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Table of Contents

About The Leanpub Manual

Welcome to The Leanpub Manual! It exists as a website and as a free ebook. We’re going to try to make it comprehensive but keep it intuitive.

If you’re looking for an answer to a question, just try searching the manual!

You can also look for answers by scrolling through the (huge) Table of Contents.

Some sections in the manual may be a bit redundant. That’s because we want to help people who might be looking to solve the same problem in different ways.

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, try posting on our Leanpub Google Group at:

https://groups.google.com/group/leanpub.

We also have a several how-to guides and videos, which you can find on out Help page at:

http://leanpub.com/help.

(Please note that at the moment our videos are a bit out of date; Leanpub is being built in response to user feedback and we are always trying to make it better.)

Thanks, and if you have any suggestions for the manual or spot any errors, please let us know at hello@leanpub.com!

The Leanpub Manual: The ebook!

You can grab this manual in pdf, epub or mobi as well. If you want to get an email whenever the manual gets a significant update, you can get the book for free at http://leanpub.com/manual.

Help

Stuck? There are 3 ways to get help…

If your question is general in nature, please use the Google Group so that other Leanpub authors can benefit from your question being answered. We check the group too, so we’ll see your question and we’ll reply there.

Getting Started

The Five Steps To A Leanpub Book

(For a really brief introduction to writing a Leanpub book, please go here: https://leanpub.com/help.)

Here are the five steps to publishing your book on Leanpub:

  1. Create a Leanpub account.
  2. Create a new book.
  3. Add content to the book’s manuscript folder.
  4. Add content to your ebook and edit it using private Previews.
  5. Click Publish and make your book public.

Brief Instructions

Sign Up: When you Sign Up to Leanpub, at the same time you’ll be creating the framework for a new book. You can change these details later.

If you want to know what a Leanpub book looks like, 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.

Dropbox: Leanpub books are written in Dropbox folders that are shared by you and Leanpub (and any coauthors). Before you can add content to your book, Leanpub will send you a Dropbox folder sharing request. Once you have accepted the invitation, you can start working on your book by editing (and adding to!) the contents of the manuscript folder on your computer.

Please check your spam folder if you did not get the Dropbox email with the sharing request from Leanpub.

New Book: In the new folder for your book, you will see that your book doesn’t start out empty. It starts with a sample chapter so you can see how the Leanpub workflow works.

You can add your content to your book by putting .txt files in your book’s manuscript folder.

Writing in Markdown: Leanpub books need to be written in a text format called Markdown, which is the simplest way to format books so they’ll look good in multiple and competing ebook formats.

For example, if you want something to appear in italics, just put an underscore mark like this _ before and after the words you want to be italicized. For more Markdown instructions, check out the rest of this manual or http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax.

Book Structure: Your new book folder contains a file called Book.txt. The Book.txt file is the list of files in your manuscript folder that you want to include in your book, in the order you want them to appear in your book.

So, if you save a text called chapterone.txt in your manuscript folder, and you want it to appear in your ebook, just write ‘chapterone.txt’ on a line in the Book.txt file.

Previews: Once you’ve added some content to your manuscript folder and listed it in Book.txt, go to the Preview page in Leanpub’s book tools and click the button to create a new Preview. If you spot something you want to change, just make the change in the appropriate .txt file in your manuscript folder, and create another Preview to see the effect of your changes.

Publish: Once you’re happy with your Preview, just go over to the Publish page in Leanpub’s book tools and click the button to Publish your book.

Other Leanpub Features: We hope you’ll have fun getting to know the additional cool features on Leanpub, like the free web page you’ll get for your book, where you can add content and even your own videos to tell the world about your work!

Good luck, and thanks for being a Leanpub author!

Setting Up Dropbox On Your Computer

When you create a new book, you should receive an email from Dropbox saying that Leanpub has shared your new book folder with you.

Click on the link in the email (which might be in your junk or spam folder) and you’ll be taken to the Dropbox website. If you already have a Dropbox account, just sign in and accept the sharing request, and Dropbox will put the folder on your computer.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account, follow the instructions to create one (it’s free!), and then accept the sharing request. This will take a couple of minutes, but it’s worth it!

