There are two ways to use Leanpub: Chapter Mode and File Mode.
Chapter Mode is designed for books that consist of just plain old chapters. It also constrains you to writing only in the Leanpub write tab.
In File Mode, you can have parts and sections and do things like put multiple chapters in a single file. File mode also allows you to hook your Leanpub book up to Dropbox, and you can then write using your favorite text editor and save directly into your Dropbox folder.
You can switch to file mode at any time, but you cannot switch from file mode back to chapter mode.
This is a tutorial about how to get started with Leanpub. It assumes that you've just created a new Leanpub book. To do this, please go to our new book page.
It takes 30 seconds to create a new Leanpub book, and it's totally free. Once your book is created, you'll be sent back to this tutorial!
If you like to experiment, feel free to just open up the write tab (which you'll see when you are editing your book) right away and go through the quick tutorial. You can always get back here by clicking on the "Getting Started" tab above.
The write tab will look something like this:
You can see a list of chapters on the left, and that right now I'm editing Chapter 1. The text of Chapter 1 is in the big box on the right.
When I want to see what my book looks like, I click the "Preview" button.
One other thing you might have noticed is the asterisks around the word "shot" in the example text. This is an example of Markdown (it italicizes "shot").
For a detailed list of all of the Markdown that Leanpub can do, see the manual. For now, though, here's a quick list:
- Start a new paragraph by hitting
This is *italicized*=> This is italicized
This is **bold**=> This is bold
[link text](http://example.com)=> link text
There are a lot of things you can do next to learn more...
- Watch one of the helpful videos at the bottom of this page, and try following along with your own book.
- You can see Leanpub Manual to find detailed documentation about how what you write in Markdown turns into a book.
- If you want to know what a Leanpub book looks like to write (using Markdown for your manuscript files, and listing these files in a file called Book.txt), just download one of our sample books. We have sample books for business, fiction and technical books. These sample books all show you how Markdown works, how to insert a cover image, what size that cover image should be, etc.
If you're stuck, either...
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help you.
- Join the very helpful Leanpub Google Group and post your question there, especially if it's general in nature. We read every post and reply promptly, and lots of our authors are helpful too!
We also have some helpful videos, which show you how to use Leanpub. These cover the 3 common ways Leanpub is used to write a new book: starting from scratch with a brand new book, starting by importing a blog, and starting by converting and importing a Word document. They also include a video showing you how to make a bundle of Leanpub books to sell together.
How to Use Leanpub
How to Start a Book from Scratch
This video shows you how to sign up for Leanpub and create, preview and publish your first Leanpub book. We start from scratch, using Markdown to write a brand new book in Leanpub. You can also find these instructions written out on our website here and in book format (for free!) here.
How to Start a Book with Your Blog
This video shows you how to make a brand new Leanpub book, starting by importing your blog's RSS feed into Leanpub and editing the resulting Markdown files. You can also find these instructions written out on our website here and in book format (for free!) here.
How to Start a Book with a Word Document
This video shows you how to make a brand new Leanpub book, starting by converting one of your Microsoft Word documents into Markdown. You can also find these instructions written out on our website here and in book format (for free!) here.
How to Create a Bundle of Leanpub Books
This video shows you how to make a bundle of Leanpub books, using either your books entirely or proposing a bundle of your books and another author's related books. You can also find these instructions written out on our website here and in book format (for free!) here.
How to use Markdown to Write a Leanpub Book
All Leanpub books are written using Markdown. This video series explains how to use Markdown to write a Leanpub book, with the focus being on the Markdown syntax not the Leanpub process.
Markdown Video #1
This is part 1 of a 3-part series on how to use Markdown to format a Leanpub book.
Markdown Video #2
This is part 2 of a 3-part series on how to use Markdown to format a Leanpub book.
Markdown Video #3
This is part 3 of a 3-part series on how to use Markdown to format a Leanpub book.