Posts By: Elly Blue

50 Ways to Protect Bookstores

Bookstores are important. So are booksellers. And they—and the ideas and communities they serve—need protection. Danny Caine, the best-selling author of How to Resist Amazon and Why and co-owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas, writes a stirring call to action. Bookstores are not charities, he writes, and they shouldn’t get a pass on exploitative labor practices, but they play a vital role in our society that is worth upholding. Preparing the ground for a more expansive book on the topic, Caine offers 50 ideas for protecting this idiosyncratic business niche and, by extension, the neighborhoods that bookstores anchor.

Consensuality: How to Love Other People without Losing Yourself

There are infinite possibilities in human relationships, but the fairytale ideal of companionship does not exist for most people. In Consensuality, Helen Wildfell and her co-adventurers detail the process for creating or finding a healthy, successful relationship as well as common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Tackling topics like gender identity, sexual boundaries, power struggles, emotional dysfunction, and overcoming regret and resentment, the authors describe a journey towards a respectful social environment. Their experiences lead to lessons of self-empowerment and communication tips for building healthy partnerships. In a consent-based relationship, partners recognize one another’s preferences and boundaries and discuss how those fit with our own. Filled with personal descriptions of the complex layers in human interaction, mental health, trauma, and desire, the book combines gender studies with memoir to truly make the personal political.

How to make lemonade out of book problems

Today on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly somewhat belatedly talk about an incident that happened at a Chicago bookstore over the holidays, where a customer made a huge purchase, then came back to return it all a month later. Those indomitable booksellers turned the situation around in the most charming way possible. Like bookselling, publishing can be economically precarious, and we talk about this and other incidents when seeming disasters can be turned into wins for everyone.

Let’s get honest about publishing: An interview with Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly are joined by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, whose influential publishing industry commentary on blogs and social media has been influenced by years of experience in every part of the book world; as an author, editor, slam poet, marketer, publisher, and more. In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about the benefits of coming into publishing from an untraditional background, publishers’ tendencies to keep their cards close and why we all want to change that, and plenty of insights and predictions about the current state of the industry.

Everyday Herbal Teamaking

This unfussy, spirited guide to 35 readily accessible herbs offers botanical names, medical reputations from various modern and historical sources, good-humoredly honest tasting notes, and illustrations to help identify what you’ve just foraged, grown, or bought at the herb shop or health food store. With teacher and tea aficionado Glenna McLean as your guide, travel back in time by enjoying a blend of herbs that King Tut savored, a tea that was thought to ward off the Plague in the 14th Century, and the herbs imbibed by druids at Stonehenge and Puritan church services. Quaff brews purported to bring you courage, quench (or ignite) lust, ward off scurvy, and soothe stress and pain. Includes warnings and contraindications so you can pursue your herbal tea habit safely and happily for years to come.

The History of Miami Hip Hop – an interview with John Cordero

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we interview special guest John Cordero, author of the brand new Microcosm book The History of Miami Hip Hop. John was a teenage hip hop head and graffiti artist who started an underground newspaper, The Cipher, with his friends in the late 90s to chronicle the burgeoning scene around them that was being ignored by mainstream magazines. He drew on his reporting, memories, and interviews with others who were there to bring us this fun and fascinating book, full of photos and vivid events. He joined us for a video interview to talk about the book (and offers some of the best advice about publishing we’ve ever had on the show).

The Transmasculine Guide to Physical Transition Workbook

A supportive workbook for transgender men and transmasculine and nonbinary people who are considering or in the midst of physical transition. Exercises help you check in with yourself every step of the way as you explore your needs, hopes, plans, and experiences. In these pages, you’ll find plenty of space to work through what transition path is right for you, take notes about your research and appointments, track your meds and reactions, plan your surgery and recovery, journal through your fears and dreams, write supportive letters to yourself, and more. Compiled by someone who’s been there, this safe and supportive workbook is designed to help you find yourself and enjoy who you truly are. Can be used on its own, or alongside Sage Buch’s book The Transmasculine Guide to Physical Transition

How can publishers respond to call-outs?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we tackle a reader’s question: They are nervous about getting called out on social media by an angry author and want to know how to handle that situation. These conversations can be difficult even in private; we walk you through the ins and outs of having them in public, ideally coming out the other side with everyone feeling heard, everyone learning, and stronger relationships all around.

Unfuck Your Eating

Food is complicated. And our relationships with food and eating are all kinds of fucked up. It doesn’t help that cultural messages about health, diet, body image, and weight are fatphobic and often medically dangerous. Dr. Faith Harper, author of the bestselling Unfuck Your Brain and Unfuck Your Body, brings her trademark combination of science, humor, and real talk to help us work through our food, health, and body image issues and develop a healthier relationship with food so that it can fuel us and bring us pleasure. She delves into the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating and the causes and consequences of both, breaks down the difference between various behaviors, tackles trauma and other co-occurring conditions, and provides compassionate and practical steps to improve your eating habits and repair your relationship with yourself.