Monthly Archives: June 2023

How we came to distribute Seth Tobocman’s War in the Neighborhood (A People’s Guide to Publishing)

The year was 1999. Seth Tobocman’s landmark graphic novel, War in the Neighborhood, was published by Autonomedia. We ordered some copies. Quickly, we noticed a strange problem: the pages kept falling out of the cover. Turns out that this problem affected at least a third of the print run. Suddenly, all of the good copies were gone and we were making trips to New York to pick up the bad copies, dealing with the problem that few others wanted to and selling the book back into the trade. This is a cornerstone tale of Microcosm that made us so successful, because we think differently than the rest of our industry.

Get the People’s Guide to Publishing here, and the workbook here!
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Monster Lovin’: Smutty, Spine-Tingling Queer Stories (Queering Consent)

The pleasure of horror

Have you ever considered the erotic possibilities of loving an ancient being of incredibly inhuman power? The monstrous becomes familiar and profoundly pleasurable in S. Park’s new collection of m/m queer, consensual erotica. Tentacles find their way into every crevice, a sexy stranger turns out to be part plant, part man, and a powerful demon cuddles up in bed. In these tender, sweaty, high-heat stories, horror turns to delight, the monster always turns out to be worthy of love . . . and sometimes, the monster turns out to be you.

Year of the Witch (An Interview with Francesca Black)

Wanting to create a keepsake of meaningful discoveries she made as a younger woman, Francesca Black created Year of the Witch for her daughters. This week on the People’s Guide To Publishing Podcast, we talk about her goals and vision and trying to create a better world for people like your younger self.

Get the People’s Guide to Publishing here, and the workbook here!

Want to stay up to date on new podcast episodes and happenings at Microcosm? Subscribe to our newsletter!

Bang!: Masturbation for People of All Genders and Abilities

Masturbation is one of life’s great pleasures. It helps build self-knowledge, foster body awareness, and expand your sexual repertoire, no partner required. Anyone can use masturbation to explore their relationship to their body, desires, and pleasure. This joyful, unique book centers people of color, queer people, disabled people, sex workers, and other often underrepresented voices to bring an informative and beautiful perspective to self-love. Discover and share the joys of unpartnered sex with this beautifully designed, empathetic, practical, and fun guide. 

A new edition of Bang!: because we need to love ourselves more than ever

As our cultural pendulum swings hard towards “purity” and repressiveness, there’s a real, healing power in unashamed sex positivity. And one of our goals here at Microcosm is to publish books that normalize and celebrate that.

One of our favorite books in this vein is Vic Liu’s 2021 Bang: Masturbation for People of All Genders and Abilities. We love the book’s inclusiveness and its friendly design and tone that allows you to open it anywhere and learn something useful—whether about the history of sex toys, a guide to teaching your kids healthy attitudes and boundaries, or a reminder that you don’t need to feel shame in exploring and enjoying your body.

Even so, we were taken by surprise last fall when it became clear that we were about to sell through the first printing. We put our heads together with Vic and decided to create an expanded new edition instead of simply reprinting the original. Vic lined up some great new content from folks like sensuality teacher Ev’Yan Whitney, Scarleteen founder Heather Corinna, and sex worker and educator Elle Stanger, and the great adrienne maree brown, author of Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activitism, agreed to write the foreword.

Vic talks about their new edition (with help from Clover)

Please check out our Kickstarter project for the book and back it to pre-order a copy for yourself and one for a friend who needs a liberatory nudge towards self-love. Rewards include discounted copies of a number of our other consent-based sex education books and erotica, and enamel pins designed by Vic to show pride in self-love!

Writing a Queer Community with laura q

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we’re joined by laura q, author of A Tight Squeeze, the newest addition to Microcosm’s Queering Consent erotica series. We talked with laura about the value of community in all things, the many pleasures and purposes of erotica, being bike punks, and more.

P.S. If you’re into exploring the radical possibilities of pleasure, check out the second edition of Vic Liu’s Bang!: Masturbation for People of All Genders and Abilities—now funding on Kickstarter (with some great enamel pin add-ons, too).

Design, emotion, and publishing with the School of Life Design

On this week’s episode of the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we welcome special guests Jessica Mullen and Kelly Cree of the School of Life Design and creators of the Monthly Manifestation Manual and Monthly Magickal Record workbooks as well as many more. We talk about a wide range of topics from their process, the difference between running a small press and working with Microcosm, the role of AI in publishing, and their favorite place in Cleveland. Lots of laughter in this one.