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Has anybody created a bookstore using Ning?

I had made a non-searchable one using just a html page with amazon affiliate links and jpegs with exterior links, but accidently deleted it ( :-()

But I've been wordering if i could repurpose an article page or a groups page to create something searchable, or organisable by category, that'd be better. IK'm just wondering if anyone has achieved this?

Maybe you made not a bookstore, but a catalog of books or other objetcs ?? I'd be really interested to see what you did.

Thanks in advance


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  • This is a good idea. I've not done it. But I bet its worth the hassle.

    Maybe you make it in wordpress as it auto saves the post or page and then link or copy and paste it back to ning.

    • Hi thanks, Yes the original site was wordpress, and I was using a good plugin that made a great bookshop, however, I wanted a dedicated community site that would work well on mobile, so that is why i am now with Ning. :-) 

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Hey John, I'll look forward to seeing your demo.

      I have already set up a group hub for another purpose and you can only have one per site. 

      I have also tried out a custom html page, where i pasted the affiliate links (which include a photo), but the downside is that the books are not categorisable or filterable.

      I've tried photos page too, but I have about 100 books, so I prefer to use affiliate links to avoid having to save photos, upload them to the site and link to them.

      I've also tried blog page and forum page, but no go.

      So far teh articles page is the only one that gives me categorisability (filterability) and the ability to paste a link directly. It's not very pretty (i mean the layout) and you cant see many books in one go, but it seems the only way to have filterability. I wonder if articlcles can be displayed in a grid layout .....???

      all the best

  • NC for Hire

    You can do a lot with Awesome Table and they have a book store template which can be controlled by a spreadsheet so management is quite simple once you get it set up..

    If you reverse look through my tips over the years, i have added quite a few about using Awesome Table

    Hack Tip to Embed Document Library Bookshelves

    Clean, Robust, Filterable Community Member Directory

  • This is something I've been toying with recently too and as you may be aware, there a lot of really neat interactive apps out there, even ones that are free but, they just do not install or work properly on ning no matter where you try to embed them and, I've tried some on both 2.0 and 3.0 versions. I have found a few work arounds for those who can't get any apps to install right and those who aren't very tech savy. It is kind of tedious but it works and should give you some ground ideas to work with.

    The groups feature is especially good for those with major OCD in terms of category organization. I once used the groups feature on a previous site to host my main forums because it allowed me to create a multi-teired forum with layered sub-categories so, a lot can be accomplished on your site if you'll just experiment. I also wanted to create my own mock-up PDF bookstore without having to link to an external site.

    Here are some ideas to try, less tech knowledge required, more customizable in terms of look and layout:

    (METHOD 1)

    -Set up several groups but, instead of using them as groups, you'll be using them as sub-categories so, they should remain visible to all members and there's no need to create a bunch of fancy pages. All you need is one custom page and a photo album added in each group. Get everything set up and properly labeled. Use the custom page as a landing page or category introduction with 1 or 2 pictures and a brief description of "Books You'll Find In This Category: Science Fiction". Label that page as the category name itself.

    -As for the photo album page you created, this is what you'll use as your actual and product description page. Upload cover photos of each book you have for sale in that category and in the description area (during upload mode) use that to describe the product, price, etc.

    Something Like:

    Book Price: $6.99 USD 

    Product Type: Download, non-physical copy

    File Type: Adobe, PDF document

    Description: Then describe the book here, any access limitations, author bios, etc.

    That info will display below the photo, when clicked on and you can always install an HTML widget at the top of your photo album's main page for older customers that are as computer savy saying to "Click on the images below in the photo gallery, to access pricing and descriptions for each book! Once an image is clicked on, you can use the side arrows to continue scrolling through our entire selection.".

    -Somewhere at the bottom of all this ^^^^ above, you'll want to add a link CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY and actually make it clickable by linking it to a custom page. You'll need to have ning unlock paywall and paid product abilities for you at this point. Once completed, go in and create the custom page, create a paywall for it, and restrict access to that page to only those who have paid the fee to access it.

    -When the link is clicked, they'll be sent to a payment screen to pay, then redirected to the custom paid page. On that page you can either install an app that allows built-in document viewing and/or downloading something like the app known as SCRIB'D document reader or another of your preference created or installed through Facebook Developer Platform, if you know how.

    Other options include simply linking a PDF document into the page by creating another clickable link CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY and instead of linking to a page, link it to an actual PDF document file which will open the SAVE dialogue box when clicked on, and they can download from there. Only problem with that option is, there will be no record of number of successful downloads so if you've been prone to customers who complain a lot or file frivolous chargebacks through Paypal, it might pose a problem. One more option is, instead of linking to a custom page for a download, link the paywall to a forum and literally copy and paste the entire book into that private paid-only forum as individual articles, chapters, or sections. This will allow you to set limited-time-only access if desired however, people can easily copy/paste/save the text from the articles and make their own copies regardless so, it will still be save-able!

    (METHOD 2)

    -Instead of using groups as category pages, use individual custom pages on your site that are displayed directly in your navigation menu, having the pages themselves labeled as the actual genre or book categories. The use one of these 4 page layout options to create a "mock" category display by installing HTML boxes, as needed, uploading photos of the book covers and typing the title, price, etc. underneath, then of course, making the book title clickable.

    442937302?profile=RESIZE_710x-Then just repeat the remaining steps from above as for where to link to, setting up paywall, download access, etc.

    You should at least have some basic ground ideas to start with. Here's a completed example I just made for better reference.


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