Why should I subscribe?
If you are interested in the thought process and tech details behind building the book discovery platform Shepherd.com, you should subscribe.
I share updates every 2 weeks on what is happening behind the scenes at Shepherd, challenges, frustrations, early feature previews, and more.
My name is Ben Fox, and I LOVE reading.
I created Shepherd.com because I believe that books build better people.
That is the heart of Shepherd's mission.
Books teach us new ways of thinking, what it is like to walk in someone else's shows, respect for complexity, critical thinking, what it is like to look or think like someone else, to dream bigger, to explore themselves and the world around them, to have adventures, to imagine, to envision the world we want to create, and so much more. They are one of the biggest net positives in the world.
The more people that I can help find an amazing book, the better future I can create for our society and planet.
What was the spark that created Shepherd?
I always wanted to create something around books, but I could never find a unique approach.
One day I walked into my local indie bookstore and saw little notes from the staff about which books are their favorites and why. I loved that idea because it exposes the passion behind the picks. Shepherd exposes that same passion by asking authors, experts, and interesting people for their favorite books around topics, themes, and moods.
Discovering a new book should be a magical experience where the search is part of the fun. That is what we are creating. We give readers fun ways to find amazing books.
I love wandering around bookstores and letting random books capture my attention. Nothing will ever replace the “bookstore experience,” but I want to reimagine book discovery online with more serendipity and delight.
How you find a book is important. That search is the start of a journey, and the process of exploring books should be fun. The online world needs more serendipity so your curiosity can roam free.
I also want to help authors meet more readers. Authors illuminate our world, take us on faraway journeys, and entertain us. There is a growing trend that authors must become their own marketing team. That concerns me because it is tough to do. I want to make it easier for authors to meet the readers who are most likely to be interested in their books.
As of July 2022, 5,000+ authors have joined Shepherd as we work to build a better book discovery platform for readers and authors.
Here is a much longer version with more info on me and why I started this website. And if you are interested, here is more information on our business model and marketing plan.
I can remember the exact moment I learned to read. I was trying to read The Snow Baby by Margaret Hillert, and I was jumping from word to word. There was this magical moment where the words came alive, and it all clicked. It was one of the most amazing feelings in my life.
If you want early access to new features and to help us with ideas and input, subscribe here.
P.S. If you like Shepherd and want to support the project, please join as a founding member or donate (so far, everything is funded from my savings). 100% of what you give goes toward new features, and my goal of hiring a full-time developer next year.