Started work on the new "favorite books of the year" format...
And I will share how it helps authors :).
Every two weeks, I share my notes on building Shepherd.com.
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May 8th to May 19th
My favorite 3 books of the year…
We’ve started design work for this new feature, where authors will share their 3 favorite reads of the year (signup now to participate). This is a format I’ve done privately on my blog for 10+ years, and I find it to be a powerful way to share books you love.
We will share your 3 favorite reads of the year and use this to show off you and one of your books (plus other book recommendations you have made). And we will use your recommendations to attract readers from around the website.
The combined data from all authors will allow us to create a “best books of 2023” section and subcategories around science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, and so on. I will use this for big marketing pushes to pull even more people to your recommendations.
How will this help authors sell books?
It gives you beautiful content to share and engage your community with and smartly sells them on your book that you feature next to your picks.
We plug your book recommendations into our website and use those to pull readers to your profile. And use this to introduce them to you and your book.
This will also include an email piece inviting readers to subscribe to your future book recommendations (and possibly to alerts about your new books). This is part of my goal to help authors to build a bigger fan base through a shared love of books.
When will this launch?
We will launch this feature on October 1st, 2023.
From October 1st to October 31st, I will collect your three favorite books for the year.
Then on November 1st, I will publish everything along with the big pages that show the best books read and published in that year (along with significant genre categories).
I am making the book year from September 30th, 2022, to September 30th, 2023.
I am doing this because most readers search for “best books 2023” terms between November 2023 to January 2024; I want to ensure we help you and all authors tap into this huge holiday book-selling frenzy.
Here is an early design preview of what we are playing with :)
These are very early mockups as we play with the concept.
Hit reply and let me know what you think, worries, concerns, etc :)
I love to get feedback :)
What is going on outside of Shepherd?
I am visiting my brother for ten days in Cannes, France! I am so excited as I haven’t seen him since Christmas 2018 (he lives in Shanghai, and with Covid, that was a pretty impossible visit either way).
He is in the movie industry and was on a team that won this year’s 48-hour film contest in Shanghai. They then got picked by the global 48-hour film contest as one of the best short films worldwide and were given free tickets to Cannes to do a screening in the short-film corner. So I plan to hang out with him and his friends here. They are here to network and hopefully line up funding for a feature-length horror film they are working to make (which would be perfect for Nicolas Cage if you are friends with him).
What am I reading?
Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. I was in the mood for an alien invasion book…
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.
P.S. Outside the red carpet in Cannes!
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