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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, this plugin was called Buy This Book Extended - but due to shenanigans with the older version, I had to rename it. It's now called the Author Showcase plugin!

It's a WordPress plugin for self-hosted blogs that lets you display your books in several different ways using shortcodes and a sidebar widget. Big thanks to everyone for their feedback!


[Original post]

I'd also like to get some suggestions for extra functionality. I can make the code do just about anything, but I don't know what authors really need. So if you've got a wishlist, or something you want a WordPress site to do that it doesn't do right now, lay it on me and I'll try to build it into BTBE before I submit it to the WP Directory.

Current implemented functionality
  • Admin page allows you to add each of your books with title, series, author, blurb, cover image, and any number of links to buy it
  • You can choose the icons for each link
  • Shortcodes can display different layouts on pages, see here: http://imgur.com/a/ZDq5o#0
    • Grid, List, Columns, Single
    • The grid layout includes the same slideout menu as in the sidebar widget
    • The grid allows you to choose the number of books per row
  • The sidebar widget displays book covers in a row, with a slideout menu of the links
  • Built-in responsiveness, so it should display properly on any screen size
  • Adding the ISBN and your Goodreads API key displays Goodreads reviews on the single book display shortcode (you can see how the reviews look here: http://raynfall.com/the-meldling/)
  • Adding your Amazon Affiliate access credentials and the ASIN displays Amazon reviews on the single book display shortcode (you can see how the reviews look here: http://raynfall.com/the-meldling/)
  • The sidebar widget has a 'Randomize' function that shows a new book from the chosen selection every time the page is reloaded. (Thanks to Vaalingrade for the suggestion)
  • You can now disable the grid or sidebar slideout menus and show the sales link icons by default. (Thanks for elizabethbarone for the suggestion)
  • There's now a dropdown list of pages in the Book editing screen that allows you to specify a WordPress page for each book. If this is set, a Find out more link will appear below the sidebar covers, and in the grid, columns and list formats. You can see the book page in a new column on the Book List screen. (Thanks to Kate Lowell for putting the idea in my head)
  • A short blurb has been added to the Book editing screen. The short blurb will be used in the list format, the columns format, and the sidebar (if set to visible). The original long blurb will be used in the single page format.
  • The List, Columns and Single layouts have text buy links by default, but you can specify that icons be used instead.
  • There is an 'icons only' option to show one book's buy links in icon format. (Thanks to Brandon Shire for the suggestion)
  • There is an 'links only' option to show one book's buy links in text format. (Thanks to Jamie Ross for the suggestion)
  • You can add a series number value to each book which will show up wherever the series name appears, e.g. A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1, Bodies and Souls #1 (thanks to Kate Lowell for the suggestion)

Update: the Author Showcase plugin will soon be available in other languages! French is on the way, and hopefully Brazilian Portuguese. If you'd like to help out with a translation, please message me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Felix R. Savage said:
Hi Claire, how is this different from MyBookTable?
No advertising, for a start. I'm not selling you anything - I made this because I needed a plugin and thought I might as well make it myself. It will always be 100% free and available in the WP Directory for all. You can add links and icons for any store, not just the ones the plugin allows you to.

I kinda thought MyBookTable was a bit of overkill, personally, but if people like that, I can start replicating its features.
 

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Thanks for posting, Claire. I've been looking for a plugin like this all week. The other ones I found didn't work for me personally. I'll give this one a go and get back to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I added a responsive grid layout with the same slideout menu that the sidebar widget uses this morning. I might add a single page layout with embedded reviews from Amazon - I've done some API stuff before, it's not hard - but it means that you'd need an Amazon Affiliate account, which kinda sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alrighty, I set up a single page layout and added Goodreads reviews. I'm going to put those and the Amazon reviews side by side. Shame they can't be formatted nicely, but what can you do.

[added by edit] this isn't in the version on my site yet, I have some more doodads to set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, I've added the single book layout, and stuff for including Amazon and Goodreads reviews. The zip on my site is updated. If anyone's installed it already, the new version may not overwrite properly, so please let me know here if you see any errors.

Also you may need to deactivate it and then activate it again to make it update itself properly
 

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This looks like the business, Claire! I'm not a fan of MyBookTable personally. Its layout doesn't look professional. I'm going to download your updated zip and play around with it! You're a star for doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Felix R. Savage said:
This looks like the business, Claire! I'm not a fan of MyBookTable personally. Its layout doesn't look professional. I'm going to download your updated zip and play around with it! You're a star for doing this.
If you've any suggestions for the layout, please let me know! I'm adding minimal CSS so that everything is responsive and looks coherent, but otherwise it should pick up the theme CSS, and that can sometimes produce some odd effects. The grid is especially weird - I'm generating and adding CSS styles depending on how many show up per row, while still being responsive.

I'm not a CSS person, more or less. I know enough to get things working, but I'm really more of a PHP dev than a web designer.
 

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Interesting. any chance of getting some shortcodes so one can drop a sidebar-esque book entry into a post or page? I tend to announce new books at the end of blog posts and being able to drop the book box into the post would be nice.

Also how about a rotating book widget?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Vaalingrade said:
Interesting. any chance of getting some shortcodes so one can drop a sidebar-esque book entry into a post or page? I tend to announce new books at the end of blog posts and being able to drop the book box into the post would be nice.

Also how about a rotating book widget?
Okay I think I'll just post some screenshots of what each shortcode looks like. I think the default list type with a single book ID will do what you're talking about.

I can definitely do a rotating widget :p what kind of transition would people like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay! I used A Game of Thrones as an example, and put a few screenshots into an Imgur album that show the different shortcode options.

The grid type also includes the slideout menu on each book.

http://imgur.com/a/ZDq5o#0

(Apologies for the horrible grey and blue, that's my test server.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If anyone is getting an activation error about a missing class, delete the plugin and get the most up to date version from the link in the OP here.

Thanks to Neal for spotting that, it should be fixed now.

[added by edit] I uploaded the latest version to my own site and got it set up, then pushed through a bunch of bugfixes. If anyone's seeing anything odd, delete the one you've got on your site and upload a fresh copy from the link in the OP. Let me know if anything breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Shei Darksbane said:
Could you put a live preview up somewhere?
Hard to know if I'd want to use it if I can't even see it in action. :)
Sure - here's the test page on my site - http://raynfall.com/books/

It uses the list view. And you can see the widget slideout menu in the sidebar, just click on the book covers.
 

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Claire Ryan said:
Okay I think I'll just post some screenshots of what each shortcode looks like. I think the default list type with a single book ID will do what you're talking about.

I can definitely do a rotating widget :p what kind of transition would people like?
Cool.

I'd be happy with a rotate on-reload.

Are you planning to put it up on the official WP plugin site once you're out of beta?
 
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