Bringing Authors and Readers Together #shepherdforauthors #readinglists @storyempire @maeclair @bwb

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, 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?

Two young women sitting side by side and enjoying content on their e readers

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!

bio box for author, Mae Clair

61 thoughts on “Bringing Authors and Readers Together #shepherdforauthors #readinglists @storyempire @maeclair @bwb

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  3. I have a note to myself to follow up on this, Mae. It’s on my June to-do list. It sounds like a good idea. Every little bit helps, right? Thanks for sharing your page too. It does look wonderful. I’m favoriting this post so I won’t forget!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great idea, although it might be hard to just pick five books to recommend 😉 I usually ignore all correspondence that even resembles a sale or promotion of product. I can see I need to pay more attention because this does sound like a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing it and good book of yours to share. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Denise, I found that the more specific I made the list, the easier it was to whittle it down to five books, otherwise–yikes! Like you said, so many good reads to choose from! And I’m the same way about things that look like a sales pitch or promotion. It’s great to learn there are legitimate people and sites out there (like Ben and Shepherd) who have something great to offer! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It has a lot of potential, and it’s a free resource. I like being there at the beginning and watching it grow. I definitely plan to continue to use it as both a reader and an author. Glad you found the post intriguing, Sue!

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  5. This is super interesting, Mae. And your page is gorgeous! I’m curious if you’ve seen an uptick in sales since joining this group? I love what Ben says. He uses all the right words. I will definitely explore it further and hope it turns out to be a great resource. Thank you for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan, I have to be honest, that I haven’t explored whether or not Cusp saw new sales. I’ve been offline for the most part since the page went live, but it’s definitely something I will check into. I’m glad you’re excited about Shepherd, too. Given it’s a free resource, it’s hard to go wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful resource! Thank you, Mae, for sharing this helpful and altruistic site. Your page is beautiful and enticing. Congratulations, and Bravo to Ben! ✨🎉✨

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This sounds amazing, Mae, and your page looks fantastic! I am definitely going to consider doing this as soon as I have time to put something together. Marketing is an area I need a lot of help with, and this could be a fun place to start. Plus, I’ll enjoy checking out other books and authors there, too. Thanks so much for sharing! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m right there with you on marketing, Marcia. Just the thought brings on a headache, LOL.
      It was such a pleasure to discover Shepherd, as both a reader and an author. I think you’ll find it a new and growing gem! 🙂

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  8. Noelle Granger mentioned this site a few days ago – her wonderful The Last Pilgrim is on there. I’ll definitely explore this one, Mae. Many thanks! xx

    Liked by 1 person

      • I loved The Last Pilgrim so much I bought two paperback versions to give to friends. I was going to spend last week and this one enjoying a splurge of reading but an adverse reaction to new medication has left me a pathetic heap. The meds have been changed now and I’m so looking forward to sampling some more great books! Another reason to explore Shepherd! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I hope that reaction is behind you now, Alex. I’ve been on meds for two weeks for a WRETCHED sinus infection and am only now beginning to feel human again. It’s hard to concentrate on much of anything (including reading) when you’re not feeling well.
        I know your friends will enjoy those copies of The Last Pilgrim! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you found the post interesting, Staci. I think Shepherd has a lot of potential, and provides an alternative to Goodreads. I use the lists on GR to find like-themed books, but they can be clunky and hard to navigate. I really like the way these are set up.


    • I think it’s a great resource too, Joan, and hope it will continue to grow. I know I will continue to reference it, both as a reader and an author.
      And I was happy to include Cold Dark Night among my book selections! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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