Monthly Archives: October 2023

How do you make a book’s sales last forever? (A People’s Guide to Publishing)

In traditional publishing, sales are thought of as a steep upward curve, a peak, falling action, and a steady plateau, moving slowly downward towards the book’s “resolution” and “conclusion.” Jokes aside, this week Joe and Elly talk about how you can break this cycle and make book sales last forever.

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

Questions? Email 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!

How to Love Your Queer Kid, an interview with Marc Campbell (A People’s Guide to Publishing)

Marc Campbell, a Black, gay therapist, works with queer kids and parents to create loving and accepting homes where people can safely be themselves and parents can understand their children. This week on the pod, we welcome him as a special guest to talk about his brand new book, I Love My Queer Kid!

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!

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

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!

Bookstore Solidarity Project: Copper Dog Books of MA

Copper Dog Books didn’t set out to be controversial; just a lovable weird bird next door to spooky Salem. However, some of their customers don’t understand the curatorial powers of the bookstore and attempted to overwrite values. This week, in the latest installment of our monthly Bookstore Solidarity Project, we feature another store who carefully selects how to tell their own story.

To see Meg’s other interview for the Bookstore Solidarity Project, click here!

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!

How do you manage book inventory and reprints? (A People’s Guide to Publishing)

Too much or too little inventory is almost always a publisher’s biggest problem. These are the two biggest problems facing the industry. So this week on the pod, we cast some ideas for how to wrap your head around these issues, how to manage your inventory, and how to start small and grow incrementally.

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!

Our Strangers: Stories

“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.

An Interview with Meg Wasmer, co-owner of Copper Dog Books in Beverly, Massachusetts.

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 October, we got to chat with Meg Wasmer, one of the co-owners of Copper Dog Books in Beverly, Massachusetts. It’s a great little store, with a strong focus on genre fiction. Horror and sci-fi fans would love their selection! (Plus, they have a slew of MIcrocosm titles.)

Your Name and Pronouns
Meg Wasmer, she/they

Tell us a little bit about the store and your community!
Beverly is the best. It’s right by Salem, but doesn’t suffer under the crush of spooky tourism in October. Our customers let me hurl tons of SFF and horror and witchy books at them but also, there are three colleges within five miles of us, so also lots of neat nonfiction.

What got you into bookselling?
The video store I worked at was closing and Borders was hiring and I knew I was good at alphabetically shelving rectangular entertainment media

What’s something about your store that you think will surprise people?
There is both a secret plushie collection and a very nice whiskey selection in the back office.

What are some of you favorite ways your community supports your store?
My favorite way that our customers support us is when they bring their friends who are visiting from out of town to see the store like they’re showing off the Crown Jewels.

What’s your current favorite book to sell customers?
The Navigating Fox by Christopher Rowe is stupidly good!

How can customers who aren’t local shop your shelves?

Be sure to follow Copper Dog Books on Instagram and Facebook! (And check out their Bonfire store for sweet merch, including this shirt with the “best” review they got last year)

Check out Meg’s podcast interview with Joe and Elly here!