While working at Zest Books, Karen co-authored two non-fiction books for young adults, Indie Girl and Crap.

indie_cover_150Indie Girl: From Starting a Band to Launching a Fashion Company, Nine Ways to Turn Your Creative Talent into Reality (2008)

by Karen Macklin and Arne Johnson

A fun and comprehensive guide for young women, Indie Girl contains all of the information you’ll need to start independent creative ventures, like dance companies, rock bands, art galleries, fashion companies, and more. Includes quotes from teen and professional artists, and technical and creative advice from pros.

Press for Indie Girl

“Stop Wishing and start doing. This engaging and female-friendly guide outlines game plans for any budding “scene girl,” from publishing a zine or filming a TV show to creating an art exhibit or holding a poetry slam. Girls rock!” –  Alternative Press magazine

“A feisty guide for teens to bring their creative impulses to fruition.” – School Library Journal, August 2008

Indie Girl has all of the information you need to take an idea and transform it into a reality.” – Kiki magazine

“Arne Johnson and Karen Macklin have created a do-it-yourself guide that will help channel your creative prowess into projects.” –Seventeen magazine

“Jam-packed with insider tips and quotes from teenage and professional artists, Indie Girl will both challenge and inspire you to do something out of the ordinary this summer.” – Seventeen magazine

“The coolest how-to book we’ve seen in a long time.” – Relatemag.com

“Johnson and Macklin know a thing or two about independent media and have drafted a confident and inspiring work that just may accomplish what it has set out to do.”  – Ink 19 magazine

“This must-read can help any girl who’s doubting her project idea turn the idea into a success … with lots of passion and hard work, of course!” – Sweet Designs Magazine

Crap_New_175Crap: How to deal with annoying teachers, bosses, backstabbers, and other stuff that stinks (2009)

by Karen Macklin, Erin Elisabeth Conley, and Jake Miller

A funny guide for teens about how to avoid crap, deal with it, and flush it out of your life. Includes quotes by noted crap-coping experts, from Homer Simpson to Kurt Vonnegut, and little-known facts about—you guessed it—actual crap.

Press for Crap

“In a market overflowing with self-help guides, Crap takes the “bull” by the horns and equips kids with better coping mechanisms than feeling sorry for themselves or blaming the world. In a very cool way, it tells readers that they are responsible for how they feel.” –Technorati.com


“Simple, pithy pearls of wisdom about dealing with all kinds of crap in one’s life are offset with the authors’ quirky humor. Readers will also appreciate the random insertions of facts about the actual “number 2″, a twist that helps put it all into perspective.” –Readers on the Subway