An Exciting New Alternative to Goodreads
A New Book and Author Promotion Website to Rival Goodreads
Shepherd.com is an exciting, new website designed to help readers find books based on their preferences and past reading. It also provides authors with a valuable resource to promote their work by listing recommended books comparable to their own.
There is no cost, either to readers or to authors. The site’s income comes entirely from referrals, with value-added features planned for the future. An outline of the business model can be found on the website:
The site launched in April 2021. By December 2021, traffic had risen to 40,000 unique visitors a month and growing.
Users search by topic, keyword, or favourite author. The search facility will be developed further in the coming months.
To give a flavour, here is an extract from my entry:
For Authors: The Set-up Process
The author creates a page under a unique heading of their choosing. The page promotes a preferred book from the author’s publications, which appears ahead of up to five recommended books chosen by the author. The author’s own nominated book will always appear at the top of the page.
The author defines a topic or theme for their book list, typically including ‘The Best’. This can be narrow or broad and can reflect the author’s personality. It is best to create an eye-catching phrase to attract readers searching for books. Ideally, it should be relevant to author’s work to match the reader’s interest.
Authors are invited to submit their photograph and a paragraph to introduce themselves and the theme of their list. They also choose a single book of their own to feature, together with a description or blurb.
You can include three author profile links. These can be websites or social media links and are included as buttons next to the author’s name.
Finally, you list five recommended books, describing each and the reasons, in 50-130 words. The idea is to share why you recommend the book and connect with readers. Shepherd claims that half of the books bought from a recommendation list are the author’s own book.
Readers can browse by topic, favourite book, or author. Within topics, the reader can browse bookshelves (‘the best books about…) and best book lists (‘book picks from passionate experts…‘). The latter lists links to authors’ lists.
When a reader browses by topic or keyword, a list of recommended books is displayed with a link to the author’s list on which it can be found. This allows the reader to find more books of possible interest.
Once a book is found, the reader can click to order it from bookshop.org or Amazon.
An improved search facility, topic pages, and a much-improved front page. A free book launch program will be launched in Spring 2022.
Shepherd.com is an exciting addition to the world of book marketing, both to readers and authors.
It is a beta site with several enhancements planned for the short to medium term. The owner is open to comments and suggestions. Organic growth from in-site and Google traffic will provide opportunities for increased revenue generation to fund further development.
It is a valuable tool for readers and authors at no cost.