producing a podcast or video series, or simply sharing what you see and learn every day on social media, the power of journalism is in your hands, as is the responsibility to use it ethically and wisely.
Longtime journalist Lisa Loving opens up the world of journalism, sharing her hard-won skills and knowledge to help expand your media literacy so that you can report on what matters most, hold powerful people accountable, and strengthen your community.
Oh, 2019, how happy we have been for you to arrive. For one thing, now we get to tell you all about this Fall’s new books.
In a recent post we announced 2019 as “The Year of Adventure,” and this season exemplifies that theme. From exploring new cities to making new friends (or treating the ones you have right); standing up for your self to building underground music scenes; finishing projects to handling freak-outs; these incredible titles take on adventures big and small, all set for release between September 2019 and February 2020.
We are proud and excited to share these amazing books (and some pretty fantastic covers!) with the world this year.
From Chaos to Creativity will help guide you through the clutter and teach you how to focus on the good ideas, manage your project, make time in your life, and execute your passions to completion. Make great art by changing your chaotic creative force into productive power!
We’re pretty sure no other book like this exists. Here you will learn the art of choosing and making friends, supporting them and letting them support you, maintaining friendships even when your life paths diverge, repairing friendships after a conflict, the difficult decision to break up a friendship, and much more. Life is so much sweeter with good friends by your side.
Throughout history, many women and nonbinary people have defied society’s expectations of feminine behavior and appearance in order to live a more authentic life. These short vignettes combine biographical sketches with evocative illustrations for an impact that is as bold, powerful, and inspirational as the brilliant artists, writers, and musicians they represent.
Your brain actually knows what it’s doing, and anger can be a good thing sometimes—just not if it’s ruining your life. Expanded from the zine of the same name, this is a brief, heady dose of neuroscience and cultural explanation of what anger is and what it does to you. There’s even a handy four-step checklist to help you deal with maddening situations after (or before) the fact, guidance on getting over things, and a chapter on forgiveness.
From the great, winged, fire-breathing lizards of the west to the wise, flying serpents of the east, dragons play a powerful role in our myths and imaginations. In these fourteen stories and one comic, bicyclists encounter a diversity of dragons, whether foes or friends, hoarders or helpers, powerful symbols or terrifying and very real beasts.
Expanded from the zine of the same name, Dr. Faith presents common problems people run into when it comes to personal boundaries, and offers advice on defining, understanding, implementing, and respecting the boundaries that are important to you and your loved ones.
Simone shares the vital skills that she’s learned over years of therapy, managing her mental health and remembering her reasons to live. Even if you can’t afford a therapist or hospital stay and the people around you are anything but helpful, you can still use those same tools to get better. With a foreword by the one-and-only Dr. Faith Harper.
Nervous breakdowns, anxiety, seeking acceptance, attempting to overcome internalized demons, and reacting to harmful and oppressive symptoms—punk rock has always embodied and emboldened 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.
For questions related to sales or customer service, email Sidnee@MicrocosmPublishing.com For media inquiries email Cyn@MicrocosmPublishing.com
This is the week! After eight years with a trade distributor we have returned to distributing our books independently in the U.S. We hear from people almost every week that our books are saving their lives, and we feel that we have an obligation to extend that as far and wide as possible. Few events in the history of Microcosm have improved our morale and brought our staff together like this has.
The stress relief as we counted down the days until we were free was worth it alone! And the proof is in the pudding—we’ve had to lay the groundwork for this for the past 18 months. Sales were up 24% in 2018 over 2017, making this, once again, Microcosm’s best year ever. Advance shipments for 2019 are already up 600% by doing it ourselves. It’s been a wild ride.
We constantly get really wonderful feedback on Microcosm’s reborn independence and it seems to be really inspiring to other independent publishers and bookstores. Speaking of, there are 38% more indie bookstores than there were ten years ago! They are also each selling an average of 34% more books!
We took our staff from 12 to 14 in 2018 and experienced many growing pains. We expanded both our warehouse and our offices so everyone has a bit more space and we added several additional storage buildings. Nate Beaty (who will have been with Microcosm for 18 years this July) finished our new software so that we can use our existing database to send our book data to everyone who wants it. This has been a ton of fun and a ton of work to do. Our big surprise for next year is that we hope to be ready to package the software that we have made and hopefully revolutionize our fellow publishers and help give other independents a fighting chance in our industry.
In the past year, we’ve published 29 new books and 52 new zines as well as adding over 1,000 titles to our distribution catalog (which we were intending to completely dismantle in 2016 in favor of publishing). The sharp increase in witchcraft books continues and we are continuing to focus primarily on gift and specialty accounts.
Instead of our previous Dinner & Bikes tours, we now focus on attending conferences and events in other cities and having more time at home. Which is a good thing, because our publishing schedule is filling up through 2025 and we finalize Fall 2019 covers this week.
