How to Build a Books Library with WordPress

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Table of Contents

  • 1. Curate Your Favorite Books on Your Website in a Beautiful Way
  • 2. Easily Manage and Organize Books From the WordPress Admin Panel
  • 3. Customize Your Bookshelf With Simple Admin Settings
  • 4. Enjoy Deep Integration into Your Website With These Cool Extras
  • Bonus Feature #1: Show Book Previews in a Popup Window
  • Bonus Feature #2: Use Custom Sidebars on the Bookshelf Page
  • Bonus Feature #3: Share Books on The Stream
  • Bonus Feature #4: Embed Books Anywhere With a Simple Shortcode

The most important content you can deliver to your audience is the gift of knowledge, and there is no better vessel of knowledge than books. With the Bookshelf in Marketers Delight, creating a gallery of your favorite reads has never been easier.

Create a books gallery on your website

1. Curate Your Favorite Books on Your Website in a Beautiful Way

The Bookshelf is a way to add new kinds of content pages to your website. By giving you an easy interface from the WordPress admin to quickly add books, you can quickly build a beautiful library with predesigned book templates.

Go back to your Books page at any time to make edits, add book reviews, star ratings, author details, and configure what the books template looks on the frontend of your website.

The Bookshelf is a brand new feature built right into the latest version of Marketers Delight. To activate it on your site, simply update to the latest version (MD4.8.5.x) and enable The Bookshelf from the MD Features Manager:

Enable the Bookshelf

2. Easily Manage and Organize Books From the WordPress Admin Panel

After you activate the Bookshelf from the Features Manager, you’ll notice a new tab in the left sidebar of your WP admin panel for The Bookshelf.

This is where you will go to manage all of your books. It works just like the standard WordPress post editor, and you can simply click “Add New” to add your first book.

Add Books to WordPress

From there you are presented with the familiar WordPress post editor and a specially designed meta box to quickly input information about the book.

Enter fields such as the book title, author, your star rating, and even an Amazon link for your readers to quickly purchase the book. You can also upload the book cover photo from the simple Featured Image meta box.

Books Editor for WordPress

You can turn any book into a book review by writing in the post editor, and also filling out a quick Excerpt to serve as preview text for your Book embeds around your site (more on that in a moment).

Have a lot of books? No problem! You can even organize your Bookshelf by category. All it takes is the click of a checkbox to add your book to any category you’ve created and your site will sort them out for your readers to easily navigate through.

3. Customize Your Bookshelf With Simple Admin Settings

After you’ve added a few books, you may start to wonder how you can customize your books page further. Well, MD has you covered! By going to the Books Settings page under the Bookshelf you can customize key components in just a few clicks.

Customize Your Bookshelf gallery

Just like any other page on your site, you can change the page URL slug of the Bookshelf from these settings. Add an ever important h1 title tag and description text, change the books layout, number of books per page, and more!

The most exciting feature on this page is the Book Layout setting which allows you to toggle between the default Book Grid layout, or a more scannable excerpt view.

You saw what the Book Grid looks like above, here’s what the Excerpt view looks like:

Books Excerpt view WordPress

Remember — all of the links and content that show are taken from what you add in the post editor. No bulky or unneeded elements to clutter up your content here.

4. Enjoy Deep Integration into Your Website With These Cool Extras

The advantage to the Bookshelf now being a part of Marketers Delight is the deep integration it has with the versatile MD design system.

That means to save unnecessary bloat on your website, the Bookshelf reuses critical parts of MD to build its layout and functionality without loading any extra scripts or resources.

Because of this deep integration into MD, you can also embed your books just about anywhere without issue. Here’s what I mean:

Bonus Feature #1: Show Book Previews in a Popup Window

Marketers Delight makes it easy to build custom popups, and the Bookshelf takes advantage of this powerful feature by generating a popup preview of your book reviews.

When post content is detected by the Bookshelf, it will turn any book cover into a trigger that will show an expanded preview of your book review on click.

Book Preview WordPress

Bonus Feature #2: Use Custom Sidebars on the Bookshelf Page

Yes, the Bookshelf even integrates with MD’s custom sidebars system. After you enable the Sidebar from the Books Settings page, you can then head over to WP Admin > Appearance > Widgets > Edit Sidebars to create and assign a custom sidebar to the Bookshelf page.

Add custom sidebars to the Bookshelf page

Bonus Feature #3: Share Books on The Stream

The Stream is another relatively new feature in Marketers Delight which allows you to create a social media like feed on your website. You can post quick status updates, post well thought out Threads, and share other kinds of content from your site on The Stream.

Share Books in Your Stream on WordPress

When creating a Stream post, just grab the ID of the book you want to share and place it into the “Share content” box in the Stream. Since The Bookshelf integrates so deeply with The Stream, you will see the book propped up on the signature shelf in each of your shared Book posts.

Bonus Feature #4: Embed Books Anywhere With a Simple Shortcode

Your Books are not just restricted to the Bookshelf page. You can embed individual books or multiple books in any post, widget, template, and anywhere else you can execute shortcodes in WordPress!

Here’s an example of hand curated books I’m displaying in my sidebar with the book shortcode:

Embed books with a shortcode - WordPress

Just like The Stream, all I have to do to select a book is grab its post ID from the Edit Book screen and plug it into my shortcode like this:

[book id="65643,65617,65672,65574,65674"]

Yes, you can include as many books as you want by simply separating each book ID in the order you want them show with a comma.

You can even change the template with the type attribute and switch between grid (default) or switch it to excerpt, like so:

[book id="65643,65617,65672,65574,65674" type="excerpt"]

If you’re using the Grid layout, you can even fine-tune your shelf to show as many books per row as best fits in the area.

For an area as small as my sidebar, squeezing 5 books (default) will make the book covers look too small. So with the row attribute I can easily adjust the number of books on each row like so:

[book id="65643,65617,65672,65574,65674" row="3"]

Use this simple shortcode to integrate your books collection and quickly mention any book in posts.

Get the bookshelf now

The Bookshelf is built-in to Marketers Delight, the smarter WordPress theme. Already use MD? Enable the Bookshelf in WP Admin > MD > Features.

Learn more Get MD Now →