Currently, we only feature English books.
Our audience is English-speaking, and our software isn't built to work with non-English books.
I would LOVE to expand to Spanish, German, French, and other languages. But I am funding this myself, and it would require a ton of development work to support additional languages. And that development work costs a lot of money that we don't have.
My goal is to reach a financial break-even point with our current costs by the end of 2023; once I hit that point and get more of our base features in place, I can start looking at things like this.
(I just launched a Founding Members program for authors and readers who want to help support the project and see features like this get done faster. 100% of what I raise goes directly to new features and my goal of hiring a full-time developer in 2023.)
Right now, our system is only built to handle English and to expand to Spanish; we would need to do the following type of things (not an exhaustive list):
- Build in support to detect if a book is in English or Spanish. You might laugh, but this is harder than you think. It might require I pay for a new API provider who has book metadata in Spanish and build support to talk to that provider. We also need book data on the Spanish book for the genre and other integration points. This could easily be 15,000 to 20,000 Euros to build from a dev standpoint (plus 3,000+ a year in license fees).
- We would need to remap the site for a second language and decide how to deploy that. IE, mapping it to shepherd.com/spanish and building an entirely new system to handle Spanish books. This could easily be 15,000 to 25,000 Euros to build from a dev & design standpoint.
- Expanding our machine learning system to Spanish that detects the book’s topics. This is not easy to do.
- Probably ~7,000 Euros to build a system that takes all the English books in our system, looks for a Spanish translation and populates that in the database. And possibly translating our current recommendations for the English version of the book to Spanish (ongoing license fee to the translation API unless we can find one for free).
Those are just the things off the top of my head. It is not a cheap project. This also ignores the cost of hiring a part-time team member who can read and work in Spanish to work with those authors and recommendations. I hope to live in Spain one day and learn Spanish, but there is no way I will be fluent or have the time.