The Latest News From In the Stacks

In the Stacks is Looking for Librarians to Join Us!

 Hint: We’re building a Librarian Brain for Book Recommendations

Sometimes I wonder if we’re not explaining very well what ITS really is. Is it just Michelle doing video book reviews? (ITS much more than that). Is anyone else In the Stacks? (YES! And we also have interns!) Why is Michelle continuing her grad school booktubing project? (Seriously, ITS so much more than that!)

Why does supporting the In the Stacks Librarian Book Recommendation App matter?

It’s because we’re creating a librarian brain of book recommendations. Who reads more or knows more about books than librarians? We want to share our brain with you, online, all the time.

We’ve collected data about books librarians have loved and reviewed from around the world. It’s years and years of publicly available information, in a database, that powers the In the Stacks Book Recommendation App.

When book lovers log in to the app, your personal preferences are combined with top librarian book picks. You get suggestions of books to read, that you will love.

We’re so grateful for the support this year, and are continuing to fundraise for the app launch at ALA San Francisco this June 2015. We also need to build a new website  [;)]

Help us build our app:

Thanks #booklover! More about future products from the In the Stacks Librarian Developer Lab coming imminently.

Happy Holidays from In the Stacks! Cheers—Michelle Z. and the rest of the ITS team

Why ITS (aka In the Stacks) Matters

In the Stacks is expanding to provide digital services for libraries, publishing, and media. We offer everything from Website and App development, eBook Publishing services, to coordinating Video Production. We utilize existing digital tools and build new solutions when necessary. View the list we’ve compiled of available services to see if any of them fit your needs. If not, we’ll create a custom solution for you. Please contact for more information, and join the group on Facebook.

My article on Women Who Code & In the on Medium

I started an imprint, In the Stacks Publishing, to independently publish my novels. I have a few contract employees who help.

This was after 7 years of workshopping my first novel in two different reputable 3-month long writing immersives, having more than two dozen beta readers, and querying more than 50 agents. I kept writing, and I keep querying, working part-time for years to make this dream come true.

The book was in good enough shape to publish, but the coming of age story is told in a day in the life writing style, not a speed-read action novel, or written like a tv script, plus teen novels were just coming out of the Twilight. Like I said, I hadn’t stopped writing—in addition to my first teen novel, I’d finished a sequel, and a stand-alone historical novel I researched in grad school. I also completed a memoir about the new choices women have today, compared to our mother’s generation, and my experiences as a writer in San Francisco.

Then I read Guy Kawasaki’s Agent, Publisher, Entrepreneur, and decided to indie publish, because it would cost me $0 and what harm could it do, really? Nothing was happening with traditional publishing, and I was tired of waiting. Plus with indie publishing, we keep the majority of the proceeds from book sales.

I’ve always planned to arrange a hybrid publishing deal, where a traditional publisher releases the paper version of the books, and handles foreign and dramatic rights, but who knows what will happen. I still query agents, looking for partners to help me expand the business, but doubt if I will ever “sell” my eBooks to a publisher. I’m not sure what they can do for me, that I can’t do myself. Maybe an agent or publisher will want to convince me, we’ll see.

Sometimes you can’t just sit around and wait. Whenever I’ve typically made unique choices, I’ve been just fine. It’s when I follow pedestrian advice that things are unbearable. There are a lot of opinions on the current state of publishing. Be sure to do what is right for you. Write for you, seriously, and your fans, if you are lucky enough to have them.

The publishing world is changing, and it’s time to write our own rules. Also, as a digital librarian developer lab, In the Stacks is creating products to help authors, publishers, libraries and media succeed. First up, is a librarian book recommendation app. More coming soon. XO—Michelle Z.

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