Your Book’s Content

Your book will consist of a bunch of text files with the suffix .txt. They can be named whatever you want, as long as they have .txt at the end. You can write them using any text editor you like; just save the files as plain text.

(Please note that we have videos that show you how to import your work from your blog. Once you’ve imported, we strongly suggest you just stop using Word, period. Any simple text editor will work for writing plain text, and they are usually free or very cheap and, crucially, simple to use, so you can focus on your writing).

To illustrate, we’re going to write an epic fantasy novel together. Let’s give it a suitably epic title: The Cliché Chronicles.

This is the content of the file called chapter1.txt:


# Chapter 1: A Stormy Beginning

Lord Char, black cloak flapping around him in the rising storm, rubbed his hands together in anticipation as he strode to the middle of the circle of stones. He had been years in preparation for this, his moment of triumph.

It was time to use the knowledge he had gained through years of patient planning. Now The Unnamed One would pay!


And this is the content of the file called chapter2.txt:


# Chapter 2: You Are Not My Father!

## A Horrible realization

Suddenly, he realized who his father had to have been. No wonder the dark riders had chased him half way across the continent!

## The Horror Grows

With growing horror, he pulled the dark pulsing amulet from his cloak. If The Unnamed One was truly his father, he shuddered, then the amulet must be The Jewel of Rak Crasha!


See those number # signs? They’re an example of what it’s like to write in the formatting style called Markdown. If you want to write a chapter heading, just put a # at the start of the line, instead of hunting for ‘styles’ like you would in Microsoft Word. And if you want a sub-heading, just type two number signs ‘##’. We chose Markdown as our formatting system (even typewriters have a formatting system!) because it was created to make sense and let you focus on writing words instead of overly complex formatting stuff.

Anyways, back to the book we’re writing!

When Leanpub converts this text into a book for you, the h1 (or #) headings will start new chapters, and the h2 (or ##) headings will start new sections. So, there are two chapters here - “Chapter 1: A Stormy Beginning” and “Chapter 2: You Are Not My Father!”. Chapter 2 contains two sections: “A Horrible Realization” and “The Horror Grows”.

The Book.txt File

As mentioned above, the content of your book is all tied together by the Book.txt file. This is a list of all the files you want in your book, in the correct order.

The text you’d type in the Book.txt file for The Cliché Chronicles would look like this:


chapter1.txt
chapter2.txt


Yup, that’s it. It’s just a list of the names of the files in your manuscript folder that you want to appear in your book, in the order you want them to appear. Think of it as your Table of Contents.

Book.txt and the manuscript Folder

You may have noticed that the list of files in Book.txt does not have to include all of the files in your manuscript folder. When Leanpub creates a Preview or a published version of your book, it only uses the files listed in Book.txt, not all the files in your manuscript folder. That way, if you think a chapter is not ready yet, you can keep working on it in your manuscript folder, but just leave it out of the list in Book.txt until you think it’s ready.

Making a Sample Book for Readers to Browse for Free

If you want prospective customers to read a sample of your book for free, you can make a file called Sample.txt in your manuscript folder. This file works exactly like Book.txt. Just list all of the files that you want to be included in your book sample.

The Sample Book

Making a sample of your book available to potential customers is a great way to promote your book. It’s the virtual equivalent of what customers do in brick-and-mortar bookstares: they browse the shelves and take down books and read bits of what’s inside, to find the book they’re looking for.

OK, let’s let potential readers of The Cliché Chronicles browse the first chapter for free. Once they read that, they’ll be hooked and will rush to buy the book so they can read the rest.

To do this, just type this in the Sample.txt file:


chapter1.txt


Next time your Preview or Publish your book, Leanpub will create a separate sample ebook containing just chapter one, because that’s the only chapter listed in Sample.txt.

Adding Images or Pictures to Your Book

It’s easy to add images or pictures to your book. To do this, you need to:

  1. Put the images or pictures in your images folder (it’s in your manuscript folder).
  2. Tell Leanpub where you want the image to appear in your book. You do this by typing the image name directly into your text, with a little help from Markdown formatting.

