Vic Liu’s Bang! delivers a walloping dose of information about masturbation; probably more than most readers have ever thought about it. And we think that considering it in more depth is a good thing. So this week we talk to Vic about what led her to pursue talking about these things in public.
It started as a joke at the kitchen table at 7 AM before AWP. We were looking at the many books of “helpful sayings” that really didn’t say anything at all besides repeating unhelpful wisdom of olde. We realized how heterosexual these platitudes were and before long Joe announced “I’d love to write the queer version of this book!” and here we are, less than two years later!
The Queer Affirmations Coloring Book is in stock now! Get it here.
Last week we presented to you the biggest problem in publishing. So this week, we present the solution. Yes, the industry is very crowded but people are reading more and buying more books than ever and willing to spend more on those books. It’s downright a fantastic time to be a book publisher. This week we look at how to excel!
Most people imagine us with our noses in a book or having charmed candlelight talks over a manuscript in development. The reality, as always, is very different. This week on the pod, we talk about what we actually do every day—or at least on one specific day!
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.
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 Publishinghere, and the workbook here!
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 Strategyand Pleasure Activitism, agreed to write the foreword.