Introduction to Books in WP

In addition to our book publishing activities, we are also interested in workflow for small book publishers. We develop these solutions for ourselves—but we’re happy to share!

Our first project is the Books in WP plugin. Everything directly related to books and authors on our website is powered by our plugin. Books in WP was designed to simplify title management not only on publishers’ websites but in every platform: We will eventually add an ONIX export, for electronic data distribution, and an ICML export, to simplify print catalogue production with InDesign.

Click here to visit our GitHub repository and download our alpha!

Current Features

  • The Contributor post type has metadata fields for name, author photo, long bio, short bio, roles, tags, website, Facebook page and Twitter handle. We chose the generic term “contributor” to encompass not only writers but also illustrators, editors, translators and so on. A contributor can even have more than one role. A list of books by the contributor is automatically generated once the books  have been added.
  • The Series post type has meta fields for title, image, genres, tags and contributors. The list of books in the series is automatically generated once the books have been added.
  • The heart of Books in WP is the Book post type, which has lots of custom meta fields. Title, subtitle, contributors, genres, tags, ISBN, series and number in series, price, currency, format, dimensions (width, height and page count), publication date, availability, age range, cover image, long description, short description and reviews.
  • We’ve built Custom template tags that allow you to build the front-end display to your liking. Every template tag comes equipped with a set of defaults to simplify your coding, and is wired to display nothing if the field is empty. In that way, every field is optional.
  • Two custom pages, New Releases and Upcoming Titles, dynamically display all titles with a pub date in the last six months or in the next six months, respectively. Our Upcoming Titles page is a working example, though it currently displays a “No upcoming titles” message.
  • We provide an Archives Template that adds functionality not present in most themes’ default Archives page, and two others that ensure the New Releases and Upcoming Titles pages function properly. But if you create your own versions of these templates, the plugin will use those instead.
  • Our Featured Books widget can show any number of books from the past or next six months (or both!).

Upcoming Features

For now we want  alpha testers to give us feedback, then we’ll go ahead with the conclusion of Phase 1. At each Phase we will also clean up the code and add any further features that are suggested by users.

Phase 1

  • Basic required ONIX fields for Books, Contributors and Series.
  • Identify contributor role(s) per book for contributors who have more than one role.
  • Book preview or “Look Inside” media upload.
  • Dynamically-generated Related Titles list for book pages.
  • Awards field for books and contributors.
  • Event calendar and Related Events field for books, series and contributors.

Phase 2

  • Additional meta fields for a complete ONIX for Books Product Information Message.
  • ONIX validation, export and transmission options.

Phase 3

  • ICML download for use with InDesign and print catalogue production.


Have an idea for another feature? Join us on GitHub or leave a comment below!

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