We have two groups of books within Shepherd.
We have promoted books, and we have recommended books.
- A promoted book is a book an author promotes alongside their book list (or other formats). It is a smart, targeted advertisement for their book.
- A recommended book is a book that someone has recommended on their book list or other formats (new formats coming soon!).
This difference is critical to ensuring reader trust.
Readers do not want to go to a site where an advertisement for a book is portrayed as a recommendation. That is a quick way to lose readers' trust.
That is why we are careful to ensure that promoted books are visually different when shown on your book list. They are not part of the five recommended books but rather a way to show the reader why you are a great person to make that recommendation and nudge them to check out you and your book. It is a soft sell.
Bookshelves are only created with recommended books.
The minute an author recommends your book, it also goes into the recommendation side of Shepherd.
Right now, our only format is the book recommendation lists, but over time we are looking at other recommendation formats (sign up for the author newsletter so you don't miss those).
That is why we do so much work to promote your book list, as it is the best way to promote your book.
And your list is promoted on the bookshelf page next to any book you recommend.
And, if a user likes a book recommendation you wrote, they can click to see your book list and more about you.
How do we get readers in front of promoted books?
Here is a breakdown of how we get readers to your book list so they can meet you and your book. We use your list and the five books you picked as hooks to pull readers toward your book list. That is why your personal recommendations are so important, as they attract readers to you and sell your book. Here is more info on this key concept and why sharing books helps you sell your book.