Microcosm is hiring in our Portland warehouse!

Microcosm is hiring a full-time (40 hours/week) marketing and warehouse assistant at 2752 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR. This is a hybrid position: half physical labor tasks and half computer-related tasks, ultimately serving our purpose of helping people get their books and be happy. We practice mask-wearing and are set up for social distancing. 

We need someone who can:

• Lift at least 50 pounds

• Demonstrate an exquisite attention to detail (we aim for 99.99% error free shipping)

• Work with minimal supervision once trained

• Believe 99% in what we do but is confident to identify flaws in the system, ask questions, and bring up their own ideas about how things could be better

• Listen, learn from mistakes, and find solutions that work for everyone involved

• Show up prepared and work hard for their whole shift

• Do varying manual labor tasks including shipping, shelving, inventory, catalog mailing, making buttons, magnets, patches, and shelving zines and sidelines (50% of their time)

• Enthusiastically write original descriptions of distributed books and populate data fields for them (35% or more of their time) 

• Publicity and outreach functions (15% or more of their time)

• Occasional assistance with data analysis, paperwork, organizational tasks, and accounts payable

Benefits:

• All company profits are distributed to staff in the form of raises and bonuses—we aim for (and have been exceeding) 20% annual raises

• Health insurance after trial period

• Employee ownership program after five years

• Some flexibility in work hours; partial work-from-home if desired

• Meaningful, career-track work at a fast-growing company

Entry-level position. Equal opportunity employer. Preference given to former interns and diverse hires. Starts at $15/hour with 90 day trial then $16/hour.

Apply by filling out this form and this test by September 5th, 2022 and sending both to sidnee@microcosmpublishing.com with the subject line “Portland Application”.

How do you sell books without selling out your values?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly tackle the seemingly thorny question of how publishers can stay true to our decidedly un-capitalistic values while attempting to, you know, successfully participate in capitalism. Come for the ethical considerations, stay for the practical advice and decided lack of hand-wringing. Yes you can create the world you want to see and sustain your operations financially.

Check out our two new books about Cleveland!

Back in 1996, Microcosm was born in Cleveland, and the ’20s so far have been all about getting back to our roots. First with opening a new warehouse back in Cleveland, managed and partially staffed by people who helped out back when we were brand new. And now we’re thrilled to announce the publication of a pair of new books that honor our roots.

Cleveland’s local NPR affiliate did a really nice in-depth article and video about Microcosm’s return to the city and the two new books:

And the books really shine for themselves (there’ve been more reviews of each than I’m linking to here, but this one in the Akron Beacon Journal is pretty representative):

Hello Cleveland: Things You Should Know About the Most Unique City in the World is an idiosyncratic love letter to the city, buoyantly written by Nick Perry and illustrated by Jason Look. Nick and Joe were recently on the radio talking about the book, the city, and Microcosm.

Speak In Tongues: An Oral History of Cleveland’s Infamous DIY Punk Venue nods to another piece of Microcosm lore—Joe started out selling zines at the bar at this anarchic all-ages club. This book’s been getting some really nice feedback (check out this public media review and Sean Carnage’s interview with Eric), and we had the pleasure of talking with the author, local reporter Eric Sandy, for our podcast:

Thank you, Cleveland, for all you’ve given to us—we hope we can do you justice and keep giving back for years to come.

P.S. Want more Cleveland music history? Last year we published A. Iwasa’s zine Clevo Style about the history of the local hardcore scene.

Microcosm Cleveland is Hiring Yet Again!

Full time position in Cleveland, OH. This is a warehouse and fulfillment position, helping people get their books and be happy. We practice mask-wearing and are set up for social distancing.  Position closes August 25th, 2022.

We need someone who can:

• Lift at least 50 pounds

• Demonstrate an exquisite attention to detail (we aim for 99.99% error free shipments)

• Work with minimal supervision once trained

• Believe 99% in what we do but is confident to identify flaws in the system, ask questions, and bring up their own ideas about how things could be better

• Listen, learn from mistakes, and find solutions that work for everyone involved

• Be very comfortable with alphabetizing and similar data sorting

• Show up prepared and work hard for their whole shift

• Locate books and pull and pack orders four to five days per week (90% or more of their time)

• Work 40 hours per week on site

• Start as soon as reasonable and commit to at least two years

Benefits:

• All company profits are distributed to staff in the form of raises and bonuseswe aim for (and have been exceeding) 20% annual raises

• Health insurance after trial period

• Employee ownership program after five years

• Some flexibility in work hours

• Meaningful, career-track work at a fast-growing company

No experience needed. Entry level position. Equal opportunity employer. Preference given to former interns and diverse hires. Starts at $14/hour with 90 day trial then $15/hour. 

Apply by August 25th, 2022 by completing this application and this test and submitting it to apply @ microcosmpublishing.com with the subject line “Cleveland warehouse application”; no resume or cover letter necessary unless you believe that additional details would be helpful.

How do publishers make decisions?

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly talk about decision-making. When should you follow conventional wisdom or do what you see your fellow publishers doing? How do you determine what works for you? When you’re torn between two seemingly equivalent paths, how do you figure out which one to take? We give you some metrics and a flow chart here, because one practical step forward is better than a hundred think pieces about how not to do it.

How to bypass publishing gatekeepers (with Ariel Gore!)

This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly are joined by Ariel Gore, author of many books including The Wayward Writer, which comes out this fall and offers encouragement and wisdom for writing with the goal of publication. (You can back it on Kickstarter right now!)

In this extra-long episode we dig into the question of gatekeeping in publishing. What is it, is it all bad, how do you get past it or work around it?

Want even more on the topic of gatekeepers? Here’s an older episode Joe and Elly recorded last year covering similar ground.

Why some books get canceled (and is it censorship?)

Sometimes we’re on the sidelines, really looking forward to a book coming out. And then it doesn’t. Why? Is it censorship? Ideological differences? Did the market change? Did the author die? Is it something else? People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, Joe and Elly take a look at some of the reasons publishers pull the plug on some books, despite everyone’s intentions and common goals.