- Editor Rating
- Rated 4 stars
- Author Pro
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
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- Ease of useEditor: 95%
- FunctionalityEditor: 90%
- PriceEditor: 80%
- Support & documentationEditor: 95%
When writing is a fundamental part of your life you happen to do for a living, having your own website can often be an afterthought. Your writing should speak for itself after all. It’s a craft you’ve carefully nurtured and honed. Why would a website make it any better?
The reality is as an author, writing is only part of the package. To be a successful author doesn’t take talent alone. It involves hard work, dedication and a whole lot of self-promotion. You’re your own brand and it’s your responsibility to get your work in front of the people who will appreciate it most.
Why authors and writers should have a website
That’s where having a website comes into it’s own. Even with a simple WordPress website that displays your work and consolidates your online presence, you can make an impact.
Think of your website as a central hub. This is where your fans will converge when they want to stay updated. It’s where you’ll share upcoming publications, book signing schedules, and your social media links. You might even keep a blog as an insight into your inner thoughts; a bonus for your more loyal readers.
Needless to say, having your own website can be a valuable asset in your marketing arsenal. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be difficult to get up and running.
Author Pro in a nutshell
Allow me to introduce to you a WordPress Child Theme that will make your life as an author, a whole lot easier. Designed specifically with authors in mind, Author Pro is a Genesis Child Theme that makes showcasing your best work, a breeze.
Its clean, modern layout will be a hit with your audience. Utilizing content blocks that allow for large, beautiful imagery, Author Pro successfully manages to combine striking visuals with Typography that’s crisp, clear and which works as a main feature rather than an afterthought.
From the top down, Author Pro specializes in honing into your work. By utilizing the Author Pro WordPress Plugin, you’re able to display your publications and include important information such as price, ISBN codes, cover images, summaries and purchase buttons.
Create a buzz by showing off your best critique. By aligning several standard text widgets into one of the ready-made content areas, a simple use of the blockquote class will see your reviews displayed beautifully where all eyes can see them.
Further to the minimal aesthetic of the home page, the large footer area can play host to a variety of widgets. These can be used to display upcoming events, your social links, recent publications and more.
What are the stand out features?
Aside from its stunning good looks, the Author Pro Child Theme packs some powerful features geared towards making technology complementary to your work, rather than an obstacle.
As mentioned previously, when used in conjunction with the (free) Genesis Author Pro Plugin, it provides access to a range of tools that can only help improve your experience. By using the Author Pro Plugin, you can create a library which allows you to add books to your site. You can then add custom information such as:
- Custom buttons
- Your book price
- The number of editions available
- ISBN and publish date
- Editor and publisher
- Featured text to highlight the book
These all work with the Genesis Author Pro Featured Book widget, which houses several output options including:
- Widget title
- Book title
- Book image
- Author byline
- Custom link
Going back to the Child Theme, it comes built with intuitive features which can be used straight out of the box. For example it houses:
- Two navigation areas for creating a clean, focused navigation from page to page.
- The Landing Page template is a great feature if you’re looking to hone in on leads, as it removes the header, footer and sidebars from the page.
- As a mobile responsive theme, it adapts seamlessly to multiple devices and screen sizes.
- The custom background and header options, allow you to put your own unique stamp on your site, without digging into any code.
- Theme options can be managed from the native WordPress customizer, making it easy to preview changes before you publish.
Can it only be used by writers?
I’m asked this often by people looking to use a particular Genesis Child Theme that doesn’t seem to fit with their niche. The simple answer is, no. You don’t have to be a writer to get value from a Child Theme such as this one. Author Pro might be geared towards writers and authors, but it can just as easily be customized to serve another purpose.
Instead of using books to display, you could feature images or work projects, turning your site into a portfolio for potential clients to peruse.
You could even go without the Author Pro plugin and use the site as a minimal blank canvas to build your blog or business website upon. By experimenting with different widgets in each content area, there’s a variety of ways you could use it for other purposes.
