Lean Publishing for Ninjas
published Jul 11, 2012
John Resig just posted about his traditionally-published book being almost done, and about his experiences writing it. This book was not written on Leanpub, but some of what John says basically explains why Leanpub exists:
I started the book in early 2008 and was actually quite productive, finishing nearly the entire book that year (with some missing gaps that I fixed up in 2009). There was some work left to do to make it a better book but, honestly, I got caught up in coding and stopped focusing on writing. I had to prioritize my time and I chose to prioritize doing more development and focusing on my personal life …
Leanpub didn’t exist in 2008, but if John had been writing his book today as a Leanpub book, what would have been different?
John could have kept up his technical blogging. Leanpub makes it trivial to import a blog progressively into a book (just click a button to import your new posts). So he could have blogged all the interesting things he wanted to, and then clicked a button to import his posts and edit them into book form.
Leanpub’s variable pricing feature lets authors charge a minimum and suggested price. A massive number of people pay more than the minimum price. (Yes, really; it restores your faith in humanity.) So John could have set a minimum price of $20 and a suggested price of $32, and captured even more of his potential market.
Since on Leanpub you can publish so easily, John could have had the instant gratification of releasing multiple versions of his book on the same day, and of getting feedback right away. This feedback loop is why blogging is so attractive.
Since the process of publishing on Leanpub is so un-tedious (write in Markdown, sync with Dropbox, click a button), John may have actually enjoyed writing more. Making authors happy makes the world a better place. So does keeping authors blogging, instead of having the book writing process derail that.