Besides all the documentation below, we also have a shiny new help center which contains all our FAQs! So, if you have a specific question, look there first. If you can't find the answer there, you can ask us right from the help center by clicking on the smiling speech bubble or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a short 5-step tutorial to help you get started. It should take around 5 minutes.
By the end of it, you'll understand how to edit your book in Leanpub and how to generate previews of your book.
If at any point during the tutorial it stops making any sense, then we recommend watching one of our helpful videos at the bottom of this page, emailing us at email@example.com or joining the very helpful Leanpub Google Group.
Step 1: Accept Your Dropbox Invite
Check your email. Within the next 24 hours, you will receive an email from Dropbox with a sharing request. One of our customer service reps must invite you to dropbox manually which causes this delay. We apologize in advance for any inconvience.
Install Dropbox if you don’t have it already, and accept the sharing request that Dropbox sent you from us. This will download your Leanpub book files onto your computer.
Step 2: Edit Your Manuscript
Take a look at your book's folder in your Dropbox folder. You'll see two folders inside it, one called
and the other called
folder is where you write your book. If you have just created a new book, it will just contain three files (
folder. Otherwise it will contain the full content of your book.
Open up the
file using a text editor program like Notepad or TextEdit. (Leanpub books are written in plain text, so any text editor program can edit them.)
Make the contents of the file be the following:
# Chapter 1 Hello, world!
Save the file.
Step 3: Make a Preview
This is where the magic happens. When you create a preview of your book, we create three versions of it for you:
- PDF (for your computer)
- EPUB (for iPad and other ebook readers and phones)
- MOBI (for Kindle)
Your book files will appear in the
folder of your Leanpub Dropbox folder. It takes a few minutes to generate the preview.
Open your book's Preview page by clicking on the 'preview' tab at the top of the page. To create a new preview of your book, click the button that says "Create Preview".
Don't worry, nobody but you will be able to see your book unless you publish it.
Step 4: Add a New Chapter
Let's add a new chapter. Start by creating a new file called
Let's put some content in it:
# Chapter 2 It was a **bold** and *italic* night! Suddenly, a shot rang out!
Save your new file.
Next, we're going to tell Leanpub we want this file in the book. To do this, we add the filename of the new file to the
file is just a list of the files in your book, in the order you want them included.
file in Notepad or TextEdit. Right now it will just look like this:
chapter1.txtTo add your new chapter, just add
chapter2.txtto the file, like this:
file. Then, go back to the Preview tab and make another Preview of your book. You will see the new book files show up in Dropbox, and they will have your new chapter.
Step 5: Learn a Bit About Markdown
You may have wondered what the
things were in step 4. This is an example of Markdown, which is the way you write your book in Leanpub. This step will teach you enough about Markdown for you to get started.
Paragraphs: You put blank lines between paragraphs.
You make bold text
**by surrounding words with two asterisks like this**.
You make italic text
*by surrounding words with one asterisk like this*.
To start a new chapter, use
followed by the chapter title on a line by itself, like this:
# Chapter Title It was the best of chapters, it was the worst of chapters.
To start a new chapter section, use
followed by the section title on a line by itself, like this:
## Section Title I'm a lowly section.
That's basically all you need to know to start writing in Markdown! If you want to learn more about Markdown, the Leanpub Manual has more than you'll ever need to know.
That's it for this quick tutorial!
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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.