New Reader Site Hits the Target
Though I'm not sure how, I recently heard about Shepherd.com The people there are trying to change the way we find new books to read online, and I'm all for that.
When you type in "mystery" or "crime fiction" in most book-finding sites (like Amazon), you get a list of the 8 or 10 biggest-selling writers, like James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and Janet Evanovitch. The problem with that is that telling me Michael Connelly has a new book is useless. I've already bought it, read it, and passed it on to a friend. Also, some of those big names don't interest me, for a variety of reasons. I'd like new suggestions, new authors to try, but it's hard to choose, and the list goes on forever, with no hints as to which ones I'll really like.
Enter Shepherd.com. Right now, things are in the beginning stages, but the site categorizes books with a clever teaser: "The Best Books about..." You can search by title or author and along with the book/author you like, you'll get a list of related books. Or you can search by theme. (They have 975 WWII entries!) Authors and other book people recommend books they like on each theme, and there's a blurb about each recommendation and links to where you can buy it.
There's no cost for this. I don't see a downside to Shepherd.com for readers, though I'm afraid the founders will go crazy trying to keep up with so much good stuff.
As a writer, I was allowed to submit ONE of my books and connect it to others I've read on the same theme. I chose my newest one, SISTER SAINT, SISTER SINNER. To go with the feature on that book, I was asked to list 5 other sister-themed books I've read and enjoyed. They could be old or new, so I chose WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE for one. For a newer option on the theme of sisters, I suggested WHEN WE BELIEVED IN MERMAIDS. My entry goes live October 3rd, and here's a link to it https://shepherd.com/best-books/why-sisters-inspire-love-and-aggravation. I think readers will enjoy exploring the site, and it sounds like they plan to do much more to help us find books through themes we like to read about, like "gentlemen detectives" or "medieval adventure novels."
The only warning I have for you, the reader, is that you might get lost for hours, wandering through Shepherd.com and the great ideas for what to read next.