Last year, I got a detailed e-mail that I thought was probably spam. Since I wasn’t completely sure, I asked my husband – a seasoned Silicon Valley veteran – to have a look.
He said, “It’s not spam. They’re building something.”
Once Ben Fox, the architect of Shepherd (a non-faith-based book-finding website) got my attention, I started reading his updates about the newest progress with site construction.
It’s been a blast watching (and taking part in!) the site’s growth.
Shepherd keeps getting better and more FUN.
Because I know the books I’ve recommended are the best-of-the-best, I’ve read many titles on their reading lists, and I’ve also bought and read books that Fox and other Shepherd authors have recommended, I can say, with certainty, this website is a good source of quality books.
One of my recent, soothing activities has been creating this collection of animated backgrounds to play on my living room screen.
The Shepherd website reminds me of this. It is a cozy virtual space that feels like a bookshop filled with friends who are sophisticated readers.
My most satisfying reads come as recommendations from friends and their book clubs.
As a supplement to the book pointers from friends, this website is one I’ve been checking out when there’s an open space in my reading queue. A recent feature is a massive book list, the result of asking 9,000+ authors to recommend their favorite reads of the year.
Reviewing the entire list, I can vouch for its quality. On it, are many titles and authors I’ve read and enjoy.
Ben Fox is the builder behind Shepherd (a non-religious book-finding website).
When describing books, Fox quotes Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, “What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”
“When I look for a new book online, it feels soulless,” Fox says. “Online bookstores sell books like toothpaste or powdered gravy mix. Something about that is profoundly wrong.”
About his website, Fox says, “We give readers fun and unique ways to follow their curiosity down rabbit holes. Try our bookshelf on science fiction or life satisfaction. At every step, you can meet the person who recommended that book, the book list it came from, and what they are passionate about.”
As we head into gifting season, the Shepherd website is worth a visit if book lovers are on your list.
For a reluctant, hold-your-breath-and-swallow type of shopper, the NPR Book Concierge gives me a reason to look forward to the holidays. It’s become my go-to place for every bibliophile on the Santa list.
Satisfied reading experiences bring good cheer well into the new year.
With the ability to filter titles by categories such as; Book Club, History Lovers, Thrillers, and Graphic Novels the site makes finding what you’re looking for easy. Book descriptions are concise, not more than a few sentences…and I enjoy reading them, often saving titles on other wish lists.
I do frequent the giant South American river online retailer, but I use Smile.Amazon.com to send a portion of the sale to a local nonprofit.
May this pointer make your holiday shopping more efficient and laser targeted.
ScoreIt!™’ uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and language patterns to evaluate your style.
“Statistical analyses are applied to identify those significant patterns that define one author’s writing style as compared to another…. In broad terms, each submission is evaluated and weighted for its 1) grammatical construction; 2) authorial vocabulary; 3) expressive complexity and 4) use of function words.” – ScoreIt website
Hindsight and fresh ‘enchilada’ wrappers open the door to effective paranormal book cover design.
If a writer’s journey begins with an idea and a few words, it concludes with multiple themes stacked like warm blankets atop a winter bed, bound together with colorful character threads. The entire package, encompassing thousands of hours and hundreds and pages is wrapped by a thin layer of decorated cover stock that is supposed to, pictorially, represent the whole ‘enchilada.’
Haylee’s story officially began in the 1980’s with vampire myth research at CSU, Sacramento. It concluded in early spring of 2018 with romance, relationship resolutions, and futuristic environmental concerns.
Looking back, it is interesting to see how Haylee’s ‘enchilada’ wrapping evolved over time.
As the series end approached, considerable attention had to go toward cohesiveness that would communicate the mood, color pallet, tone, and genre reader expectations for both books. This called for a clearing-out of all previous cover art ideas, current market trend research, and starting over with blank screen.
The Traveler’s Stone e-book novella series was a marketing failure. It did not perform as anticipated; what it did do was create reviewer confusion!
Once both Haylee and the Traveler’s Stone and Haylee and the Last Traveler were finished, it was easy to delete those confusing titles from Amazon.
Mood, colors, and fonts specific to the genre should take precedence over too much detail in a cover design. An effective design will appeal to readers, entice them to hit the ‘buy’ button, and accurately represent the contents that the ‘enchilada’ wrapper contains.
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