So, to add images to your book, first put them in the images folder inside your book’s manuscript folder.

Then, you need to tell Leanpub where to put the images in your book.

Let’s say we want to put an image in our book that we’ve saved as ‘Sword.png’. Just put the ‘Sword.png’ file in your images folder, and then type this in your .txt file, in a line on its own, wherever you’d like the image to appear:

![An awesome sword](images/Sword1200px300ppi.png)

Now, the next time you create a Preview, the image will appear with the caption ‘An awesome sword’. If you don’t want a caption, just leave that part of the instruction empty, like this:

![](images/Sword1200px300ppi.png)

A Note about Markdown

Markdown was created to make formatting websites simpler. In our opinion, it’s also a great way to format your writing so you can simultaneously produce a variety of text formats from just one set of words with the click of a button.

(Just think about how cool it is to create PDF, EPUB, and MOBI ebooks, (plus a website if you want one!), all at the click of one button, using the same source text.)

As simple as Markdown is, like any new thing, it takes a little getting used to. For example, in Markdown, if you are doing two things at once, you use square brackets [ ] followed by parentheses ( ).

You can see how this works in the images formatting. The caption, or the words you want associated with the image, is put in square brackets:

![These words will appear as the image caption]

… and you put the ‘address’ of the image or picture in parentheses after it, so Leanpub knows where to look for it:

(images/image.jpg)

In this case, the exclamation point ! at the beginning of the line just tells Leanpub this is an image, not something else.

So together, the line you type looks like this:

![These words will appear as the image caption](images/image.jpg)

To link some words in your text to a website, you use the same methodology:

[These words will appear in your book as a link your readers can click](http://theaddressofthewebsite.com)

In this case, the square brackets [ ] tell Leanpub ‘this is a link’, and then Leanpub looks for the website you want to link to, by looking inside the parentheses ( ).

Creating a Preview

Once you’ve added some text files to your manuscript folder and you’ve listed them in the Book.txt file, go to the Preview page in your book tools in Leanpub and click the button to create a Preview. This will create your new ebook! But since it’s a Preview, only you can see it, so don’t worry about everything being perfect just yet.

When Leanpub’s done creating your Preview, go back to your book’s folder in Dropbox and open up the ebook files in the Preview folder. Your ebook will be produced in three different ebook formats: PDF (for all computers), EPUB (for iPads and a number of different e-readers), and MOBI (for the Amazon Kindle e-reader).

After you’ve checked your Preview, make whatever changes you like to the content in your manuscript folder and make more Previews until your book is ready to publish.

Publishing Your Book

When you’re ready to make your book public for the first time, or ready to release a new version of your already published book, go to the Publish page in your Leanpub book tools and click the publish button. This will make your book available to the public to buy from your book’s landing page, which you can see by going to Public Page in your book tools. Ta-da, your book is published! Now it’s time to get the word out using Twitter and your blog or whatever ‘channels’ you enjoy using. Good luck!

Leanpub Book Tools

This section sets out all of the ‘book tools’ or options and settings you can use when you’re signed into your Leanpub account and working on a book.

Leanpub is constantly being updated, so this section may from time to time be a bit out of date!

This section was last updated on:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Book Tools

How do I find the Leanpub Book Tools?

  1. Log in by clicking ‘Sign In’ at the top right of a Leanpub page
  2. Click on ‘Your Account’ at the top right and select ‘Dashboard’
  3. Click on ‘Books’
  4. Click on the link for your book’s title, or click on the book’s cover image

Then you will see tabs for your books Settings, Actions etc. at the top of the page

When you’re signed into your Leanpub account and working on a book, across the top of the page you’ll see the following book tool pages:

On the Sell, Settings, and Actions pages, you will find the following tabs, each of which is explained below:

Under Sell:

Under Settings:

Under Actions:

Getting Started

On this tab, you will find some instructions for getting started with your first Leanpub book.

Write

Here, you will find a web-based editor that you can use to write your manuscript.

