Leanpub Buzz

Leanpub Authors in the Media

Here are links to articles and blog posts by and about Leanpub authors and their books! If you're a Leanpub author and you'd like us to add a link to an article or blog post about your book on the Buzz page, just email us at hello@leanpub.com.

Daniel Root | 3 IFTTT Recipes To Spice Up Your Trello Boards


The book I’m writing - Enter, Trello Dojo - is all about using the awesome todo-list-and-so-much-more service Trello to be more productive at home and work. One area it explores is automating Trello using tools like IFTTT and Zapier.


Click here to see Daniel's book on Leanpub!

Manuel Kiessling | Serbo-Croatian Translation at webhostinggeeks.com | Leanpub Podcast Interview


Many thanks to Vera Djuraskovic, who has translated our podcast interview with Manuel Kiessling into Serbo-Croatian!

Just click the link above to see Vera's translation, and go here to see the original on the Leanpub blog.

Click here to see Manuel's book on Leanpub!

Swizec Teller | Article in Business Insider | Why Programmers Work At Night


A popular saying goes that programmers are machines that turn caffeine into code.

And sure enough, ask a random programmer when they do their best work and there’s a high chance they will admit to a lot of late nights. Some earlier, some later. A popular trend is to get up at 4am and get some work done before the day’s craziness begins. Others like going to bed at 4am.

At the gist of all this is avoiding distractions. But you could just lock the door, what’s so special about the night?

I think it boils down to three things: the maker’s schedule, the sleepy brain and bright computer screens.


Click here to see Swizec's book on Leanpub!

Ian Barber | Review by Pieter Hintjens at CodeConnected.org | The Message Is The Medium


History is defined by change, and so is our software industry. Ian Barber celebrated Isaac Newton's birthday this year by publishing "The Message Is The Medium", a history of messaging software from the very first packet sent down copper wire to the "Internet of Things", the future where your cutlery talk to each other about the toaster.


This is a short book, nicely formatted for the digital reader. I read it in a half an hour, without getting bored, even as my brain played buzzword bingo with the hundreds of terms Ian throws at us. Ian writes like an Economist journalist, deadpan minimalist text, with witty headers. A very dry English style. It works. This is a highly readable book that deserves to become a core introduction for every software engineering course.


Click here to see Ian's book on Leanpub!

Brian Marick | Review by Uncle Bob Martin at blog.8thlight.com | Functional Programming for the Object Oriented Programmer


This book, written by Brian Marick, is important. Indeed, it may be necessary. We need something to bridge the gap between the huge population of OO programmers, and the growing need for functional programmers. I’ve seen nothing else that fills this need so well.

I read a lot of books, but few are so competently written. I’m a hundred pages in and I’m loving it. If you are a Java, C#, C++, Ruby, or Python programmer, and you are wondering what all this functional programming noise is about, this is the book for you.


Click here to see Brian's book on Leanpub!

Paul Bradshaw and Carol Miers | Story by Rachel McAthy at journalism.co.uk | Help Me Investigate launches its first ebook


A network of people interested in investigating matters related to the London Olympics have contributed to the first ever ebook for crowdsourcing platform Help Me Investigate.

The book, written by Help Me Investigate founder Paul Bradshaw and reporter Carol Miers, is based on an investigation by Help Me Investigate the Olympics into the allocation of Olympic torchbearer places.


Bradshaw added that "the ability to publish the book before the relay has even finished" has allowed the platform to "tap into the interest while it's still topical, rather than waiting for traditional publishing schedules". [...]

Click here to see Paul and Carol's book on Leanpub!

Yves Hanoulle | Who is Agile?


With support of other editors (Andrea Chiou @andreachiou, Marcin Floryan @mfloryan and Peter Doomen @AbOrigineMundi), the team collects life stories of agile coaches, trainers or significant community builders into one place.

Reading this book is great inside into the history of Agile, motivations which lead to deal with changes by agile approaches, and small personal/professional victories during agile introduction. Also, you might be surprised by roots of theirs experience, interests that bring so needed non-IT flavor into agile community. [...]

