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Publish Early, Publish Often

Imagine a world where authors can earn money writing books...

You can use Leanpub to write, publish and sell an ebook or online course.

We pay 80% royalties. That's not a typo: you earn $16 on a $20 sale. If we sell 5000 non-refunded copies of your book for $20, you'll earn $80,000.

Authors have earned over $13 million USD writing, publishing and selling on Leanpub.

There are two ways to use Leanpub as an author:

  1. You can write your book or course in plain text formatted in Markdown.
  2. You can upload PDF and EPUB ebook files to sell in our store.

If you are writing in Markdown, you can use our simple in-browser text editor, or you can write on your computer and sync with GitHub or Dropbox. Either way, you can publish your Leanpub ebook with one click. You can publish your book while you're writing it, or wait until it is done: it's up to you.

You can create a Leanpub course in Markdown as well. Leanpub courses are like Leanpub books (and a great way to create them is to use your Leanpub book as a starting point or companion to the course), but learners read them and do the quizzes and exercises on the Leanpub website.

Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors. This platform is the combination of two things: a publishing workflow and a storefront.

Leanpub is more than the sum of its parts, however – by combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks, it’s something different. Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. (You can click a Preview button first if you want!) Once you’ve clicked the Publish button, anyone in the world can instantly buy your ebook from Leanpub, and read it on their computer, tablet, phone or ebook reader. Whenever you want to distribute an update to all your readers, just click the Publish button again. It really is that easy.

Authors can sign up for our Free plan to create 100 books or courses for FREE! Authors can also get more features and unlimited previews and publishes by signing up for a Standard or Pro plan.

Leanpub puts authors first.

  • Earn an 80% royalty per sale.

  • Publish to PDF, iPad and Kindle from one manuscript. (We make PDF and EPUB versions for you).

  • Write using your favorite tools. Preview or publish new book versions with one click.

  • Write on your own computer and sync using GitHub or Dropbox.

  • Publish your book early to get reader feedback, and publish new versions as often as you like.

  • Choose your own minimum and suggested prices, from $0 or $7.99 to $500. ($9 to $29 is typical.)

  • You keep the rights to your book, not us. You can do a deal with a publisher at any time.

  • Produce a print-ready PDF or InDesign export of your finished book with one click.

  • Write

    • Write your book in simple plain text using our great writing features
    • Create ebooks in multiple formats with one click from a single source text
    • You can also write using your own plain text writing tool
    • You can also upload a book if you prefer your own process to ours
  • Publish

    • Publish instantly with one click
    • Easily update your published book any time
    • Publish early and serially using our in-progress publishing features
    • Interact with readers to improve your book and find out what they think
  • Sell

    • Instantly put your book up for sale
    • Earn a royalty of 80% per sale
    • Customize a great-looking web page to help sell your book
    • Set your own prices using our amazing variable pricing model
    • Easily share your royalties with co-authors or good causes
    • You can also sell your book elsewhere if you want to!

Leanpub authors love Leanpub.

Matthew guay
Matthew Guay

Content Marketer at Zapier

“While most eBook exporter apps today can generate PDF files and many support ePub, there's one tool we recommend above all after trying 8 of the most popular: Leanpub.”
Paul redmond
Paul Redmond

Author of Writing APIs With Lumen

“Leanpub forces you to focus on writing and gives you immediate feedback. Allowing Leanpub to take care of the curation and delivery helped me focus on shipping my book.”
Reg "Raganwald" Braithwaite

Author, JavaScript Allongé, the "Six" Edition

“Simple and lean, forces me to focus on writing and marketing, and pays excellent royalties.”
Jeff Geerling

Author, Ansible for DevOps

“With Leanpub, the first person who purchased my book for $9.99 almost two years ago (and only received a preface, and two short intro chapters) has had access to almost every bit of knowledge I've gained in those two years, and *that's* the value.”
Daniel root
Daniel Root

Author, Trello Dojo

“I love that Leanpub makes writing and publishing a beautiful book so simple. I no longer spin my wheels with layouts and formats - Leanpub gets out of the way when it's time to write, and then automates everything when it's time to publish.”
Simon Brown

Author, Software Architecture for Developers

“Leanpub allows me focus on content, takes care everything else and offers an amazing author royalty. It’s a fantastic platform for writing and publishing books.”
Paulbradshaw amsterdam
Paul Bradshaw

