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Okay, I figured out a working solution. It's not sophisticated, and I'm sure someone out there would find a cleaner way to do this, but it seems to get the job done. I'll include it here, in case someone else wants to try it.
First, I used a redirection plugin to redirect the books page (the one the Author Pro plugin auto-populates with all the books in the library) to a new page. I'm sure someone knows how to override that plugin setting so it doesn't automatically claim the /books page, but I'm not that person.
Then, I created new widgets via Genesis Extender. I believe there are plugins that do this, as well. I placed the widgets in columns on the new page, then used the layout option to remove the sidebar (so easy, I'm embarrassed I forgot I could do that). I used CSS to style the margins on the new widgets so there was space between them when viewed on mobiles. And that's it. Now, I can add as many books as I want to that page, and organize them however I want, in as many columns as I need. And I get to keep the pretty Author Pro widget style.
I really hope someone with more experience than me doesn't show up to explain why this solution is flawed, because right now it looks good and I'm feeling quite pleased with the solution.
I did use the text editor! And somehow still missed it. Let's blame it on lack of coffee that day.
Yeah, I've had enough white screens of death to learn my lesson about making copies. I'm completely self-taught, so prone to frequent bouts of idiocy, but normally I can pull things together, more or less.
The code worked perfectly! Thanks again. As soon as I figure out how to reorganize the books page and enlarge the header, I may manage to finish this site without going nuts.
All disclaimers noted! And yes, I did the first part, but completely missed the second. I thought I searched every file, but obviously that one slipped by.
Thanks a lot, Erik. That puts me one step closer to getting the site to actually look and function the way I want it to.
I figured out the edits needed to the book metadata file but couldn't figure out how to get them to display.
Please share, Erik! How did you do that so quickly?
I agree, enaid. Plus, if they're clicking tabs between series, rather than having all that information on one page (not just all the books, but all the books grouped by their series--series which are the bread and butter of most successful indie authors), then a visitor needs to look even longer to find the buy link for a book.
Between the three buttons and the limited series functionality, I confess that it doesn't feel like StudioPress consulted many authors on this theme and plugin. I *love* being able to enter all the publication info once and have it display attractively across the site, but I wish there was more flexibility in how the books are displayed.
I'm torn. I like the clean look of just a few buttons (and suspect it's why StudioPress limited it to just the three, as from a design perspective it's more appealing). However, home > books > book detail > print or eBook > vendor of choice is a lot of clicks to get the reader to a site where they can buy the book!
Oh, and I just looked at your wife's site. That's not a bad solution. I hate sending readers all over the site to find the info they want, but at least it's clear and doesn't leave any possible sales on the table.
I've been trying to do the same thing with no luck. You can add buttons to the content area, as SavvyJackie noted, and style them to match the other three. However, I've made several queries about adding additional buttons below the original 3. Apparently, it's a significant bit of coding that would cost a few hundred dollars.
If you enter SavvyJackie's code and align it to the right, the button may sit next to the other three. The problems are a) the buttons will never be the same size, as the original three expand and contract based on the size of the browser window or mobile device and b) when the window is small (as on a mobile screen), the book cover, book metadata, and buy buttons go on top of the post. Any buttons you add to the post content will display below the book description.
I'm a bit disappointed by this, to be honest. There may be three big ebook vendors, but Kobo is no slouch and Google Play is growing. Plus, some of us sell print books or want to offer an indie option.
I haven't decided whether I'll add a bit of text at the bottom saying "This book is also available here, here, and here." or just scrap the plugin altogether.
Thanks so much for looking! I suppose there's some comfort in knowing it wasn't an easy fix I just missed. I suspect I'll need to hire a pro just to figure out this part.
I am pleased to say I just misunderstood the StudioPress support. I don't need to change the book's publication date, but the publication date of the post itself. So, the most recent book needs to be given a false publication book to make WordPress think it was an earlier book.
Thanks for the help. Unfortunately, I already made it that far. That adds a fourth button to the metadata in a book's listing, but doesn't actually display it below the other three.
I do, thank you! I was able to tweak it so there's a place to enter the info for a 4th button but couldn't figure out how to display it.
brightisland, I know it's been a month, but do you still have the code? I'm trying to figure out how to add a button for a fourth vendor. Thanks!