How to Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress

One of the best features of the Gutenberg Block Editor is the ability to create reusable blocks.

Once you’ve created a reusable block, any amendments you make to it get implemented wherever you’ve used it. If you’ve used the block on 50 of your blog posts, the changes take place on all of them regardless of when the posts (and pages) were published.

That means there is no need to visit each and every post to make the amendments. Just think how much time that will save you.

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Reusable Blocks & Books

For authors, reusable blocks save lots of time when doing book promotions, such as offering a book as a free download or when offering a limited-time price reduction. And once the promotion is over, simply updating the reusable block takes care of all the changes all over your blog.

How Do I Create a Reusable Block For My Book?

  • Open up a new draft post.
  • Open up the ‘Media & Text‘ block. You can do this by clicking the ‘+‘ symbol in the top corner of the drafts page and inserting ‘Media & Text’ in the search bar.
Screenshot highlighting where and how to find the Image & Text block on WordPress
Media & Text Block
  • Select the Media & Text block to insert it on your post, or select one of the options available for it (e.g. text on left/media on the right).
  • Next, click on ‘Media Area‘ and upload your book cover by clicking the ‘upload‘ button. If your book cover is already in your WordPress media library, click the ‘Select Media‘ button.
Screenshot highlighting the Upload and Select Media buttons on WordPress
  • Click on the ‘Content…‘ area, and add content about your book in the ‘Content’ box.
Screenshot highlighting where to add content in the Media & Text block on WordPress
  • While adding content, don’t forget to use the toolbar on the righthand side of the page to create headings, enlarge text, etc.

Top Tip: Create and include a link in the ‘Content’ area to where people can buy your book. In my example, I’ve created a link to Amazon by making ‘Available on Amazon‘ a pingback.

I recommend you also make the whole block a link to where people can buy your book. To do this, click on the block and create a pingback (see next image).

Screenshot highlighting and showing how to make a block into a pingback on WordPress

Tip: To stop people from losing your blog when clicking on pingbacks, always ensure you turn on the ‘Open in a new tab‘ button (#4 on the above image).

How Do I Turn The Block Into A Reusable Block?

  • Click on the block and click the kebab menu (three vertical buttons) in the toolbar that appears. From the menu, select ‘Add To Reusable Blocks‘.
Screenshot highlighting and showing how to turn a block into a reusable block on WordPress
  • Give the block a name and click the ‘Save‘ button.
Screenshot showing how to name a reusable block on WordPress
  • Your reusable block is created and is now ready to be used on all your blog posts and pages.

Top Tip: Add the reusable block you’ve created for your book to the top three most viewed posts and pages of your blog. That way, even more visitors to these posts and pages will see details of your book.

How do I make amendments to reusable blocks?

  • Click the ‘+‘ sign in the top left corner of a drafts page, and select the ‘Reusable‘ tab (see next image).
  • Click on the ‘Manage Reusable Blocks‘ link at the bottom of the page (see next image).
Screenshot highlighting how to edit a reusable block on WordPress
  • Select the reusable block you want to edit.
Screenshot highlighting how to select a reusable block for editing
  • Make the amendments and click the ‘Update‘ button.
Screenshot showing how to edit a Reusable block on WordPress
  • Any amendments you have made are saved, even on the posts and pages you previously inserted the block on.

And here is the reusable block I’ve created.

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction that take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

  • Finally, don’t forget to click on the pingbacks you’ve added to your reusable block to ensure they work and take visitors to the correct page/site.

Layout, content, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar of my blog to learn more about me and my blog.

44 thoughts

  1. I have been reusable blocks for dome time and I love them. But sometimes they go weird. If after the block I add some text it seems to think it’s part of the block and the block inherits a change , which it never was. Have you come across this?

    1. I haven’t, no. Whenever I add any text after a reusable block, I always do so via the ‘+’ button in the top left corner of my blog and select the paragraph block. If it persists, I’d recommend you let the WordPress Happiness Engineers know, as it may well be a bug with the theme you’re using.

  2. Another excellent tutorial Hugh. I’m paying attention my friend. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to cave to this new editor soon enough with all my blog grief and plugins fighting each other to survive all the updates around it. LOL. I’ll be adding this one in my next edition of Writer’s Tips. Hugs xx

    1. Thanks, Debby.

      I’m witnessing more and more bloggers going over to the Block editor, many of whom said they’d never do it because they hated it so much. Most of them are now wondering what all the fuss was about and have said it wasn’t as bad as they thought. As the number decline in those using the Classic editor, I’m concerned that WordPress will stop supporting it. However, the Block editor also has the ‘Classic’ block that works almost the same way as the old Classic editor. The biggest flaw with the Classic Block is the photo/image galleries, but as you don’t tend to add lots of photos on your blog posts, It’s not going to concern you.

      1. Thanks so much Hugh for filling me in your observations with others and the editor. I believe Sally told me come early 2022, WP will be slowly eliminating the old classic and no further safety updates, so I think those of us still on the old one will be faced with the decision anyway. I’ll keep you posted as to when I graduate. LOL 🙂 xx

        1. Well, that was the plan of WordPress, but I don’t have to tell you how things can change, Debby. I’d recommend you at least get yourself adjusted to how to use the Block editor, even if just practising on a test post in your draft folder a couple of times a week. I’d hate to think of you as one of those bloggers who will wake up one morning and find access to the Classic editor gone, never having tried out the Block editor. I can hear the panic now.

