“Good Trouble” is Joe Biel’s memoir as he discovers himself while working with Asperger’s. Much of the early half of the book is spent discussing Biel’s childhood and trying to cope with having undiagnosed Asperger’s. Romance is discussed alongside trying to function as an adult needing career. Then, came the zine scene. For the Tumblr crowd, ‘Zines were a way to share communal interest and make friends back when the Internet was nothing but dial-up modems, BBS boards and AOL. While trying to transition into publishing, Biel realized something that is stunning.

What’s novel is explaining his business strategy via his Asperger’s level of processing information. Once we get past that, there is some solid information for aspiring indie writers about how to make a profit doing this sort of thing. Find your audience, track what works and target print runs to keep a focused demographic. This business sense left me stunned and I found myself pouring over the details of Biel’s business operations. Some might like hearing the personal stuff, but indie business success matters more to me.

Why does indie business success matter in publishing? Well, because the audience is being sold a ton of native advertising disguised as content. Only indie matters, as so many other things have become PR for corporate thugs. A clear literate field only exists when the playing field is leveled, so that all voices and stories are heard. The clear focus of Biel is to be commended and I can’t wait to see what else he releases via Microcosm Publishing.


“Publishing as punk rock makes perfect sense.”


  • 222 pages
  • Quick read
  • Amazing introduction by Joyce Brabner
  • Cost: $14.95



%d bloggers like this: