Shepherd.com: Helping Readers Discover The Best Books
Updated: Apr 4
The creator behind Shepherd.com, Ben Fox, an entrepreneur with a huge love for reading, approached a number of authors based on recommendations from family and friends. What he essentially received was a list of great books based on other's recommendations, not just his own opinions.
Regarding my own book, Ben had this to say:
'When I started Shepherd I asked friends and family to share their favorite books and to ask their friends to do the same. I've ended up with a fantastic list of books and Henry's book Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome was one of those books. I have a lot of friends who studied Roman history and religious studies in college and while I am not sure which one picked it, they must have loved it to recommend it to me. I reached out to Henry and he was gracious enough to create a list and help me launch the website.'
Thank you, Ben, it was great to hear my book had been enjoyed enough for it to be recommended.
I was kindly invited to offer my choices of favourite books on Ancient History, which you can read here
The goal of Shepherd is to help authors meet more readers, similar to Five Books in a way, by asking for their favourite five books and why they feel they deserve to be read. Although Shepherd has just launched, they seem to have many ideas for increasing the exposure for authors, such as:
A collection of topics that will be known as 'Shelves'. For example, there will be Shelves on, History, World War 2, Buddhism, Grief, Philosophy, etc., all helping readers find books and book lists of interest to them. These Shelves will help give authors more exposure to interested readers.
Search - this will be implemented when Shelves are created. Search will allow readers to find Book Lists and Shelves based on topics and keywords.
Shepherd has over 500 authors who have contributed so far, including
Caroline Lawrence - best known for her 17-book Roman Mysteries series - televised by the BBC in 2007 & 2008. Read her book recommendations here
Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni - both authors of Rome's Last Citizen and the latter being former managing editor of The Huffington Post. Read their book recommendations here
Barrie A. Wilson - Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Humanities and Religious Studies, York University, Toronto. Read his book recommendations here
John Sellars - Reader in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Read his book recommendations here
The team behind Shepherd is focused on the development of features aimed at helping authors in ways that Goodreads and Amazon seem to be failing, if that is the case, I look forward to future developments.