What you should know before buying
Author Pro is a Child Theme for the Genesis Framework. This means in order for it to work properly on your site, you’ll need to first purchase a copy from the StudioPress website. New customers can take advantage of buying the theme and framework together, whereas if you’re an existing StudioPress customer, you can use your returning customer discount to purchase the Child Theme on its own.
To get Author Pro setup on your site, first download the Genesis Framework .zip file. It can be found in your ‘My Downloads’ section of your StudioPress account area.
Next upload the framework to your WordPress website. You can do this either via ftp or by selecting ‘Appearance’ → ‘Themes’ → ‘Add New’ and browsing for the file you downloaded. At this stage, it’s important that you don’t activate the framework. You don’t need to do this as the Author Pro Child Theme is the one we want to output on the front end.
Repeat these steps to download and upload Author Pro. This time, select the ‘Activate Theme’ option. The Genesis Framework files will sit in your installation doing most of the work. You don’t need to touch this. Your Child Theme is where you can change elements around to get things looking just the way you want.
Cost, documentation and support
Now I won’t lie to you, getting started with Genesis for the first time can be a little costly. The price of purchasing a Child Theme, coupled with the Framework will set you back $99.95. Consider this an investment though. Ask anyone who’s used Genesis for any length of time and I’m pretty sure they’ll say it was money well spent.
In the same vein, these are the people who usually hang out in the Genesis Community Support Forums. Here you can ask any number of questions related to your theme and the framework. A quick search through the threads reveals a wealth of knowledge, troubleshooting and information on anything from code snippets and theme tweaks, to advice on how to make your site your own.
That’s without even touching the official support documentation. Once you’re logged into the StudioPress site, your ‘My StudioPress’ area offers plenty of help to further educate and inspire.
For example there’s:
- A getting started guide
- Detailed setup instructions for every theme you own
- Beginners guide PDF
- Top questions
- Code snippets
- Mobile responsive design testing
- Available genesis plugins
- Community resources
- A list of approved Genesis developers
And that’s just the official stuff. A quick Google will reveal endless instructables, courses and tutorials geared towards the Genesis framework
Examples of Author Pro in action
It’s all well and good me showing you screenshots of the Author Pro demo. You could probably find that out for yourself, without my guidance. What you might struggle with however, is visualizing how you could make this intuitive and versatile Child Theme your own.
I’ve done a little digging and have come up with a few examples of people using the Author Pro theme on their own or client sites.
Delphinium books have taken a minimalistic approach to designing their website. A simple homepage with a showcase of their latest and upcoming news and publications, is beautifully contrasted with bright pops of blue. Here they haven’t used all of the widget areas, keeping things neat and simple.
Stefanie Valentic uses the Author Pro Child Theme to showcase her freelancing work. By removing the book showcase from the front page, she leaves room to showcase her resume. The book collection page is instead used as a portfolio.
Jamie Wilson doesn’t use the Author Pro Child Theme. She does however use the plugin to utilize her book listings on a different Genesis Child Theme. The effect is one that’s atmospheric, sophisticated and in-keeping with the look and feel of her series.
Probably my favorite example of Author Pro in use, is this offering by House of Funk. They are as far from being authors and writers as you can get. Instead they’ve carefully customized the Child Theme for use as a one-page, scrolling website. The results are incredibly stylish, yet simple to boot.
Regardless of whether you’re a writer, an author or a luxury towel retailer; Author Pro is a Child Theme that won’t disappoint. For authors it allows you to get up and running without the hassle, while other niches can utilize its distinct design to stand out from the crowd.
- Easy for authors to set up
- Removes the hassle of coding
- Suitable for other niches
- Extensive support
- Can be pricey if you don’t already own the framework
- Advanced customization isn’t always but there are plenty of tutorials to help you
- Need a very basic understanding of Genesis
Summary: Author Pro is a Child Theme that won’t disappoint. For authors it allows you to get up and running without the hassle, while other niches can utilize its distinct design to stand out from the crowd.