Click here to see Yves's book on Leanpub!

Here are some more links to posts about Who is Agile?:

InfoQ: Who is agile Book Released

The Agile Revolution: Episode 31: An Apple A Day

johnno's nose: Returning to Who is agile

Aaron Sumner | Everyday Rails Testing with RSpec: The Book is complete


On Monday I posted the final, edited version of Everyday Rails Testing with RSpec, available now on Leanpub for $9 US.

First, let me again thank everyone who purchased the early access, beta version of the book. I appreciate the support and all the feedback. As I shared on the Leanpub mailing list yesterday, releasing the book so early in its development cycle perhaps frustrated a couple of readers, but it resulted in a very different (and in my opinion, better) book than I’d originally set out to write. I’m planning to write a more complete retrospective in my personal blog later this week, for anyone interested in the lean publishing approach. [...]

Click here to see Aaron's book on Leanpub!

Mark Graban | New eBook Compilation – Lean Blog: Sports


Being a big fan of what the guys at LeanPub are doing (listen to my podcasts with them here and here), I created a new compilation of sports-related posts from my blog dating back to 2005. The book is not-so-creatively titled Lean Blog: Sports - Lean Concepts in Sports and Lean Lessons from Sports.

Click here to see Mark's book on Leanpub!

Richard Veryard | Organizational Intelligence eBook


I have put a draft of my Organizational Intelligence book onto the @LeanPub platform. This is now available in PDF, ePUB and MOBI.


I'm also hoping to get a draft of my Business Architecture book up soon, but this is going to take a bit longer because of the large number of diagrams.

Clickhere to see Richard's book on Leanpub!

Simon Brown | Software Architecture for Developers - the book


I'm pleased to announce that "Software Architecture for Developers" the book is in-progress and available for purchase as an ebook through Leanpub. In a nutshell, Leanpub is a service that allows you to self-publish your book iteratively and incrementally, which is exactly what I'll be doing over the coming months.


This book is about that bigger picture and its role in delivering better software. It's a collection of essays that together form a practical and pragmatic guide to software architecture, with the overall goal being to demystify what it means to be a software architect and provide guidance on how to do software architecture effectively.

Click here to see Simon's book on Leanpub!

Pete Ashton | This Much I Knew


I'm publishing a book.

So Mr Dubber got all excited about using LeanPub a couple of weeks back to publish his Music in the Digital Age book as he’s writing it, and that was nice because Dubber is supposed to get all excited about new things and test them to destruction, but after working through my book idea last week I took another look, read the FAQ and the manifesto and had a good old think about what I needed and whether this was useful for me.

Today I decided it was probably what I needed and likely to be very useful for me. [...]

Click here to see Pete's book on Leanpub!

Raganwald | Raganwald's "How to Do What You Love" is free today (leanpub.com)


I only have one vote, but I think it’s meaningful in this case :-) If you’re in no position to pay for it, I want you to have it for free, and I’m glad that you went ahead and read it. If you do find it helpful, that would make me very happy.

This is a book I’ve already written, so it’s a sunk cost for me... It’s all blog posts that others have found useful or meaningful in their search for decent work with decent people at a decent wage. The more people find good work, the more we all benefit. If you’re out of work, you can’t click through ads to buy stuff, you can’t employ others, you can’t subscribe to services.

Helping you be healthy, happy, and financially secure is a win for us all. [...]

Click here to see Raganwald's book on Leanpub!

Jamie Flinchbaugh | eBook published on A3 Problem Solving


We are still very proud of our book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, that has done very well over the past few years. The book publishing world is changing, very rapidly. I’ve had one of the big publishers ask me about doing another book. I’m not ready for that yet. But it also begs the question: is that where I should be publishing?

And so we come to my latest project: A3 Problem Solving: Applying Lean Thinking.

It’s my attempt to do two things: (1) provide some useful content to people organized in a way that I hope will help them with their development and application of lean, and (2) experiment and learn more about what digital-only publishing looks like. [...]

Click here to see Jamie's book on Leanpub!