Preview

On the Preview page, click ‘Create a Preview of My Book’ to create a new Preview of your book.

Once you have created a Preview, you will be able to download it here by clicking on the links that will appear. You will see links for the Preview of your Full Book and for your Book Sample.

Some detailed info about Previews:

A Preview is a version of your book that only you can see. You generate Previews whenever you’ve made changes to your content or formatting and you’d like to see how they look in the ebook. Essentially, a Preview is a kind of ‘working copy’ of your book. When you’re happy to release your book to the public for the first time, or when you’ve updated the book and want to release the latest version to the public, that’s when you’ll go to the Publish page in the book tools - but more on that later!

Previews are created in all three ebook formats that Leanpub produces for published books, namely PDF, MOBI and EPUB. PDF files can be read on any computer using a PDF viewer like Preview (for Macs) or Adobe Reader (which you can download for free). EPUB format ebooks are for the iPad and a number of specialized ebook readers. The MOBI format is used for reading ebooks on the Amazon Kindle. So your Leanpub ebook will be available to be read on a number of different devices in a variety of formats.

You’ll note on this page that whenever Leanpub generates Previews, it makes Previews of both your ‘Full Book’ and your ‘Book Sample’. The ‘Full Book’ is, naturally enough, your complete book. The ‘Book Sample’ is an ebook that Leanpub generates from just a small part of your full book, and is made available for free download to readers who come to your book’s landing page. You can decide what to include in the Book Sample (we’ll be showing you how to easily edit its contents below), or you can decide not to make a sample available at all.

Publish

To publish the latest version of your book, just click the button at the bottom of this page!

Release Notes

This text will be included in the email to your readers. If you’re not emailing your readers, there’s no point in writing release notes. You can also see what percentage of your readers have asked to receive release notifications.

After you’ve published your book, you’ll see links to download the published book files at the bottom of the page.

Sell

These are the tabs on the Sell page:

Pricing

Minimum and Suggested Book Price

Leanpub uses a variable pricing model which lets customers choose the price they want to pay for your book. Customers are by default shown your suggested price, and they can choose to lower that price down to your Minimum Book Price. And they can also pay more, which they often do!

A couple of notes about pricing:

  • You can set your Minimum Book Price at zero
  • The next lowest Minimum Book Price is $0.99. At a price between zero and $0.99, Leanpub would lose money on each sale, because of transaction costs.
  • The maximum price a customer can choose to pay is $500 (if you’re selling to an institution you might end up charging a high price for your work)
  • Prices are in US dollars

Multi-reader licenses

To sell a multi-reader license, simply create a Package, configure it similarly to the single-reader package, offer it at a price point commensurate with the number of licenses being sold, and name it accordingly (eg. “The Book (10 copy license)”).

Packages & Pricing

If you have uploaded Extras and have created packages of extras to sell with your book, you will see a more complex version of the Pricing tab. Here you will be able to set minimum and suggested pricing (see Pricing for more information) on a per-package basis, and you will be able to specify which extras belong to which packages.

Extras

An extra is a digital good that you include with your book. Videos, photos, artwork, source files, code samples, apps, templates, and worksheets are all examples of digital extras that you can offer for sale (or for free!) to add value to your book.

Creating Extras

Uploading a digital extra is easy. Start by visiting the Extras tab, and fill out some information about the extra you would like to create:

  • Name (eg. “Code Samples”)
  • Description (eg. “Examples from the book, in a format you can execute on your own computer.”)

Next, associate one or more files with this extra by dragging them into the dropzone (or clicking the dropzone to choose files from your hard drive). Files will begin uploading automatically. Once we’ve received them, a green checkmark will appear, and the “Create Extra” button will be enabled.

Including Extras With Your Book

You can choose whether to include this extra with your book right away, or whether you simply want to create it without making it public. If you have created multiple packages of your book for sale (see Creating Multiple Packages of Extras) then you will be able to specify which packages this extra belongs to.

Updates to extras are available to your readers immediately, without having to republish your book. If you would like to notify your readers that an extra has been added or updated, feel free to click the publish button anyway, mentioning the update in the release notes.

