Hi, SEers! Welcome to a Mae Day in May! Today, I’d like to share a resource I recently discovered that is beneficial for both authors and readers.
I have a contact form on my website (no, that’s not the resource, LOL). I get hit with bots now and then, but I’ve connected with some cool people through that form. The latest is Ben Fox, an entrepreneur and founder of Shepherd.com, a new platform for book sharing. Ben contacted me to see if I would be interested in contributing a list of book recommendations to his site. As an avid reader, Ben has built Shepherd to connect readers with authors, and authors with readers.
So, how does it work?
As an author, I write mostly supernatural suspense, and I’m fond of using dual timelines. I chose a single book I wanted to showcase on Shepherd (have I mentioned this is a free service), then chose five books I enjoyed reading—all in the same genre as my selection, Cusp of Night.
I named the list I created, The Best 2-Fer Supernatural Mysteries with Dual Storylines. Shepherd then created a page for me—which is gorgeous, l might add! Prior to my book recommendations, there is a short introduction about me—with links to my website and blog—followed by a brief paragraph on why I wrote Cusp of Night, then the five books I’m recommending. You can find my page HERE. The team at Shepherd really did a fantastic job.
If you’re a reader, I encourage you to explore the book lists on Shepherd. There are many! For convenience you can browse by list, topic of interest, or author.
If you’re an author, I encourage you to check out Shepherd for Authors, a completely free program that allows you to showcase a book of your choice when you provide a reading list. Ben’s goal with Shepherd (per his own words):
“I want to help authors meet more readers. Authors illuminate our world, take us on faraway journeys, and entertain us. Yet, authors face an immense battle to get their book in the hands of interested readers. I want to make it easier for authors to get their book in front of the right readers.”
Let me be clear up front that I have no financial interest in this site. Shepherd earns a small commission on books it sells from the retailer. I should also be clear IT IS NOT A BOOK CLUB! Think Goodreads, think BookBub.
Also from Ben:
“As a reader, I am incredibly frustrated with online book discovery. Goodreads does almost nothing to help readers find amazing books or to help authors to meet readers (what are they doing with that huge team???). At the same time, Amazon sells books the same way they sell toothpaste (hint – neither is very exciting). A book is an experience, and it should be marketed as such, my goal is to create new ways to achieve this.”
Sounds pretty good, right?
I don’t know what will become of all this, as Shepherd is relatively new. It turned a year old in April. But I was flattered to be contacted, found the team at Shepherd friendly and professional, and am pleased with the results. As authors, we’re always looking for new ways to market our books. This is definitely one I recommend exploring. It’s also great for readers. You can even sign up for a monthly email that includes book recommendations.
Have you heard of Shepherd before? What are your thoughts about getting your books in front of readers? Is this a platform you intend to explore? Let’s chat about it in the comments.
Ready, set, go!