Paul runs the MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University

“I earn more royalties from my books on Leanpub than I do with well established publishers or through Amazon (which I publish on thanks to Leanpub's mobi conversion).”
Karen Greaves

Growing Agile

“Leanpub makes publishing your own book super easy. The fact that you can release updates continually helps with the mindset of getting a minimum version out ASAP and then iterating to improve. ”
Manuel kiessling 640x640
Manuel Kiessling

Author, The Node Beginner Book

“Four years ago, I joined Leanpub to just give it a try. Today, over 28,000 book sales later, I cannot help but say that I'm the biggest Leanpub fan on this planet!”
Aaron Sumner

Author, Everyday Rails Testing with RSpec

“Leanpub made it simple for me to run with my book idea and build my reputation in the Ruby community. I went from first draft to first sale in days, not months or years.”
Johanna Rothman

Author of 8 Leanpub books and counting…

“Leanpub helps me see my books as I write them. Even better, I can find readers early, to read my books and offer suggestions. I can pivot, if I see the need.”
Phil Sturgeon

Author, Build APIs You Won't Hate

“Leanpub helped me gauge interest in my book, get payments early on when it was only a few chapters, and has got me a bunch of sales just from people browsing around the site.”
Sam leanpub
Samantha Laing

Growing Agile

“Leanpub helped me achieve my goal of publishing a book. Its simple, easy to use interface got my book up and making money within weeks, I love Leanpub!”
W. Jason Gilmore

Author, Easy Laravel 5

“Leanpub is a game changer for independent authors, removing the hassles associated with formatting, book production, and electronic sales, freeing up the time to do what we do best: write.”
Taylor Otwell

Creator Of Laravel

“I love using Leanpub because I can write my book using simple Markdown notation. Leanpub let's me focus on my content and they handle the rest.”
Ryan Bigg

Author, Multitenancy with Rails

“Leanpub takes the pain out of publishing. They provide the tools, you provide the books and then magic happens.”
Chris Hartjes

The Grumpy Programmer

“Leanpub's book-creation tools allowed me to focus on creating the types of books I wanted to write instead of worrying how to create my own book publishing toolchain. I have never regretted using Leanpub to publish my ebooks.”
Roger D. Peng

Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“As an academic, I like Leanpub because it lets me write and get my ideas out there quickly. Leanpub is simply the best place for publishing my books. ”

Finally, a royalty rate that puts authors first.

When you publish your book with Leanpub,
you earn an 80% royalty.

Why is this royalty rate important? It means you earn $16.00 on the sale of a $20.00 book. If you worked with a conventional publisher who sold your book for $32.00, you'd typically make just $1.60! (The publisher would usually get about $16.00, and you would get about 10% of that.) With royalty rates this high, people will actually choose to pay more since they can see how much you will earn as an author.

You are free to publish your book elsewhere at the same time as you publish it on Leanpub. However, other platforms may not allow you to publish in two places at once. If you want to try an exclusive service, you can "retire" your book on Leanpub any time, and you can also come back and "unretire" your book if you conclude you were making more money on Leanpub.

You set your own prices using our variable pricing model and you can change them anytime. This means you can instantly change your prices in response to audience feedback or special events. It also means you can increase the price of your book over time, as you add more content, which is a great deal for people who buy your book early on.

If you publish your book on Leanpub, we will not get in the way if you later want to publish with a conventional publisher. In fact, this is a great outcome and it is one of the reasons Leanpub exists. We want unknown writers to be able to publish their books before they're finished, build an audience while they're writing, and then optionally go after a publishing contract. Some publishers may even let you publish your book on Leanpub until you finish it, and then take up the book into their own process when the time is right. That's exactly what happened with this book. (If you're worried that a publisher won't accept a book that's already been published on Leanpub, then you should make sure to ask them before you publish here!)

Introduction to Lean Publishing

In this video from TOC 2013 in New York, Leanpub cofounder Peter Armstrong explains the definition, origins and practice of Lean Publishing, which is the idea behind Leanpub.

Introduction to Markdown and Markua

In this video from Books in Browsers 2014, Peter Armstrong explains why Markdown is a great way to write ebooks and why Leanpub is specifying Markua, its Markdown dialect.