<a name="creatingmultiplepackages"></a> Creating Multiple Packages of Extras

Packages let you offer different configurations of extras at various price points. For example:

  • The Book – $25
  • The Book + Code Samples – $30
  • The Book + Code Samples + Video Tutorials – $50

Upload your extras first, then wrap them up into any number of packages by clicking the “Create Your First Package” button. You can edit existing packages at any time by visiting the Packages & Pricing tab.

Notifications

Get Notified of Purchases

This section lets you choose from the following notification settings regarding purchases of your book:

  • Email me only for paid purchases (default setting)
  • Email me for all paid and free purchases
  • Do not email me

Message to Include on Purchases

Optionally add a message to be included in the email we send to each new reader after they’ve purchased your book.

Suggested Tweet

This will give readers a suggested tweet in the email they receive after they purchase your book.

Royalties

The Royalties page in your book tools shows you a range of information related to your book sales.

Before you have any sales, you will see information regarding Interested Readers who have used the “Notify Me When This is Published?” form on your book’s landing page. You’ll see:

  • How many people have said they’d like to buy your book
  • The average price they’ve indicated they’d be willing to pay
  • The median price they’ve indicated they’d be willing to pay
  • Whether any one price occurred more than any other price

You will also be able to download a .csv file (which can be used with spreadsheet programs like Excel) of all the data we’ve collected from interested readers (though you won’t be able to see their email addresses if they have not opted to show them to you).

Below, you will also see some text discussing how to price your book.

After you have some sales, you’ll see information about the following:

Royalty Summary

Royalties are paid monthly via PayPal, no later than 25 days following the end of the calendar month. For example, royalties from the end of March 2012 would be paid by April 25, 2012. If we owe you less than $40 in royalties, we may roll your royalties forward to the following month until an amount of $40 is reached; see the Terms of Service for details.

In this section you’ll find the following information:

  • Book Royalties Currently Due
  • Total Unpaid Book Royalties
  • Premium Services Cost
  • Unpaid Book Royalties Minus Premium Services Cost
  • Total Paid Book Royalties
  • Total Book Royalties
  • Number of Happy Readers
  • Number of Refunds
  • Refund Percentage
  • Your % of the Book Royalties
  • Your Unpaid Royalties
  • Your Royalties Currently Due

Royalties Fine Print

This section summarizes the details of how Leanpub pays royalties. Here is the text as of 6 February 2013:

  1. Your royalties for purchases of this book are held for 45 days before being part of the monthly royalty payouts. The royalty for a given purchase is paid on the first monthly royalty payout after the hold has elapsed. The reason for this hold is that we don’t want to pay royalties on a purchase that can still be refunded, and we have an unconditional 45-day 100% refund guarantee. This 100% happiness guarantee means more sales for you, since it takes away all the risk that readers feel when buying an ebook.
  2. Royalties that are due are paid monthly via PayPal. We typically make these payments in the first 3 days of a given month, but our Terms of Service lets us take up to 25 days to make the payment. (We make these royalty payments manually.)
  3. If we owe you less than $40 in Book Royalties Currently Due, we will roll your royalties forward to the following month until an amount of $40 is reached.
  4. If your book has bundle purchases, these are included here as well as normal standalone purchases. For bundle purchases, the Total Paid is identical to the Book Royalty, since the 90% - 50 cents calculation is done on the bundle to determine the bundle royalty, and then this bundle royalty is split among its books as purchases.
All Purchases

In this section you can see information related to each individual purchase of your book. You can also download a CSV file of the data.

Refunds

This section will show you information related to refunds on purchases of your book.

Cause

Here you can optionally choose a cause to split your royalties with. If you choose a cause, you can choose a percentage from 10% to 100% of your royalties for the cause to receive.

Metrics

Here, you can see statistics regarding downloads of your book.

Interested People

In this section, you can see the information about interested readers that was gathered before you made your first sale.

Actions

On the Actions page, you will see a number of tabs that let you carry out actions relating to your book.

Email Readers

On this page you can write an email to readers who have opted in to receive emails from you.

