As a developer I don’t like adding plugins to WordPress site unless I absolutely have to. Instead I’ll add additional functionality to theme when needed. The more plugins on a WordPress site, the more chance something can go wrong. I’ve dealt with incompatibility issues, cron jobs going screwy, and additional load time as more database queries are processed to accommodate the plugins. I’m currently running twenty active ones and four inactive, which I’m keeping around for troubleshooting.
The two I added today are from Author Media. They are both going to make managing, and reporting on, my books so much easier! They tie in with one another so I can catalog a book and show its progress, if it’s not available for purchase just yet. Both have widgets and shortcodes to allow for display on the sidebar as well as in posts and pages.
First up is MyBookProgress. It lets me show that yes, I am writing without having to create a new blog post or Tweet unless I want to, and then it will even start them for me, I can use their pre-set phases or define my own and then quantify their progress based on chapters, pages, words, scenes and percentage. If I wanted to I could even tie it into my mailing list. The premium version of the plugin offers extra skins and email reminders, but since I’m not setting deadlines and the existing skins work just fine with my theme, I didn’t see the need to upgrade.
The next one is MyBookTable. It was actually recommended to me by my friend Angela, who released the second book in her Tales of the Drui series yesterday. I upgraded the plugin to the premium version because I wanted to the extra buy buttons, affiliate links with Amazon, B&N, and IBooks, and the Amazon reviews. I’ll eventually go developer with this plugin because I’ll want to use it on book specific sites or a general affiliate bookstore. This plugin creates it own content type and categorizes by author, series, genre, and tags. The tags part is going to come in handy when I break the series into its parts or deal with the In the Name of Freedom trilogy. The rest I probably won’t use just because this site deals with one series written by one person, for now. Book title, book blurb, book details, buy buttons, and book overview are the main sections for each book. In book details, I can upload a book cover and sample chapter, and enter the ISBN and ASIN numbers, book length, list and sale prices, publisher name and url, and publication year.
Installing these two plugin makes the books section feel like a solid bookstore. It also means I’m done with development. It’s time to put my writer hat on and start adding content and updating the books when I make progress.