I started playing with the idea of Shepherd over the summer of 2020.
On September 3rd, 2020 I emailed my designer friend, Strahinja, to see if he could make some mockups so I could play with the idea visually. His work was fantastic and by early November I found something I liked (a lot of revisions over that period).
My family was in the midst of moving to Portugal and once we were settled in early December I started working on Shepherd full time. I started emailing authors on December 8th to test the idea with them (I had already tested it with readers). The response was incredibly positive and I didn’t have to tweak much. I am not sure when I got my first submission back, but at some point in early January.
I also spent the first week of December vetting freelance developers. I picked Márton on December 10th and he is an absolute pleasure to work with (and I am looking forward to working with him for a long time).
By March 5th the book list feature was 95% done
. By March 19th I was working like a mad man on setting up all the data for the lists. That meant countless hours setting up each book, setting up each list, setting up the author profile, and formatting everything on the backend. Then I would email the author to review the pages, make changes, and so on. It was an intense process with many late nights (thank you Joy and Genesis for taking the data entry piece off my plate).
We launched on Monday, April 19th!