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.

Do self-published authors need a contract with themselves?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly tackle a topic that might sound like a parody at first, but we’re serious: authors who publish their own books, whether they’re going with a publishing service or starting their own publishing house, would do well to consider putting themself under a contract. Here’s why to consider creating a business deal with yourself.

P.S. Did you see that Microcosm is hiring? Come join our marketing team!

Microcosm is hiring a marketing specialist! – position closed

We are looking for someone who is excited about books to join our marketing team. If you are a detail-oriented, organized wordsmith who can write sparkling copy, wrangle a spreadsheet, and plan a crowdfunding campaign, please consider applying. The ideal candidate will be able to balance brief bursts of creative brilliance with long, focused bouts of massaging data and timelines. 

Microcosm publishes and distributes reader-oriented, brightly-colored empowering books and zines on a wide range of topics including mental health, punk music, bicycling, gardening, witchcraft, feminism, healthy relationships, travel, cookery, humor, and herbalism. In our marketing department, we combine highly non-traditional methods with publishing industry standards, with successful results—we have grown substantially every year for the past decade. Come grow with us! 

Hours: This is a full-time, 40 hour per week position.

Location: A desk is available in our Portland office if desired, but this position can be fully remote. 

Experience: None required, but some background (professional or otherwise) in writing marketing copy, selling, newsletters, crowdfunding, and/or data management is preferred.

Core job duties: 

  • Wrangling data—keeping it correct, up-to-date, and discoverable
  • Writing copy
  • Building and promoting crowdfunding campaigns
  • Creating and sending newsletter campaigns


  • Enthusiasm to speak and write compellingly about our books and mission
  • Ability to quickly produce good-quality copy about any book in our catalog
  • A nit-picky eye for details and data
  • Ability and willingness to work with topics that may be sensitive to some, including trauma, abuse, recovery, religion and spirituality, various marginalized identities, drugs, anatomy, sexual instruction, and erotica
  • Ability to meet or exceed deadlines without operating in a state of last-minute urgency
  • Ability to stay organized, prioritize between multiple projects, and work independently
  • Strong work ethic and desire to continually learn and improve


  • A history of running successful crowdfunding campaigns
  • Experience sending effective newsletter campaigns
  • Understanding of how to write for each of our primary market channels, including direct-to-consumer, gift, special sales, and trade sales (e.g., how you would handle a newsletter about the same book for readers vs. for hospital gift store buyers)
  • Ability to represent Microcosm at consumer sales events (involves heavy lifting and much extroverting)
  • Management and leadership skills and interest

Pay and benefits

Starting wage is $16.50-$20.50 per hour. Starting pay will depend on location, level of responsibility in previous marketing work, ability to work independently, and management/leadership capacity. 

  • All company profits are distributed to staff in the form of raises and bonuses
  • Paid sick time
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Remote work option
  • Flexible work hours and time off
  • Employee ownership program after five years
  • Transparent compensation and clear metrics for advancement
  • Meaningful work at a fast-growing company 

To apply:

Application deadline: May 15, 2023

How to think about platform (with Guy LeCharles Gonzalez)

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we’re joined by publishing pundit Guy LeCharles Gonzalez to discuss that important question: does an author need to already be famous (or have x number of social media followers) to publish a book? Guy walks us through the reality of the situation and turns the tables in a refreshing take—should a publisher also have a platform? Lots of marketing chops and unconventional takes for our loyal readers to noodle on here.