Embed Google Books in Your Posts Using Shortcode

Snippets by IsItWP

Do you want to use shortcode to embed Google books in your WordPress posts? While there’s probably a plugin for this, we have created a quick code snippet that you can use to embed Google books in your posts using shortcodes in WordPress.


All you have to do is add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin:

add_shortcode('gbooks', 'sc_embed_google_books');
function sc_embed_google_books( $atts ){
		"id" => '',
		"width"  => '600',
		"height" => '900',
	), $atts));

	return '<script type="text/javascript" src="http://books.google.com/books/previewlib.js"></script>
        <script type="text/javascript">
        GBS_insertEmbeddedViewer("'.$id.'", '.$width.','.$height.');

You will also notice that some Google books have multiple ISBN numbers like 0578022702, 9780578022703. Both can work with the shortcode, but you should grab the first one before the comma. If the book does not have an ISBN number, then you can get the ID from the URL.

This is the shortcode that you can use to display Google books in your posts. Simply replace the ISBN number or ID and add your Google book ISBN number.

[gbooks id="0578022702" width="400" height="400"]

Note: If this is your first time adding code snippets in WordPress, then please refer to our guide on how to properly add code snippets in WordPress, so you don’t accidentally break your site.

If you liked this code snippet, please consider checking out our other articles on the site like: 9 best WordPress accordion plugins and how to set up download tracking in WordPress with Google Analytics.

Comments   Leave a Reply

  1. Oh… and regarding, “While there’s probably a plugin for this” … I found only one. And by the looks of the screenshots it requires giving permission to display their branding. So again, this snippet you’ve created is like a gold nugget for those wanting to display Google Books on their site.

  2. Thanks for providing this code. This is the only reference I’ve found online as to how to achieve this. I am a little surprised it’s not a topic more people are discussing.

    Do you have any suggestions on how, if even possible, to make the display size responsive? For instance, working off the vw (viewport width) as a percentage? So that it can display nicely on different devices?


  3. Hello, I want to modify the preview of an embed book in the post.
    Because many people misusing this code and showing my books in their posts (Sites).
    Can you help me to modify the code. How can I make a contact in email with you?

  4. Hi, I realize nobody has posted here in a while, but hopefully someone can help.

    I pasted the code in my functions.php and added the shortcode to a page. I added the google book id (no ISBN yet, but want to display a free view on site). Also pasted the id in the function code where it says id=>”
    Nothing shows up on the page, but the shortcode does disappear. Any thoughts? I’m using the Avada theme.

    1. So I got it to work with your example book. I’m thinking the problem is that my book is uploaded to “My Books” on Google. It doesn’t have an ISBN yet and is not publicly published yet. Any thoughts on how to get it to work?

  5. Kevin,
    Many thanks.  Much appreciated.  The first fruit of this you can now see at
    Hope I’ve given proper due acknowledgments to you and Chad
    As I get round to developing the site and blog I think I will use this shortcode quite a bit so many thanks.


    1. Hi Andrew no problem, glad that I could help. Site is looking great always!

  6. This looks a really useful addition for my site but I’m totally new to WP and have not played around with code before.  I have found functions.php in my Graphene 1.4.1 theme and I added the code by using the clipboard button and then pasting it in right at the end and saving the new file.  However, when I then tried to use it by going to new post I got some sort of error code (to do with header and calling something) which stuck with me.  Fortunately I’d pasted the original file into Notepad so I simply repasted it back over the edited file and saved and all now seems to be back to normal but of course I cannot use the shortcode.
    It may be this is a bit too complex for someone new but I wonder if I’m just pasting the code in the wrong place in the file or doing something else that is easily rectified.  Can you advise me at all?

    1. If you post the code within the functions.php file on http://pastebin.com/ I can post a revised version with the shortcode added. It may be something within your theme that the code conflicts with.

      1. Thanks.  Just pasted as Goddardfunctions.php  Never used pastebin before but think I’ve done it OK.  One other thought – if my theme is updated I presumably need to reinsert the code so should keep a copy of whatever works.  Thanks for your kind help.  Andrew

        1. Hi Andrew ill need the URL to where you pasted the code pastebin creates a random short url for each posting. 

      2. Kevin,
        Thanks. Not sure my first attempt to tell you got through.  Looks like it is to be found at  http://pastebin.com/DQtJcd8g

        1. Hi Andrew,
          I added the google books shortcode so things should work now,

          just add the shortcode to your post and things should work great,
          [gbooks id=”0578022702″ width=”400″ height=”400″]

          Let me know,

  7. Gabriel Merovingi July 30, 2011 at 11:48 am

    There is a ” missing for the width.

    Should be:
    [gbooks id=”0578022702″ width=”400″ height=”400″]

    1. Thanks Gabriel, good call.

  8. WordPress shortcode available for Google Books | ButlerBlog July 29, 2011 at 9:48 am

    […] first guest blog post over at WordPress Code Snippets is a code snippet to add the Google Books viewer into your posts using an easy shortcode.  Go check it out.  While you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the site for other […]

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