You can choose to email:

  • All your readers (except those opted out)
  • Paying readers only (except those opted out)
  • Free readers only (except those opted out)

Message

Type your email message to readers in the box.

To send the email, just click the button at the bottom of the page.

We recommend emailing your readers once or twice a month at most.

Import

On this page you can:

  1. Import posts from your blog
  2. Import HTML files

Import from a WordPress Export

Follow the instructions to download an export of your WordPress blog. Then, click ‘Choose File’ to upload the export.

Import from a Blogger Export

Follow the instructions to download an export of your Blogger blog. Then, click ‘Choose File’ to upload the export.

If you are trying to import from a blogging engine that’s not WordPress or Blogger, there are a few options. The most solid will be to export from your current blog, into WordPress or Blogger, and then export from WordPress or Blogger. A second option, if you have a full Atom feed, is to just upload that file using the ‘Import from a Blogger Export’ option. This is not guaranteed to work, but it may be worth trying.

**Import Other HTML Files **

This is an optional step that is helpful if you have some HTML files which aren’t in your blog’s RSS feed, or if you have written a Leanpub book using HTML in the past.

Put any files you want converted into a ‘convert_html’ directory in your Leanpub Dropbox folder and we’ll convert them to Markdown for you. (Newer Leanpub books have this folder already; older ones don’t.)

Export

We will generate a website for your book and put it in the site folder of your Leanpub Dropbox folder. You can then copy the HTML and use it on your own site.

Site Structure

You can choose to have all your content on a single web page, or to have a separate web page for each chapter.

File Format

You can choose to have the code for the web page wrapped in HTML and body tags, or just have the bare HTML.

Print

On this tab you can choose to produce print-ready PDFs of your book. These can be used for uploading to sites like Lulu and CreateSpace for print-on-demand publishing.

Before You Print, Confirm Your Ebook Page Size

If you choose to enable this feature, you will see various ebook page size options. Each ebook page size corresponds to a PDF size optimized for possible print book page sizes. These print book sizes correspond to many of the CreateSpace and Lulu choices.

Produce a Print-Ready PDF of My Book

In this section you can set some parameters for your print-ready PDF.

The first section lets you show or remove some Leanpub features you may not want in your print book:

  • Show chapter name in page headers
  • Show “Tweet this book” page
  • Show “Also by this author” page

To remove these features from your print-ready PDF, just untick the boxes.

Print Book Page Size

The pages sizes you can select here are dependent on the page size you use for your ebook (which you set in the section above this one). The ebook and print pages will have the same content area, so that they will contain the same content on each page and page breaks will be in exactly the same place.

Your book’s Print ISBN

If you have an ISBN for your book, please enter it here.

Verso Page Content

In this section you can set some of the content for your book’s ‘verso’ page, which appears on the back of the title page of your book.

You can choose:

  • A ‘for sale at’ URL
  • To show or not show publisher information, if your book is associated with a Leanpub publisher
  • To include a custom blurb (if you are not showing publisher information)

When you’ve made all your choices or made a change to these settings, click ‘Produce a Print-Ready PDF of My Book!’ to generate the PDF and save your changes.

InDesign

On this tab you can choose to activate a Leanpub feature that lets you make InDesign files for your book.

Please note that this feature is fairly early in its lifespan. We want you to tell us what you want your InDesign files to look like and how you are using the files! Please either join the Leanpub Google Group or email hello@leanpub.com with suggestions!

Generate InDesign files for my book

Once you have activated this feature, you will see a button that lets you generate InDesign files for your book with a single click.

How it works

Clicking the “Generate InDesign files for my book” button will generate a bunch of InCopy files and place them in the in_design folder of your Leanpub Dropbox folder. There will be one for each chapter in your book, and they’ll be called chap01.icml, chap02.icml, etc.

Place these files into an InDesign file. You can start with the leanpub-emptybook.indd file. This is a very simple InDesign file with just a title page.