Elisabeth Hendrickson | It’s a Book!


Happy New Year!

A funny thing happened on my way to inbox 0 last week: I wrote a book in 4 days.

I didn’t mean to. And actually it’s not true to say that I wrote it in just 4 days. I assembled it in 4 days; I wrote it over 15 years. Allow me to present There’s Always a Duck, now available on Leanpub. [...]

Click here to see Elisabeth's book on Leanpub!

Leanpub in the Media

September 17, 2013 | Porter Anderson | Future Think: Agile Book Publishing Startup LeanPub

Porter Anderson, BookBusiness, Future Think: Agile Book Publishing Startup LeanPub

One of the hottest concepts in the last couple of years in publishing can also still draw puzzled looks when you first suggest it. Just ask Armstrong, co-founder (with Scott Patten) of Vancouver's Leanpub.


Armstrong’s three-year-old startup has used this context to establish itself as a highly respected, forward-looking corporate member of publishing: “We’re here to help authors and publishers publish in-progress books, since we think that will help these books be better books, and also sell better."

August 30, 2013 | Mark Boyd | Leanpub API: Bringing Agile Development to Writers

Mark Boyd, ProgrammableWeb, Leanpub API: Bringing Agile Development to Writers

The new Leanpub API helps writers publish their own work in ebook format and provides instant access to sales data.

June 6, 2012 | Rini van Solingen | Lean publishing: involving your readers in the writing

Rini van Solingen vlogs: Vlog 35 with Yves Hanoulle on Lean publishing: involving your readers in the writing

Videoblog by Rini van Solingen. This time he meets (again) with Yves Hanoulle. This time they talk about the Lean publishing project of Yves: WhoIsAgile.

June 23, 2011 | Time.com | Leanpub: How to Turn Your Blog into an Instant E-Book

Giles Turnbull, Time.com, Leanpub: How to Turn Your Blog into an Instant E-Book

So. You got a blog. You want to turn it into a e-book, with a minimal amount of fuss and hard work.

You need Leanpub. It’s a new service for writers who want to do minimalist home-grown publishing on their own terms, in a variety of formats that will suit owners of iPads, Kindles, and other e-readers.

It’s also a completely new approach to the technical side of e-book publishing. When you sign up to Leanpub, you get access to a shared folder on Dropbox, into which you can put text files for your book.

May 18, 2011 | blog.abouttag.com | Leanpub and The Book of the Blog

njr, blog.abouttag.com, Leanpub and The Book of the Blog

I came across Leanpub, which is a kind of do-it-yourself site for publishing e-books. It's the brainchild of one Peter Armstrong. Unusually for a start-up, it has a rather clear and compelling manifesto, which I recommend, as well as a 10-minute xtranormal video, which goes over some of the same ground in a form more suitable for prospective authors who don't like reading.

The manifesto is based on the idea that an author writing a book has a lot in common with a start-up company, and—particularly, with the advent of e-books—can benefit from applying many of the practices and principles now common among start-ups, especially so-called "lean startups". These include ideas like launching early, releasing often, getting user feedback as you go and failing early. The e-books produced on the site are entirely free of DRM (a large tick in the box, from my perspective) and are available in multiple formats (ePub, .mobi and PDF, currently).

August 31, 2010 | howtosplitanatom.com | Leanpub Blog Publishing

Steve Spalding, http://howtosplitanatom.com, Leanpub Blog Publishing

Leanpub, a new web application found at leanpub.com, is based on a revolutionary idea:

Imagine that authors can actually make money writing books.

The way that Leanpub accomplishes this is to empower authors to apply Steve Blank’s Customer Development and Eric Ries’ Lean Startup principles to the process of writing and publishing a book.

26 April, 2010 | springwise.com | Leanpub encourages authors to publish early & edit often

Daniel Tenner, springwise.com, Leanpub encourages authors to publish early & edit often

As a published author and startup founder, Peter Armstrong began to see similarities between (self) publishing a book and running a startup. Particularly a lean startup, which emphasizes rapid development and early, frequent iteration based on customer feedback. This prompted him to launch Leanpub, which helps bloggers put those lean practices to work to turn their content into books.

