Long-form content - any themes/helpers?

I’m building a site that will have long-form content - not just long articles, but also novellas and novel-length content, and we’re considering using the Ghost platform.

The site needs to have very high-quality design presentation and flexibility for customization of each “novella”. We’d also need navigation such as chapter breaks. Progress bars. And maybe even “remember my place”. I’m guessing much/all of this will need to be custom developed. However, wanted to see if any theme already does any of the heavy lifting for this kind of site.

The closest thing I’ve found that does anything like this is the Aesop Story Engine plugin for Wordpress. It’s a cool concept, but it hasn’t been updated in a couple years, and Wordpress gives me an icky feeling. Would like to avoid it if possible.

Any suggestions?

This is a cool idea. I haven’t come across a theme that does this – but it’s all certainly doable in Ghost. With 5.0 and the support of multiple newsletters, you could also do a newsletter for each novella, too.

I’d probably make each chapter a separate post and link them together through custom templates and tags. You can see this tutorial on showing reading progress, but it applies to a single post.

For a “remember my place” section, I’d probably use localStorage, which could remember a reader’s place on a per device basis (like Wordle remembers your scores).

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Thanks so much! Yeah, the more I dig into the docs here, the more GHOST looks like the right platform.

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I believe this is what Dashi (Biron Themes) does. I guess this approach could be adapted to bookmark the place too.

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Yeah. I think you could capture the page and scroll location, save it to localStorage, check that on initial navigation, and then, if it exists, have a pop that says, “Would you like to continue where you left off?”

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You could also look at something like DocsLab, where the existing navigation can be relatively easily structured for chapters… you could then use Routes to create a discrete Section for each Novella… plus it has built-in Table of Contents and nice Previous-Next blocks at the bottom, quick Fuzzy Search using Fuse.js, and is quite well developed and documented.

Also, this Ghost Integration with BeyondWords could also be cool for a story-oriented site…


There is also a simple but elegant (and free, always good) story-board style theme called Zvikov (by Haunted Themes.) It’s available right from within the theme installer in the Ghost admin.

For a simple storytelling UX this theme could be combined with the BeyondWords integration (and routes, for multiple publications or “novellas”) so the reader can opt to have the stories read aloud to them. Nifty.

The paging controls are large and fixed. It’s essentially just a full-page slider for navigating sequentially through a group of posts.

Zvikov also has built-in bookmarks.

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There is also this theme, for which I have mad a refreshed version, if you are interested… (referenced in the linked post below)