How do you keep readers in the loop on your WIP progress?
Do you tweet, take photos and post to Instagram, dash off posts on Facebook, keep a blog, and/or send updated emails to your mailing list? Probably, if you are like most authors trying to build interest while writing, you are juggling some combination of all of the above. I know I do.
But what if you could have a handy little graphic that showed your progress that readers could check whenever they want?
Oh, and it would also let them know if you are researching, writing, editing, or something else? Oh, and would post the potential release date so readers would know when to expect the new novel. And how about if it nudged you along by sending emails. Or that when you posted a chapter/word count update, it would let you share the news with the press of a button. And, of course, when you completed a phase, it gave you fireworks?!
Now, what if I told you there IS a plugin that does all of that, and it is FREE?
Okay, before you get too excited, I will say the reminder emails are part of the paid version which costs a whole $19. That is $19 flat out, not a month or year, just nineteen dollars. Scary, I know. Oh, and you need to have a WordPress site because this is a WordPress plugin.
And what if you aren’t that great at creating websites? Wouldn’t it be great if this plugin was easy to use and came with a FREE option to create book pages that linked to all the retailers where your books are for sale? And collected emails for readers who want to get updates?
That would be just too awesome, right?
It is! MyBookProgress has been one of my favorite author plugins for years. I was so used to using it and relying on it, that I’d forgotten how awesome and powerful it was until my writing website crashed and I had to uninstall a lot of nuts and bolts before adding back the most important. MyBookProgress was one of the things I realized I missed a lot!
It is not the only WIP plugin out there. When I needed to re-install, I checked out Author WIP Progress Bar too. And it does work, showing the cover, writing (and only writing) progress, expected publication date, and a hotlink. The interface is simple but not dynamic. It doesn’t give you encouragement and fireworks. Just blocks to fill in and outputs a shortcode to install where you want.
MyBookProgess creates a shortcode you can embed in posts AND a widget you can drop into your sidebar. And oh my gosh, the interface is user-friendly and, dare I say it, fun? Seriously, none other than Shakespeare greets you every time you open it!
I’ve been using the free version for years, but I’ll be upgrading to the paid version this month. Not necessarily because the paid options are that much cooler, but this little plugin deserves support! The user interface is easy if you can handle tabs, and it comes with a novel template that already includes research, writing, and editing. But you can add more or choose from a template like NaNoWriMo to Snowflake Method.
Once you have a book set up, it is just a matter of updating your progress. When you do, you get options to share the update!
Talk about taking the stress out of posting! And of course, I did mention fireworks when you complete something, right?
All the while, you can see how your pace is going and if you need to pick things up to meet your deadline.
And remember, this is all the FREE version. Are you not in love yet? I adore this plugin! For serious writers, it can help keep you on track. And if you upgrade to the pro plugin for that whopping $19, you can set up email reminders and nudges to keep you going.
And remember, I said it could also help set up book pages for you too. I love building web pages, so I haven’t used this feature, but it is impressively powerful and simple. Not to mention, it integrates with your mailing list. It requires the addition of another free plugin, which has some snazzy pro upgrades, like showing your Amazon reviews on your book sales page and landing pages. If you are afraid of setting up an author page, seriously take a look at this add on plugin: MyBookTable.
Darn… I sort of want to use it now. Trust me; when you see what the plugin can do, you’ll want to use it too!
But I’m trying to tell you about MyBookProgress and not how cool the book sales pages look if you use MyBookTable. Because, once you get your books set up and add the plugin to your posts or sidebar, you get something that looks like this:
This is from the sidebar on my writing site. But I’ve used the shortcode option to include the graphic in posts as well as taken screenshots to use in newsletter emails and social media posts. Because how cool is it to be able to show how your books are doing?
That is my latest update on great tools for authors. Do you have a great tool that we should know about and feature? If so, let me know in the comments. And let me know if you pick up MyBookProgress! I’d love to check out how you use it on your author website.