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Building Shepherd - Launching On Monday!

524 authors have turned in a book list for Shepherd (or committed to writing in). The response continues to be fantastic 😃.

Apr 5th - Apr 16th.
We are Launching On Monday 🥳🥂!
I was aiming to launch on April 15th, but it slipped a little bit and we are officially launching on Monday, April 19th. Everything is ready if you want to check out Shepherd.com.
I want to give a huge thank you to all the authors who are taking part, I could not have done it without you 😃.
The last two weeks have been busy. What are the stats as we get close to launch day?
  • 2,275 Books
  • 2,447 Author Profiles
  • 396 Published Book Recommendation Lists
The good news? As of this week, we have a much better system for entering all the data and it will be easier going forward. And, I am going to bring in someone to help me soon.
A lot of data entry over the last 6 weeks :)
A lot of data entry over the last 6 weeks :)
What's next for Shepherd?
The website is pretty basic to start, we have book recommendation lists and the front page is a giant list of those recommendations. It is not very easy for readers to discover the topics and lists they want to find. The next round of features is focused on helping readers discover book lists so that they can follow their curiosity through the website.
What are those features?
We are also fixing some smaller items, such as:
  • A fix so that I can manually order book authors. And, eventually adding some nuance around the “author’s” relation to the book whether they are an illustrator, translator, or so on.
  • Adding social media cards.
  • Support for two recommenders on a book recommendation page. Right now we’ve kinda hacked support for that.
  • A lot of small workflow improvements in the backend.
When will Shepherd exit beta?
I think Shepherd will be ready to exit the beta toward the end of 2021. What is my goal?
I love walking through the aisles of a bookstore and letting my eyes wander over books on just about any subject. And, I especially like it when the bookstore staff have left little notes about their favorites. I want to create that experience online. 
In order to exit the beta, I want to get closer to that goal.
Specifically:
  • A front-page that quickly delivers readers to topics they are interested in.
  • Adding search so that users can find a starting point.
  • Connecting books and book lists in unique ways so that readers can “wander” through our virtual shelves.
  • I’d like to reach 2,000 to 2,500 published book lists by the end of the year.
I hope you have a great weekend, as always feel free to hit me up with feedback or questions,
Thanks, Ben
P.S. A huge thank you to my amazing family for letting me work some very long days this last week :).
My awesome family in sunny Portugal :)
My awesome family in sunny Portugal :)
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Ben Fox

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