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Best WordPress Plugins for Authors

Our best Wordpress plugins for authors

Last week, we talked a little bit about author websites, and what you should put on them. This week, we’re going to spend a little bit of time in the “back-end;” that is, the stuff that you put on your website to make it pretty. This post will primarily focus on WordPress self-hosted websites and the plug-ins that we love. As always, if you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!

What is a Plug-In?

See our best wordpress plugins for authors, ready-to-use bits of code that add functionalityWhen we talk about WordPress, we’re talking about, not (don’t know the difference? Check this out). WordPress itself is a highly customizable solution that can be modified through code. But for those of us who don’t have the time/energy to come up with our own customizations, an army of developers have come to the rescue with a plug-in for literally anything you could possibly want.

In a nutshell:

A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress.

Source: WP Beginner

Here are some examples of plug-ins that we use here at SGR-P:

  • Yoast SEO: Helps us manage our search engine optimization on pages, posts, and more.
  • Downloads: Manages our review copies so we can deliver them to our army of reviewers
  • WooCommerce: Supports the eCommerce part of SGR-P with integration to Paypal
  • MetaSlider: Adds that pretty slider on the front page of the website

We also have plug-ins to speed up load time, replace images after they’ve been uploaded, and to add a custom profile photo to our SGR-P presence. So you, see, there really is a plug-in for everyone

Best Plugins for Authors

We’ve compiled our favorite plug-ins for authors below. This isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start. Like most plugins, these are free to use.

Yoast SEO

Our best WordPress plugins for authors include book management and SEO helpWe mentioned this one above–and yes, we heavily utilize it on both and Search Engine Optimization is “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” In other words, if someone searches for something, the likelihood they’ll end up on your page vs someone else.

Yoast is a great tool to help make sure the words on the page (and associated images, headers, and links) help move your stuff higher on Google’s search results. They give you two scores: how easy-to-read your content is and your SEO score. The more green you have, the better you are!

Why is this helpful to authors: Because you want your content to be at the forefront of every Google search of your name.

MooBerry Book Manager

This is a lesser-known plugin, but it’s still one of our favorites. This plugin creates a new “content type” on your website (called “books”) where you can add everything about a particular book: series, links to every bookstore imaginable, links to download for free, places for editorial reviews, etc. It’s super easy-to-use and the organization works great.


This is a plugin that integrates with your Mailchimp newsletter which makes it easy to get signups on your website. Email marketing is something we’ll cover in a future blog post, but suffice to say, it’s another tool in your marketing arsenal. Having an easy-to-use sign up form on your website is crucial, and this plug-in makes it simple.

Word of caution: We’d recommend not having a pop-up newsletter subscriber box on your website. While it might get you some subscribers, you’ll lose more in people leaving your page because they ignored you.

Monster Insights

If you’re like us and you like keeping track of your site visitors and other analytics, then using Google Analytics is probably already in your arsenal. We like the ease of the Monster Insights plugin to add the tracking number, monitor activity, and more.


So we’re cheating a little on this one. The CoSchedule plugin is free, but the service itself is not (and it’s pretty pricey). However, it’s one of the better tools we’ve come across to schedule and manage a whole lot of content across a whole lot of different social media.

For busy authors with a lot of stuff to promote, the tool is a lifesaver. You can set up templates for recurring activities (such as promoting blog posts) and the auto-scheduling and calendar tools help you visualize your messaging in real time. We use it for both SGR-P and S. Usher Evans blogs, for event promotion (like our Twitter chats), book blitzes, and more.

Do you have a favorite plugin? Tell us in the comments!

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Author Website: Your Home On the Interwebs

Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about getting your book set up on different stores, formatting, and ways to help maximize your visibility. Today, we’ll be sharing some author website tips, and the best ways to maximize your visibility outside of eBookstores.

Your Address

You know Shakespeare never had to worry if was already taken, but today’s authors should act quickly to claim their domain name. If you’ve decided to go with a penname, that makes it a little easier: simply pick a penname that doesn’t have an active site associated with it. If you’re going with your own name, then that might present additional issues.

The important thing is to have a dedicated URL for your author site, whether it’s or or Why? Because it gives a level of legitimacy that doesn’t. Unless you’re George R.R. Martin who famously uses LiveJournal to communicate with his fans, you’ll want to make sure you purchase a domain.

Need some tips on domains or any of the technical stuff discussed in this blog? We can help! See our form at the bottom of the page.

WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Wix vs. ?

Once you’ve got a domain, the next step is to set up your hosting provider. What does that mean exactly? Think of your author website as a folder. In order to display images and content, you need a folder to stick it in and you’ll need to pay someone to host that folder on the internet.

For some services, like Wix, Blogger, and SquareSpace, the hosting is bundled in when you get the service. But along with that comes limitations on customizations.

For our money, we like to use WordPress (note: is not the same as Using WordPress means we have to pay for a hosting provider (we use BlueHost) and install the website ourselves. But we also have access to a vast array of plug-ins that do pretty much anything we need. We’ll talk more next week about our favorite WordPress Plug-ins for authors.

Home Page

Once you’ve got your website set up, it’s time to focus on what it’s going to say. Think of your author website homepage as the first impression for readers. There are various theories on what a home page should contain, but you should absolutely make sure it’s search engine optimized (SEO). We’ll have a later blog on what that means.

Site visitors should have easy access to your book pages (more in a bit), social media links, email, and newsletter sign-up form. Speaking of newsletters, don’t be one of those people who block your author website homepage with an annoying sign-up screen. You’ll lose more readers than gain subscribers.

You should also take care how quickly your site takes to load. Optimize images (that is, make them as small as possible) and avoid using background images, video, and music.

Content is King

A pretty site with no useful information is less appealing than an ugly site that helps users get to where they want to go. Obviously, your goal is to strike a balance of pretty and functional. But if you have no content, then your site will languish.

At a minimum, you should have pages dedicated to your published (and forthcoming) books, complete with links to every store they’re available on. MooBerry Book Manager has a great WordPress plug-in for this.

You should also have pages for your biography, complete with your head shot and social media links, as well as appearances and news.

A blog is also highly recommended. We’ll talk more about our favorite blogging tips in a future post.

Website Maintenance

After you’ve got your site up and running, it’s important to do routine checks to make sure it’s still running smoothly. This is especially important for new releases, where you’ll need to change “available for preorder” to “available for sale.” This is also a great opportunity to check all your social media and contact links, too.

Your author website is your home on the internet. Use these tips to make the most of it.


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