Cheers from Leanpub Authors

Leanpub authors have kindly said many nice and informative things about us online - here are some of our favorites!

Nicholas C. Zakas

Nicholas C. Zakas has written an in-depth and well-balanced post called "Leanpub: One year later" about how he wrote and promoted his book Principles of Object-Oriented Programming in JavaScript. Having previously published a number of books with conventional publishers, Nicholas talks about what is lost and what is gained by an author using Leanpub and the lean publishing process.

I was also curious about the self-publishing revolution. I’d heard both good and bad results from various people who had tried it. Since I’d been through the traditional publishing process many times, I knew right away what I’d be losing: copy editors, technical editors, graphic designers for diagrams, marketing, and a physical book. I rationalized that readers could substitute for copy editors and technical editors to a certain degree by providing feedback, I could do rudimentary diagrams myself, and I could use Twitter and my blog for marketing. I knew I wouldn’t be able to expect the same number of sales vs. working with a publisher, but I rationalized that I didn’t need to sell as many copies because I could keep a larger percentage of the sale price.

Now it’s been a year later, and I decided to review my experience. The ebook was eventually picked up by No Starch Press to publish a print book called The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript. While that wasn’t my end goal, it was a nice surprise.

Aaron Sumner

Back in 2012, Aaron Sumner wrote a great post about how he used Leanpub to publish Everyday Rails with RSpec. If you're thinking of devoting the time to writing a book on Leanpub, we recommend you read the whole thing!

Going with Leanpub also solved my writing tool dilemma. Leanpub uses an automated Dropbox-based mechanism to receive content from authors and return the formatted results in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats. Authors may use whatever writing tool they'd like, but the system expects content to eventually be in Markdown format. This was perfect for me–since I was writing a programming book, this meant I could put it together using the same tools I use to write code. In my case, that's Textmate with a Markdown bundle. After some conversion from Textile to Markdown I was up and running pretty quickly. I already had about 30 pages of content from the original blog posts and some additional stuff I'd already written, but I still needed to come up with a cover and price.

Roy Osherove

Roy Osherove has written a really helpful post about his process for lean-publishing Notes to a Software Team Leader. In the post, he not only discusses the benefits of publishing books the lean way, but also goes into detail about how he got his book copy-edited, how he got his cover made, how much it all cost, and how much money he made.

This august I finished writing and publishing my first self-published book. Last month I got done adding a print and an audio edition of that book.

So far, two months after finishing the book, I have netted almost $14,000 from the book in ebook, print and audio formats. It sold around 1,500 copies. That averages almost $10 per copy sold, and I sold more than half of them at a very large discount.

It was an interesting experiment, and I would like others to know how I did it in a way that worked for me.


I can already say that I made more on my book before it came out, than I had made with a traditional publisher after 6 years. That is because with a traditional publisher you might end up getting 2-4$ per copy sold, once a quarter, while the way I sold it I got about 20$ for each copy, monthly.

Didier Lebouc

Didier Lebouc has a great 'making of' blog post about his book Humeurs Économiques with some interesting things to say about Leanpub, in the context of an analysis of globalisation and industrialisation - thanks Didier!

A l'inverse, pour ma dernière production en date, j'ai innové et travaillé avec Leanpub. Le terme exact n'est pas "avec" mais "sur" puisque Leanpub est une plateforme canadienne d'édition en ligne. Les deux fondateurs de cette jeune entreprise, Peter Armstrong et Scott Patten, ont décidé d'appliquer à l'édition les principes de "lean manufacturing" et de l'agilité, c'est à dire ce qui se fait de mieux à ce jour en matière de méthodes industrielles.

Ryan Bigg

Ryan Bigg recently released a first draft of his first Leanpub book here and sent us these kind words - thanks Ryan!

I released the first draft of my first Leanpub book (https://leanpub.com/multi-tenancy-rails) over the weekend. This is just a short message to say thank you for the wonderful platform that you've worked on which has allowed me to spend more time writing and less time fighting the tools.


