Book Plug-ins we’d have to purchase: Ultimate Book Blogger vs. Book Library

by Murder by Death


One of the best features of BookLikes, and one of the reasons we ended up at GoodReads, is the book database.  Being able to post book reviews with book covers and book information that other readers could access, as well as being able to track the books on our shelves.

When I had to create my own book blog,, I was unwilling to compromise on the book database and started doing some hard-core searching for something I could easily use in my posts.  I found Ashley @ Nose Graze.  She writes two seperate plug-ins: Ultimate Book Blogger and Book Database.

Both plugins allow for the writing of reviews embedded with book information.  Both create searchable archives of reviews.  Both get the basic job done in slightly different ways, offering slightly different perks.

The biggest difference between the two on a nuts and bolts level is that:

book database allows the users to manually build a book database that allows for custom taxonomies, different editions tied to the same record (not different covers though), re-read tracking, and reading stats.

Ultimate Book Blogger allows you to pull data from Google Books or Goodreads using an API, which means you can search by title, author, or ISBN for the book(s) you want to embed in your review, allows you to choose what book info to display, but doesn’t keep the book information anywhere but in your post.

UBB also offers spoiler tags, a wrap-up function that seems to be about what you’ve read this month or year and a currently reading widget I use on my regular blog.  Book Database offers a block, for those that like the block editor (or have made your peace with it) that allows you to place a book info box in your posts that might not be reviews.

The features we probably don’t care a whit about are also small and easy to ignore: Book Library allows purchase tracking and tracking of signed editions.  Not sure how useable that is for a group like us.  UBB has giveaways, blog tour and author bio stuff I don’t think this group has any interest in.

As I said, I have both and I use both and unofficially, I’ve discovered that UBB’s currently reading widget works just fine with Book Database’s books.  I don’t know how, but it does.  I think a few more of the widgets do too; I have a recent reviews widget on my site too and it pulls from book database.  What I don’t know is if the crossover would work with multiple users.  Both plug-ins support multiple uses though.

Both cost $35/annually, OR $35 one time.  The one time only gets you one year of updates and support, and then you’re on your own with compatibility issues, etc. When mine came up for renewal this year, I got a 30% discount on each for renewing early.  UBB has a few add-on features that cost a bit more.  The only one that’s ever caught my eye is one for tracking reading challenges, though I haven’t bought it yet.

For those that want more in-depth information, with screenshots, I recommend checking out Ashley’s pages here:

Book Database:

She also created a feature comparison chart, which I’ve appended here for anyone wanting a side-by-side comparison.

From her site:

How is this different from Ultimate Book Blogger? Which one should I choose?

There is admittedly a lot of crossover between Ultimate Book Blogger and Book Database. Some of the differences are more subtle.

In short, Ultimate Book Blogger is geared towards book bloggers and all the features a book blogger might have on their site. It has a lot more settings and more niche options like support for book giveaways and blog tours. It’s also a very public plugin—geared towards people who want to publicly publish reviews and associated content.

Book Database has a larger focus on maintaining a personal library of books and keeping track of your reading statistics. Its calendar view also provides a great way to keep up with upcoming releases. Book Database can be beneficial to people who have no interest in publishing public content; you can simply use it to track your reading progress and books you own and/or are generally interested in.

Feature Book Database Ultimate Book Blogger
Book storage Books are stored in their own database in a dedicated admin menu. Books are stored directly with posts.
Log owned editions Supported Not supported
Log books read Supported Not supported
Reading & reviewing analytics Supported Not supported
Embed book information in posts Supported Supported
Public review archives Supported — one archive with filtering options Supported — multiple different archive types available
Fetch information from Goodreads Not supported Supported
Blog tour support Not supported Supported
Giveaway support Not supported Supported
Related content feature Not supported Supported
Book author bios Not supported Supported
Public Widgets Not supported Supported

6 thoughts on “Book Plug-ins we’d have to purchase: Ultimate Book Blogger vs. Book Library

  1. I am fairly convinced that the book database would be the way to go, and that it would be worth it to pay for support on an ongoing basis.

    I think that the big question for me is whether the book database would work with a multi-author blog. Can it track multiple users reading the same book, and does that even matter.

    I checked it out on your blog, I think it’s pretty slick the way that you can click on, say, the author name and it takes you to all of the books by that author, and then you can link directly to the review of the book that has been published. Would that function work to link to multiple reviews of the same book, by different authors on the same blog?

  2. I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. I know it differentiates between multiple users because my Reading Log has a checkbox for “only show my entries”. And I know I can definitely have multiple reviews tied to the same book. However, looking at the shortcodes in the documentation, I don’t see a filter for users. I might send an email to Ashley and ask her to clarify.

    I like the expanded taxonomies, although I’d like them better if I could use them to build book lists as well as book review lists. But I worry about not having the smaller things that go along with UBB, like the widgets. I also am concerned that people will not like having to add all their books manually – that was a big gripe on BookLikes when they disabled the Amazon feed.

    But I do love the idea of our group having its own curated database. 🙂

      1. I heard back from Ashley today, the response, posted in whole:

        Hi Jennifer,

        Book Database allows each reading log and review of a book to be associated with a specific user. If two different people review the same book, and you were to click on the book author’s name, then you’d see both of the different reviews listed.

        Book Database does not support different users in its admin analytics page. That will be aggregate data across all users; not specific to just one individual.

        I’m afraid there are no plans to add a bulk import or Bookhype API connection.

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