Chapters for Authors Write your next book from the comfort of the WordPress dashboard

It’s amazing what you can come up with randomly over the weekend while doing a dozen other things 😂

Case in point – Chapters for Authors 👊

This is a new plugin I built from an idea I got when I read a tweet from Ines van Essen, who is building a plugin for bloggers to gamify their blogging.

Her plugin, Bloggerpoints will reward authors for writing consistently and hitting specific word counts. A badge of honor, so to speak, for bloggers.

I thought it may be a good idea for those authors, who more than likely will also be writing for NaNoWriMo this November, to have a place in WordPress to write their book.

I’ll be committing myself this November to NaNoWriMo plus I also spend a lot of time in my WordPress dashboard, so this will be a time saving, self-serving plugin.

If you plan on writing and want to easily read over and share your book with the world, this plugin is perfect for you, too.

Installing Chapters for Authors

You can download the Chapters for Authors WordPress plugin via the official WordPress plugin repository.

You can also download it directly from your WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins - Add New and searching for WP Dispensary.

If you’re the adventurous type, you can get the plugin from Github 🙂

Flushing Permalinks

After you install the plugin, make sure to re-save your permalinks to flush the settings and let the Chapters plugin link properly.

Creating Chapters

So once you have the plugin installed, you’ll want to start writing immediately.

I mean, why wouldn’t you? 🙂

Chapters for Authors dashboard screenshot
Chapters for Authors dashboard screenshot

In your dashboard menu, you’ll now see the “Chapters” post type.

This is where you can publish the chapters from your book, categorize your chapters by book and tag characters.

Books

chapters-for-authors_books-taxonomyWhen publishing new chapters, there is a Books taxonomy where you can categorize your chapters by book.

Looking to write and publish a lot of books? Then this will be how you can do it.

If your permalinks are set to /%postname%/ then your Book’s URL will be www.yourwebsite.com/book/book-title

Characters

Tagging the Characters that appear in each chapter makes it easy to see how often characters appear throughout your book, link your readers to all of the times their favorite character appears in your book, etc.

Don’t have characters in your book? No problem!

At the top right of the Add New Chapter page, you’ll see a Screen Options button.

click to view full size
click to view full size

Clicking and opening this up lets you un-check the Characters option, hiding it from your screen forever 🙂

Introduction Quotes

chapters-for-authors_introduction-quoteThe Chapters for Authors plugin also adds in a custom meta box for you to add in a quote & author name.

In a lot of the books I read, there’s a nice quote on the first page of each chapter, so this meta box will allow you to save your own quote.

You can output the quote by using the following php code:

Thank yous

First, I would like to thank Ines for building a plugin for building something and talking about it. That spark is what brought this plugin to life!

When building the plugin, I utilized the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate Generator to quickly make the base code for the plugin.

The Chapters custom post type was built with the Post Type Generator and I re-used the code from taxonomies and meta boxes in WP Dispensary to build out the custom taxonomies and meta boxes in Chapters for Authors.

If you’re looking for easy taxonomy and meta box generators, GenerateWP has you covered!

Building a plugin like this can be done really quick when you have the right system in place.

The road ahead

I’ll be actively developing this plugin over on Github, so feel free to submit code or open issues.

There is a also paid version of this plugin in the works.

I am not set on a date yet because there’s a couple features I want to make sure I’m getting 100% right.

It is definitely coming though and if the build speed for the free plugin is any indication, I see it happening sooner rather than later.

I mean, NaNoWriMo is coming up really soon 🙂

7 thoughts on “Chapters for Authors Write your next book from the comfort of the WordPress dashboard

  1. Nice idea. It is interesting to see how you solved the backend problem of not being able to nest custom post types by using a custom taxonomy. I noticed that problem with bbPress and found that Justin Tadlock’s Message Board plugin (https://github.com/justintadlock/message-board) seems to solve it by using a lot of rewrite rules.

    BTW, I’ve done NaNoWriMo the past two years and am looking forward to this November.

    1. Thanks David! Glad to see my work isn’t going unnoticed 🙂

      I started NaNoWriMo last year and didn’t complete it, but I’ve got time already set aside this year, so I’ll make sure I complete it this year!

  2. So far pretty neat. Not totally sure how it differs from posts, but I will figure it out.

    A few comments:
    I am missing the Excerpts page option box. Many people use excerpts to send emails to our subscribers when we have new posts. It would helps to have that back.

    Chapters seems to interfere with Yoast SEO snipets section.

  3. Having difficulty getting the book and chapters to show in my wordpress blog. The book does not show up anywhere that I can find and it does not appear to have a way of setting the location.

    I auto-published to my Facebook page and it shows up there with a link back to the article. It does not show anywhere on the WP homepage or any sidebar.

    I would appreciate a response as I am reviewing your plugin for a writers group.

    Thanks

    Bob

    1. Hey Bob,

      Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you’re finding some use from the plugin and I see what you mean about the chapters/books not showing up in the MENU’s area of the admin dashboard.

      I’m working on an update and will have it pushed out this week and that should take care of it.

      I’d love to know the writers group you’re reviewing it for.

  4. Hi Robert,

    It is a private group of published authors in multiple genre’s. The group individual members are published in pulp and eBook by various know publishers. The purpose of the group is to investigate “skip generation” technologies that will propel writing to next levels. One of the more simple tasks is to build a sequential subscription to allow writer to push out chapters and “build” a book on WordPress a chapter at a time. This could translate to a subscription or free-sequel type of publishing. So, having the ability to push out chapters and promote them over social media is important. Most of us use Yoast SEO Pro and other social media plugins for social, but we also need the excerpt block (like in a post) to push out chapters to our subscribers to the WP blogs.

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