I created this to combat three problems:
- Many authors use things like the Amazon Affiliate widget to display their books, which is stripped out of webpages by adblockers. This results in their books never being seen by a significant chunk of users, as adblockers are the most popular plugins for Chrome and Firefox.
- If authors want to just add their books and a link to Amazon, etc, they’re obliged to know some HTML and it’s something of a pain in the ass.
- Neither option is ideal when books can be available on multiple websites.
Clearly, there’s a technical solution to this, and I put it together in a WordPress plugin called Buy This Book.
What it does is relatively simple – it takes the process of adding books to a WordPress sidebar and makes it painless. Here’s an example from Perry Wilson’s site (many thanks to her for being my eternal guinea pig!).
What you can see here is that every instance of the widget takes up to three books. How many you want to add really depends on you, but Perry has hers split up by series, so she has four. Within each widget, you have to add the image and links for each book, and on the front end…
There’s her sidebar, with the different widgets being displayed. You can click on any image, and a small menu slides out under the book with icons for different buying options. Perry uses three of the six, and the widget currently supports the following:
- Barnes & Noble
Obviously, the ones you don’t use won’t show up.
I want to give credit where it’s due – initially, I planned to adapt the Buy This Book widget provided by the Ted Weinstein Literary agency here. I found that I preferred a slideout menu to a popup, and their widget only supported services that use ISBNs in the URL – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Indiebound. Still, many thanks to them for giving me the idea and the push to get this done.
I hope this is useful to all who use it. I’ll be submitting it to the WordPress directory as well as offering it for download here.