Discover more from Building Shepherd
It's alive! It's alive! Genre & ages pages are live!
Every two weeks, I share my notes on building Shepherd.com.
Shepherd is like wandering around your favorite bookstore. We make exploring and discovering your next book magical (while helping authors get their books in front of the most likely readers). Please join us as a founding member to support our mission.
April 24th to May 5th
Genre & age pages & filters are live!
We turned two years old last week, and adding these to the website feels good. I’ve been waiting for this feature since day one and love using them to browse for books!
Try some here…
If you notice anything weird or have feedback, please email me. I’ve already gotten a ton of helpful advice and input. Thank you!
What is coming soon?
From a dev perspective…
We have a lot of minor tweaks and improvements coming to this feature. And we are still working on a few bugs.
I’ll have a fix on the “For Age” drop-down soon, as I know people are getting confused about why age options are shown when the page already picks age options. That has a lot to to do with book data, and I have a fix coming.
Plus, we will add sorting next week!
From a data perspective…
I have a TON of work to do in the coming months to improve the data around genres and topics.
The publishing industry has a lot of genres that I consider topics, like World War 2. I must determine the best approach to clean these up so they only exist in one of the two categories. This is much harder than it sounds and will involve additional programming work and complexity.
I am also working to improve the genre and topics we have listed… that will take the rest of the year as I slowly improve things daily.
What is missing or needs review?
792 genres to review and decide where they fit. They are currently not included in anything.
40,149 topics to review and decide if they belong on the site or are not helpful (currently only used on the recommendation engine). I’ll start working on these with the 3,068 topics assigned to at least four books or more.
8,614 reviewed topics I need to review again and ensure they are good topics to help people find books. And further, refine this system for fiction.
16,609 data items from the Library of Congress to map to topics. As this helps our machine learning system long term.
1,000+ bookshelves to add around genres and ages.
4,000+ bookshelves to review and tweak by hand to ensure they deliver the right books now that we have that data in the system.
Does this seem like a lot?
It is a lot 😀 and I need your support to build this website. Please join our Founding Member program for $49 dollars a year and help build the book website we all want and need. I’ve got special perks for authors and readers (and lots more coming)!
What is going on outside of Shepherd?
Last weekend, I took my 6-year-old son on a father/son bike adventure! He biked 22km on Saturday and 25km on Sunday. I was so impressed. Plus, a ton of walking our bikes up hills and playing. I can’t wait to take him on some longer bike trips.
I am figuring out what bike trip I can do this year. I am thinking about doing a big tour in September in France or Spain.
What am I reading?
Savage Peace - I need to finish this one, put it down, and haven’t picked it up in a few weeks, even though I love it. It is about the year right after WW1.
A Knight and a Spy 1410 by Simon Fairfax. Great book, and enjoying it so far; curious to see how the characters develop from here.
P.S. From our bike adventure weekend.
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