Author Pro is a specialty theme designed to help authors showcase and market their books. It works with the Author Pro plugin*, also from StudioPress. In fact, the plugin is so integral to the theme that the company recommends you install the plugin first, before you install the theme!
The theme is clean and uncluttered, with excellent typography. Choose a full-width page, as shown in the demo, or a right or left sidebar.
Author Pro offers five color changes you can make without any code:
- Header background
- Light color — for areas like the sidebar or secondary navigation menu
- Dark color — for areas like the footer and submenus
- Accent color — links, highlighted menu items, and pagination
For each of these you have a full spectrum color changer to select the exact color you want.
As an example, here’s what it looks like when I changed the colors to those I use on this site.
Upload your own header image. Best image size is 320 x 70 pixels.
If you prefer, you can use a background image instead of a background color.
Author Pro comes with two navigation menu locations. The Header Navigation menu displays in the header area, to the right of the header image.
The Secondary Navigation menu displays in the standard area below the header.
This theme also makes it fairly easy to create menu items that are specialized for authors, including:
- Book Authors
- Book Series
- Book Tags
You can also create a highlighted menu item to the far right.
Create the front page using widgets. The demo uses five widgetized areas.
The number of widgets you use will determine the layout of that section. Like other new themes from StudioPress, the Author Pro front page can be extremely versatile. Here are the possibilities.
Author Pro provides column classes so you can create pages with two, three, four, or six columns.
Author Pro Plugin
The Author Pro Plugin creates a custom post type for books. (Don’t know what a custom post type is? Here’s an explanation.) This makes it easy for you to create a library, with book-specific information like:
- Image of the book cover
- Publication date
- Available formats
- Custom buttons for links to purchase or download the book
Here’s an example of a book listing:
And here’s a library page created with the plugin.
Adding books is similar to adding a new product in WooCommerce, where you have fields to complete for relevant information, and can upload corresponding images. Similarly, you can add and edit book series, authors, and book tags. (Book tags are just like the tags you create for posts, but these apply only to the custom post type that the plugin creates.)
It’s Still a Full-Featured WordPress Site
Although not shown in the demo, you can add a blog and any other pages you want, just as you would with a non-author WordPress site. That means, you can include posts, articles, landing pages, WooCommerce or another e-commerce plugin to sell directly on the site, and so on.
Even without the author-specific features, Author Pro is an attractive and versatile WordPress theme with excellent typography.
Bottom line: if you’re an author or publisher, and you want to showcase your publications on your WordPress site, Author Pro is a great choice. If you’re not an author, you can use it without the Author Pro plugin and create a terrific WordPress site.
*Note: The plugin is available at no charge from WordPress.org, and can be used with any WordPress theme.