  3. Reusable blocks are so handy Hugh, I use them for a few things and love the way you can edit it one and it’s updated everywhere it’s been used! Your explanations are once again very clear and helpful.

    1. Reusable blocks are one of the best things about the Block editor, Debbie. They’re such time-savers. I need to clean out some of mine, though. I’ve far too many duplicates.
      Thanks again for the great feedback.

    1. I wonder why the reusable block you created for Sunday Stills failed, Terri? Have another go at it, and let me know how you get on.
      In the meantime, the Text & Media block is an excellent block for promoting books, especially given that it can be embedded into blog posts and pages rather than just on a widget bar that many readers don’t take much notice of.

      1. I may have titled it wrong originally, Hugh. I do like that text/media block as even just a layout option. I’m probably the only one who reads widget bars when I’m on my desktop. Definitely not as easy on a mobile device.

        1. I know you’re able to add any reusable blocks on a mobile device that you’ve already created, Terri. I need to find out how you turn a block into a reusable block while on a mobile device. I had a quick look but could not see how to do it. Next time I speak with the Happiness Engineers, I’ll ask the question.

  4. A great post, Hugh, thanks for that.
    I just discovered today that you can add Goodreads buttons and widgets to your site, but I’m not sure how to add the buttons. (They are the buttons that add the book straight to the person’s Goodreads ‘to read’ list, not the Goodreads buttons you did the other week that take the reader to the author Goodreads page). Is that something you’re likely to cover?

    1. Hi Jackie, I’ve had a look at the various blocks and widgets WordPress offer but can’t find one for Goodreads. However, that’s to say they can’t be created. For example, I created a sharing button for Flipboard some years ago. It could be that bloggers are using another block or widget and creating a widget from that. Buttons come as part of some widgets and blocks, so that may be how they are doing it. I took a look at your blog and noticed that it doesn’t have a widget bar. I’d have to see a blog that has the buttons you mentioned to know more. Can you send me a link to a blog that has the buttons you mentioned?

        1. There is HTML for the widgets but nothing for the buttons. The widgets seem to be the wrong configuration for my site, which only has a widget area on the footer, while the Goodreads widgets seem to be for the side bar.

        2. Thank you. I had a go, but the HTML code isn’t very friendly. I used the HTML block to add the code to a blog post. I got a button, but all the code also showed up on the post, which isn’t supposed to happen.

          I’m afraid this one is not one I can help with, Jackie. If you know of anyone who has been able to add the buttons to their blog successfully without all the code also showing up, I’d recommend you ask them how they did it. Alternatively, you could contact Goodreads and ask them. I’m sure they’d be able to help.

  5. That looks great, Hugh. I like the idea and the final looks of this reusable block and wouldn’t mind creating one. But, I wonder, when will I use it?

    When will you use it? As a sign-off to each blog post? Kind of like an email signature? Thing is that I have a purchase link (integrated in a cover photo of Plunge) in the sidebar of my blog, which is visible and accessible each time someone goes to my blog or reads posts. It doesn’t contain as much info as this block, but brings readers to the Amazon purchase page.

    1. Thanks for the questions, Liesbet.

      I intend to use the block on all posts that feature flash fiction or short stories. I’ve also added it to my top three most viewed posts of all time. I’ve also added it to the pages about my books on my blog (although pages tend not to get viewed very much (except for the ‘About Me’ page). My most viewed post was written and published in 2016 but gets lots of hits every day. For the last five years, it’s been my most viewed post every year, but not my most commented on. If it’s getting hits, then placing this block on it will mean visitors to the post will get to see details of my book.

      As for widget bars, many blog themes do not come with a widget bar, or they are hidden until the user clicks on a button. I don’t know about you, but it’s sporadic I ever click on a widget in a sidebar. I’ve also talked to other bloggers and readers about widget bars, and the majority agreement was that they don’t take much notice of widget bars. It’s the post they come to read, not to click on widget bars, so I figured including this block in some of my blog posts will ensure visitors know about my book(s) (if they don’t take any notice of my widget bar).

      I wouldn’t have a widget bar on my blog, but I like it being there (even though I don’t take much notice of widget bars). Of course, it’s entirely up to each of us as to whether we include a reusable block for our books on certain posts, but given what I’ve already said, I intend to make good use of the reusable block I’ve created. I’ll also be creating one for More Glimpses.

      1. Thank you for your in-depth reply, Hugh. This all makes total sense to me now. And, you are right, I don’t take much notice of widget bars to the right either, except to read a short “About me” widget of blogs that are new to me, if that widget is present. I will think about how I can incorporate this reusable book block in the future and create one whenever I have a moment. I’ll have to refer back to your blog to see how you tackled its presence. Thanks again for touching on this subject!!

        1. You’re welcome, Liesbet. I’m glad my response helped.

          The block I created in this post took me about 10 minutes to create. And you know you can always come back to me with any questions about creating one.

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