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Seven WordPress Plugins for Author Bookshelves

25 October 2017

From The Digital Reader:

Author websites come in many shapes and forms, and can be found on just about every platform from Squarespace to WordPress, but the vast majority share at least one common feature.

Generally speaking, they all need to display the books an author has written, or is working on.

Authors with a site on Squarespace, WordPress.com, etc, will have to build a book listing page by hand, but this is one area where self-hosted WordPress websites excel.

Authors with a self-hosted WordPress site have any number of options for listing their books on their sites. They can either use a theme like Preface, and use its built-in features to create book pages and book shelves, or they can use one of the following plugins.

. . . .

I recently undertook a survey of bookshelf plugins so I could recommend one to a client. There aren’t a lot of options, but I did find a couple great plugins.

When I look at bookshelf plugins I try to keep three requirements in mind:

  • The plugin has to look good on my site, and include both bookshelf pages and book pages
  • It has to be easy to use.
  • It needs to have widgets that I can use on to automatically display book covers and blurbs the front page of my site, and other pages.

. . . .

Here are 7 WordPress plugins that authors can use to list their books on their sites, and some comments on my experiences with the plugins.

. . . .

Novelist

This is the second of my preferred plugins. The free version is great; it lets you reorganize the book listing layout to your own design, and it even includes many of the features other plugins would ask you to pay for.

As you can see in the demo, a book listing takes up a lot of space on the page. This plugin begs for a theme with a lot of whitespace, so it’s not going to work for everyone.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader

PG has never had problems putting widgets for Mrs. PG’s books onto her website. However, he’s planning to check out several of Nate’s suggestion to see if there is a better way.

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17 Comments to “Seven WordPress Plugins for Author Bookshelves”

  1. What do you use, PG?

  2. I like building the web pages for my books by hand, but maybe I should see if there is an easier and better way. 😉

  3. I went with MyBookTable Pro and like it well enough. At the time I bought it, it seemed to be the slickest, which is kind of silly of me because I only have one book. Maybe I’ll revisit after I actually finish and publish the WIP.

  4. I cannot recommend Mooberry Dreams highly enough. I much prefer it to MyBookTable. Plus, Christie, the developer of Mooberry Dreams, has gone far and beyond what was necessary to provide me with support. If you’re having problems with the plugin as Nate did, just contact her. She will either help you fix it or come out with a patch.

  5. I use MyBookTable Pro and have been able to do a lot with it through shortcodes and page design. For example, here’s one of my book pages: https://jamigold.com/stone-cold-heart/

  6. Really like the Novelist plugin — it’s awfully powerful for a free tool IMO. Nice to see it getting a mention here.

  7. Thank you for your work, Nate. I will check this out at leisure.

    I’m a bit slow at times… but I just realized my website is a showcase for my writing more than anything else. So I’ll start showing off my stuff. I’m sure there’s something on the list that’ll help.

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