We sold about 218,500 books last year; that’s about 600 per day!
Here’s a breakdown of some math about our year, with handy charts created by our WorkingLit software:
Our total income for the year was $947,142.77 Here’s what we’re selling:
Here are our bestsellers, by profitability:
And here’s our distributed bestsellers, by net income:
And here are our expenses, totaling $946.292.41. We are again able to afford to finance our own growth and have increased employee wages, with four more people receiving raises this month.
Here’s each month in 2018 compared to 2017:
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!
Instead of New Year’s resolutions (ugh), at Microcosm we like to have loose themes to organize our year’s goals and activities around. And we’ve decided that 2019 is our year of adventure!
For us, it’s our first year of being independently distributed. This has already proven to be a serious adventure — not so much a leap into the unknown as a voyage back to our homeland, which has changed considerably since we last visited. There’s a lot to remember and a lot of new skills to learn. And like on any good adventure, the way we can navigate it safely and have fun is to work together, believe in ourselves, and stay flexible.
But What Is Adventure
Here’s a little from some of our staff about what adventure means to us (in general and in terms of this transition)…
Elly: When Joe and I met 10 years ago, he asked me what my needs in a relationship are, and top of my list was “adventure.”
He reminds me of this every time I’m pedaling a cargo bike overloaded with books in the rain, or setting off in a cab to pick up event supplies that didn’t make it to our destination, or pulling late nights to make sure our database transition goes smoothly.
And while I don’t require the constant adrenaline to get through my day that I did at 30, I do love that this work is full of unexpected revelations, surprising new areas of growth, and always a problem to solve and a challenge to learn from.
Sidnee: “Adventure” is the word I use when I’m afraid of what’s gonna happen next; but being afraid isn’t going to help me. To me it’s a prettier word for “holy fuck, here we go!” But I’m starting to believe that adventure is in our DNA. Like growing teeth or developing chronic aches. A will for the pursuit of adventure will appear in each of us at some point, programmed to persist and emerge.
The thing about adventure is that uncertainty is a necessary ingredient. I’m ripe with uncertainty. The other thing about adventure is that it forces you to grow. After ten short months, I’m bursting at the seams with growth too.
Joining the Microcosm team is my first post-school adventure. It’s like going from Chutes and Ladders to cross country parkour some days. Other days it’s like going from only ever wading in a swampy pond to sailing on a calm ocean during a brilliant sunset.
What adventures do you look forward to in 2019?
Continuing to survive adult life.
Trista: For me “adventure” means to seek change either from one state of being to another, or in the pursuit of something more meaningful like a change to one’s character. Often this will take the form of a journey, literally or metaphorically, where in the end a person will have experienced something new or experienced something old in a new way. In my own life the adventures I’ve enjoyed the most are the ones that have altered the way I view the world, the people in it, or the way I view myself.
What adventures do you look forward to in 2019? Something more gentle, like camping. Or getting to see more of my favorite bands. I got to do a little bit of both earlier in 2018 and I think I should do it more often.
Cyn: Adventure can feel like a loaded word. A big red X on a theoretical treasure map we never get to see. Some expensive, aspirational vision quest into new territory. Ugh. In my reality, my social anxiety makes it so my partner has to push me out of the door to get me to go to any social event, even when I know the people attending or it’s with a close friend. Why isn’t that ordeal considered adventure?
I guess I’d say that adventure is anything that pushes you outside of your boundaries in a way that is unexpected, daring, and propels you forward in some way. For me it has meant everything from the most daring trips to the simplest new get-togethers, to anxiety-ridden standard experiences or exciting, bizarre new friends. The experiences that push at our boundaries and fears and expectations are the ones that give us the space to grow, but those don’t have to be big, giant experiences of exploration, success, or conquest.
I don’t know about you, but just getting outside and meeting someone new is just as much of an adventure as traveling to a new place — and really, aren’t you doing that anyway, emotionally, by putting yourself out there, both literally and psychologically? With that in mind, I’d like to think that “adventure” for our (and the future) generation will be less about conquest, personal excitement and glory, and more about exciting changes, growth, and building new experiences and communities for each other.
What adventures do you look forward to in 2019? I’ve started “bullet journaling” and am working on making both productivity and self care balanced priorities in my life. I suppose I look forward to figuring that shit out and clearing out the mess that is my life right now for my future. Am I adult now?
Joe: Ten years ago, Elly told me she wanted adventure. I don’t think she realized what I was capable of providing in this department. Cars caught on fire unintentionally and it feels like we spent many years fixing the Millennium Falcon during combat.
What adventures do you look forward to in 2019? Getting WorkingLit [our secret work project] into a form that other publishers can use it, trips to new regional book trade shows, and continuing to grow as an independent publisher. It seems like we ship more boxes every single day around here.