In this short roundup, we highlight several of the best WordPress themes for independent publishing houses and authors (available for 2018). WordPress is an ideal platform for small publishers and self-publishing authors looking to promote and sell their brand, library, books, and ebooks online.
This post should be considered a companion to another of our showcases, 8+ Best WordPress Bookstore Themes, and readers searching for theme with emphasis on e-commerce (think Amazon or Barnes & Noble) might be better served by the themes on that list. The selections on this list are better suited to independent publishers and individual authors, the designs aiming toward creating a slightly more corporate/marketing aesthetic.
We made our choices based on design quality and features. All themes in this roundup are recent releases. We’ll be updating and adding to it as new, worthwhile products hit the market.
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Our top pick for best independent publisher WordPress theme is Booker. This elegant, clean, and modern design is perfect for authors and publishers promoting and selling e-books. The theme includes sections for downloads, overviews, book samples, reviews, and author bios. The included page builder makes creating and managing new layouts simple.
The theme is fully responsive, and retina-ready, guaranteeing a consistent user experience regardless of platform, and graphics are crisp even on the highest resolution 5K displays. Plenty of options on the back-end allow webmasters to easily brand and customize their sites, managing colors, fonts, and headers.
Advertisinf management is built-in, and the theme is WooCommerce ready for e-commerce and shopping cart functionality. Demo content is bundled to help you get things up and running quickly. Booker additionally bundles Slider Revolution, for assembling engaging, informative slideshows, free. Photoshop files for creating book covers and layouts are also packaged.
The theme offers excellent social networking and sharing integration. The carefully crafted code is clean, and SEO friendly. It’s translation ready with WPML support, and extensively documented (including video tutorials). Booker is well-supported and regularly updated.More Info/Download
The sleek, modern design of Booklovers earns it second place on our list. It was developed and designed especially for independent publishing houses, authors, and independent bookstores. You can also use this one for promoting libraries, literary clubs, and online digital media stores.
Once again, this theme is retina-ready for high-resolution devices, and ultra-responsive for maintaining consistency across the spectrum of mobile devices. It’s compatible with (and includes) the premium plugins Slider Revolution, Essential Grid, and Visual Composer. E-commerce features come courtesy of WooCommerce integration.
It’s easy to install and setup using the demo content, and users can choose between four homepage presets. The code is optimized for performance and SEO. A selection of useful settings on the back-end give you the tools to brand and customize the theme further. A handful of custom widgets and shortcodes are built-in.
Nicely documented and ready for translation (with WPML compatibility).More Info/Download
Bookie is another purpose-oriented theme tailored to book publishers, booksellers, and authors. The design is lovely, professional and clean, with the designers making expert use of the latest web design trends. It’s more or less a minimalistic approach, and performance and UX is better for it.
As you might expect, its shopping cart capabilities are powered by the ubiquitous WooCommerce plug-in. Drag-and-drop page building is made possible by the inclusion of Visual Composer, bundled free.
Site owners can take advantage of the admin option panel to adjust colors, typography, and upload custom backgrounds. Bookie is translation and child theme ready.More Info/Download
Bebo was made specifically for books, e-books, and authors, and lends itself well to building websites for independent publishers, too. Three styles are provided to choose from.
Visual Composer is once again included, for editing and building layouts codelessly. MailChimp is integrated, helping you to build your mailing list (a must-have promotional tool for independent publishers and authors).More Info/Download
Pustaka is an independent publisher, bookstore, and author theme powered by WooCommerce. It also supports multi-vendor marketplaces via WC vendors and the optional Dokan (sold separately). One particularly nice extra is the free inclusion of WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates, premium plug-in value at $40.
Seven unique homepage layouts and designs are available to choose from. There’s also three landing pages. The theme is fast, and performance optimized. The SEO friendly code will help you secure a top spot in Google and other search engines.
Drag-and-drop page building functionality is supplied by the KingComposer plugin.More Info/Download
From TemplateMonster, we’ve got Book Group, a lightweight and minimalistic design for independent publishers and self-publishing authors. The theme is powered by TemplateMonster’s proprietary drag-and-drop page builder PowerBuilder.
A number of custom widgets are built-in, further extending the versatility of the theme. The options panel is integrated with Live Customizer, for adjusting and tweaking fonts, colors, and more, and previewing those changes in real-time.More Info/Download