I don’t know if I can thank Abigail from All Things Urban Fantasy enough for introducing me to the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin! Not only is the plugin freaking amazing, the developer has been wonderful to work with!!
So what is the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin?
It’s the answer to my least favorite (and least updated) aspects of book blogger.
Before I talk a little about what I’m using it for and what I love about it, I want to let you know that it is not a free plugin ($35) and only available for WordPress. I paid for my copy and am not getting anything for writing about it.
I’ve always used a review post template. I save it as a draft and copy it into a new post. It wasn’t horrible to fill out, but it was a lot of formatting and linking. Not anymore Now I fill the information I want to include in the Book Info section and it populates in my post.
(old template – click to enlarge)
In the settings of the plugin you can format what information you want to appear when using the form and how you want it to look. This makes copying/pasting book information a breeze. It also helps me make sure I don’t forget anything when filling out the info.
And better yet… it automatically indexes your review!
My Review by Title, Review by Author, and Review by Series pages are all automatically updated when I post a review. I have chosen not to do my Read in 2013 page (due to reading books I don’t review) or my Review by Rating (I’m still updating archives). All and all, there are currently five index options to choose from.
Features I have yet to fully explore:
- Social Media counter specifically designed for book bloggers.
- Review stats based on author, genre, formats, pages read, ect.
- Built in slider that will automatically update widgets for giveaways and review stats.
- Easy book information display. Just fill out boxes for book title, book author, publisher, etc. and all the HTML gets rendered for you automatically!
- Easy rating display. Save your rating graphics on the settings page and then automatically display the book rating by selecting your rating from a dropdown menu. No need to constantly copy and paste the graphics URLs!
- Automatically updating review indexes. FIVE different indexes: one for reviews sorted by book title, one sorted by author’s last name, one sorted by book series, one sorted by posting date/year, and one sorted by star rating.
- Custom taxonomies. Clickable links for author’s name, publisher, genre, and more. Each link takes you to an archive that shows posts tagged with that same author name/publisher/etc. See documentation for further explanation.
- “About the Author” box that automatically get tagged onto the end of your reviews! Using the custom taxonomies, you can fill out a bio for each author. Then when you add a review for that author’s book, the bio will automatically be generated and displayed below the review.
- Easy to use blogroll. Easily add new blogs to your blogroll and have the HTML automatically generated in a widget.
- Automatically updating giveaway page. This page automatically displays your current giveaways, and then when the giveaway ends, it gets moved to a “past giveaways” section.
- Easy to use image slider. This plugin comes built-in with an image slider. With one check of a box (and one upload of an image!), you can add a post to the slider. You can specify how many slider images you want to appear at once so that you don’t have to go back and remove old entries.
- AWESOME statistics about your reviews! With simple shortcodes, you can easily display tables of data, without having to manually collect the data yourself! Some of the statistics include: the number of books you’ve obtained from each source (i.e. how many you were gifted, how many from NetGalley, how many you bought, etc.), the rating distributions for books you’ve reviewed (i.e. how many 5 stars, how many 4 stars, etc.), and the average rating for each publisher!
- A plethora of widgets that you will LOVE!
- Blogroll Widget – For displaying the blogroll I mentioned above.
- Books Reviewed Counter – Display the number of books you have reviewed so far this year, and optionally set a goal amount. This is similar to the Goodreads Reading Challenge.
- Giveaways – Automatically showcases your current and future giveaways. This is similar to the giveaway page feature, but it is in widget format!
- Reviews by Rating – Shows a list of your recent reviews for each rating. You can specify how many reviews you want to show and it will display that number of recent reviews for each rating.
- This Month’s Reviews – Automatically showcases the cover photos of the books you have reviewed this month. You can also decide to show it in textual format instead of book covers.
- Book Blogger Social Media – A social media feature that is easy to use and update, and is specifically designed for book bloggers! Stick with the default social media icons, or upload your own. You can also show off your follower counters!
- Shortcodes for EVERYTHING!
I had some questions and a few issues (due my blog not being as up to date as it should be) and as I mentioned above the developer was absolutely amazing to work with!