All in all, I really really really love the Leanpub publishing platform and will recommend it to my friends. Thank you for giving me faith that publishing a book doesn't have to be enormously painful.

Nicholas C. Zakas

Nicholas C. Zakas has writted a post here explaining why he's chosen Leanpub for his ebook Principles of Object-Oriented Programming in JavaScript. We couldn't have put it better ourselves!

The book is published through Leanpub. In researching options for ebook development, I found a lot of different solutions. Many of them required some hands-on work in order to generate the three formats that all ebooks need to reach the largest audience: PDF, Mobi, and ePub. I was looking for a solution that would generate the three formats automatically without me needing to do anything special.


I believe it was Cody Lindley who first suggested that I take a look at Leanpub. After about 5 minutes, I was convinced that this was the right solution for me. Leanpub not only generates all three formats directly from markdown, but they also setup a nice-looking page where people can learn more about the book and purchase it.

Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman wrote a great post entitled "Overcoming Perfection Rules" describing using Leanpub to try the lean publishing approach for the first time. We love that post title, as it sums up our lean publishing philosophy in a mere 3 words.

I have a tough time with my perfection rules. I want to be perfect. I’m not, of course. I want to be.

So using leanpub and publishing early and often pushes me way out of my comfort zone. Which is why you haven’t heard anything from me about my book under development up until now. Yesterday, I announced the beta of my newest book Manage Your Job Search: Reduce Your Overwhelm, Focus Your Search, and Get Your Next Job!

I couldn’t just push the button and publish. Oh no, no, no. I had to make it a beta, because it’s not done. It’s not even close. Oh, more than the outline of the book is there. The networking chapter is great. How to use personal kanban is great. Much of how you reflect on the past week is great. The tips and traps are great. And, I know they are not complete, which is making me nuts.

That’s not all that’s making me nuts. The copyediting is not done. The layout is not done. The what to do now is not done. I need feedback from readers to know what to do next, which is why I needed to publish, and oh boy, it’s not perfect. That’s why I don’t have a real cover, because I don’t know that I have the correct title. How do I balance my perfection rules against the need for feedback?

Beta! Especially if I explain that it’s a beta book. That’s what I did in my announcement yesterday. I was able to balance my need for perfection against my need for feedback.

I bet my fellow leanpub authors are delighted to not have to hear the teenage drama queen angst on the leanpub list anymore. I will get the feedback I need. I will be able to perfect the book from people looking for a job. It’s a win-win.

If you are looking for a job, please do check out my new book, Manage Your Job Search: Reduce Your Overwhelm, Focus Your Search, and Get Your Next Job! It’s not perfect; it’s a beta book. I would love your feedback.

Elisabeth Hendrickson

Elisabeth Hendrickson wrote a fantastic blog post which captures the entire reason Leanpub exists, from the perspective of an author who had just finished her Leanpub book -- in 4 days.

A funny thing happened on my way to inbox 0 last week: I wrote a book in 4 days.

I didn’t mean to. And actually it’s not true to say that I wrote it in just 4 days. I assembled it in 4 days; I wrote it over 15 years. Allow me to present There’s Always a Duck, now available on Leanpub.

--Elisabeth Hendrickson, It's a Book

If you're wondering whether to try Leanpub, go read her entire blog post. It sells Leanpub better than we can!

BTW, I have to say that I'm incredibly impressed with Leanpub.

You have made it absurdly easy to do something I've been talking about doing for a long time (turning my blog archive into something more permanent).

I've played around with various services: CreateSpace, Lulu, and SmashWords. They're all easy enough to use, but no matter what service I chose, I recognized that it was going to be a pain to import all that content and convert it into a format that would work. Importing from an RSS feed into plain text / markdown, then auto-generating the resulting ebook formats is brilliantly simple.

Plus, using DropBox as the shared repository is sheer genius. As a geek, I've used svn and git as a repository for my prose. Source control is my friend. But setting up a shared repo can add a wee bit of friction. Using DropBox is a beautiful friction-free way to share while still letting me version my files if I decided it's needed. Really, really sweet.

