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Building Shepherd - Related Book Lists Preview

627 authors have turned in a book list for Shepherd (or committed to writing in). This last week was great as authors contacted me after seeing the launch (plus a lot of referrals) 😃.

Apr 19th - Apr 30th.
Spring Cleaning :)
I did a lot of cleaning this week. I am slowly reaching out to the 477 authors who responded but didn’t finish a book list. Usually that is because the timing wasn’t right, they got busy, or they forgot. And, I am putting together a better system to do follow-ups.
On Monday I started training Joy, who is helping me with data entry on books and author profiles. This will take a huge swath of work off my plate and she is doing great. She should be fully up to speed in a week or two.
I am playing with the idea of hiring someone to help me with: the editing process with authors, author follow-ups, and a few other items. I need to clear more of my time for marketing as I work to ramp up traffic. I am going to sit down and look at that in a few weeks.
What's next for Shepherd? Related Book Lists!
Upcoming Related Book List Feature
Upcoming Related Book List Feature
Related book lists are looking great and we’ve been playing with them in our staging environment. We will ship this feature in a week or two.
What types of recommendations are we making?
  • Closely Related Book Lists - We recommend 4 book lists that are closely related to the book list you are browsing. The goal is to help the reader dig deeper within the topic they are browsing.
  • Distantly Related Book Lists - The goal is to show more distant but related book lists and help the reader find similar topics but on different paths.
  • Random Book Lists - 4 random book lists to see if they catch the reader’s eye. Serendipity at work and we are trying to make this more like wandering a bookstore.
What's next for Shepherd?
We’ve got a lot of internal cleanup for the frontend and backend planned for May.
Things like:
  • Being able to order authors on the “by” line and set author relationships to the book (such as translator, illustrator, etc).
  • A TON of small improvements on the backend to help me work more efficiently.
  • Rolling out support for social cards so sharing the pages on Twitter and Facebook look better.
  • Improving the “draft” status to make it more usable with our caching system.
  • Adding an improved favicon.
Have a great weekend, we are having a beautiful Spring here in Portugal :),
Thanks, Ben
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Ben Fox

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