Also, having just purchased Laurent Bossavit's recent Leanpub title, Leprechauns of Software Development, I was delighted by how easy it was to be a paying customer.

I had no intention of spending my day working on converting my archives into a book. It was way down on my priority list. But I'm having so much fun (despite the mysterious "there was a failure..." message)! Now if I can just keep distractions at bay long enough to finish, I'll finally have a book done. Wow.

Oh, and your customer service rocks also! I'm very grateful for your personal attention!

--Elisabeth Hendrickson, email (reprinted with permission)

Tom Graves

Tom Graves has published a number of books on Leanpub, with a particular focus on enterprise architecture and knowledge management. In a spring 2012 blog post, he wrote about how he finally found the right workflow for making ebooks from his books and blog posts.

I have at last found a viable workflow to produce e-books of my various books and blogposts, via Leanpub.

There’s one significant constraint in this form of publishing: Leanpub uses Markdown text-files for input, which is a fair bit more limited in its formatting than my books normally use. But that constraint fits well with the very tight limitations of .MOBI (Kindle) files – the cause of so many of my conversion-nightmares prior to finding Leanpub – and it also works well with automated import and conversion of blog-posts, which is something I’ve needed for a very long time.

Leanpub also presents e-books as a ‘package deal’, with EPUB, MOBI (aka AZW, for Kindle) and portrait-formatted PDF formats all included in the one price...

A key theme at Leanpub is publish early, publish often. If you buy a book, you not only get all three file-formats, but you also maintain access to all future updates – Leanpub send you an email to let you know whenever a new update is available.

See my home-page at leanpub.com/u/tetradian for the current status of each item – published or in-development – and, if published, the current content.

Dan Moore

Dan Moore, who has made four books on Leanpub, wrote a nice post in April 2012 outlining his interesting, practical take on our 'lean publishing' philosophy. Below is an extract from the full post.

Leanpub lets you write a book, but with a twist. They’ve built a system where you can write portions of a book, and easily publish to the major ebook formats (PDF, .mobi, epub). You write the book with Markdown, and can include code samples, images, tables, and sections. Nothing really new there, though.

The revolutionary idea of Leanpub, and the reason it is ‘lean’, is that you can build your book piece by piece, and sell it whenever you have ‘minimum viable content’. (You can also include sample content to let people see what they are buying.) Once someone purchases your book, they receive all further updates. This type of interaction with users can be very helpful–it spurs you on to finish your book (after all, someone paid for it) and also lets you know if your book idea has traction in the marketplace (did anyone buy the book), and builds an audience for your book slowly over time (going to a publisher with a list of people who’ve already bought your book is a lot stronger than going there with a first draft).

Nivi from Venture Hacks

Thanks to Peter Armstrong and Scott Patten at Leanpub for making this book happen. If you want to turn your blog into a book, get in touch with them.

Babak Nivi, The Venture Hacks Bible

Leanpub Podcast

Peter Armstrong, Leanpub's cofounder, is doing a series of podcast interviews with Leanpub authors. These interviews are about the authors' books and about their experiences using the lean publishing approach on Leanpub.

You can subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or add the following podcast URL directly: http://leanpub.com/podcast.xml

Leanpub's Founders Being Interviewed

Peter and Scott, Leanpub's founders, have been guests on a couple of podcasts recently. We'll be adding links as the podcast episodes are published.

Mark Graban, who has written a couple of Leanpub books, recently did a podcast with us. It went long enough that Mark split it into 2 parts. Here's part one. (In the podcast, the person who talks too quickly and runs over people is Peter; the person who speaks calmly and slowly is Scott.)

Srinivas Rao, author of The Skool of Life, interviewed us for a podcast on Blogcast FM. We talked about our manifesto, how Leanpub can help you engage with your readers and much more. Give it a listen.

We love talking about Leanpub. If you want to interview us, just email hello@leanpub.com and we'll set it up.