To place files, the process is:

  1. Go to the current last page in the book.
  2. On the “Pages” window, click the “Create New Page” button, and then click on the new page.
  3. Place the chapter file with File ⇒ Place ⇒ chap01.icml
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the rest of the files. If you forget what files you have placed, the “Links” window will tell you.

Once you have done this, try making a change to the Markdown files in your manuscript folder and generating the InDesign files again. On the “Links” window in InDesign, you’ll see a bunch of caution triangles. Double clicking on these will update the content in InDesign.

Hopefully most of what you have to do is styling of the headers, text and such. If you find yourself doing a bunch of manual work every time you re-generate your InDesign files, please let us know at hello@leanpub.com. We’re trying our best to minimize that.

Book Admin

On this page you can delete and unpublish your book. Choosing the delete option will delete all your book files, your landing page, etc.!

Settings

These are the tabs on the Settings page:

In the following sections we’ll set out the various features and options you set on each of these tabs.

General

Book Title and Book Subtitle

In these fields you can set your book’s title and (if you want one) subtitle.

Dedication

Here you can enter a short dedication for your book, which will appear before the Table of Contents.

Book URL

Here, you can set the URL for your book’s Public Page on Leanpub. You can change this any time, even after you publish. However, you will have to-republish your book, if you change the URL after the book has already been published. To do this, just go to the ‘Publish’ tab on the ‘Actions’ page for your book, and click ‘Publish New Version’.

Main Language Used in the Book

Select the main language used in your book. The default setting is English.

This helps us to set up the fonts that we use in your book. If you are writing with a mixture of languages that includes Chinese, Japanese or Korean, then you should check out the language switcher section of this manual.

Dialect Used in the Book (optional)

You can have an optional dialect. This has no effect on book generation, but it will show up on your book web page.

Translated From

You can indicate that your book is a translation of another book. For now, you must be the author of both books. So, what you would do here if you want a book translated is create the translations and add the translator(s) yourself as a co-author of each translation.

The default settings is ‘Not a Translation’.

Are The Book’s Author(s) Actually Its Editors?

If you check this checkbox you are indicating that you and the other authors of the book are in fact its editors, and that the book is made up of contributions from a number of contributors who are listed separately. If you are putting together a book of a collection of essays or blog posts by different people, you should check this box. Doing so will let you list these contributors separately, and they will show up on the book page as Contributors. Also, you and any other authors will be referred to as editors, and the About the Author(s) box will be called About the Editor(s). Note that the authors themselves can also be listed as contributors if they have contributed writing to the book.

Custom Copyright Owner

If you don’t put anything here, the book will be copyright by your name. Only fill this in if you need to override this with something else, like your company name or a list of people.

Copyright Custom Date Range

If you don’t put anything here, the book will be copyright from the year you created it on Leanpub to the year you last publish it in. (If these years are the same, that year will only be printed once.) Only fill this in if you need to override this with something else, say if you are including old material and you want those years included too. An example format of the text you enter here is “2007 - 2012”.

Suggested Hashtag

Optionally add a suggested hashtag for the book. We will add a page after the book copyright “verso” page encouraging people to tweet about your book, and if this hashtag is present we’ll include it in the suggested tweet.

Landing Page

YouTube Video URL

Your book sales can be greatly helped if you record a YouTube video about your book and put its URL here! We’ll embed this video prominently on your book landing page in the About the Book section along with its text. To find the URL of your video, click on the Share button on YouTube. You’ll see a URL like http://youtu.be/FcNhBa7o9pM. The part you want to copy is the FcNhBa7o9pM part; leave the http://youtu.be/ part out.

For an example of what this looks like live, see: http://leanpub.com/lean

To add a video, what you do is:

  1. Record a video. It doesn’t have to be good quality; just use an iPhone :)
  2. Upload it to YouTube (sorry, that’s the only choice at the moment)
  3. Click the Share button.
  4. Copy the URL (like http://youtu.be/FcNhBa7o9pM).
  5. Go to http://leanpub.com/YOURBOOK/edit
  6. Paste in the URL from YouTube, and delete the http://youtu.be/ part, leaving only the unique part for your video (like FcNhBa7o9pM)
  7. Scroll down and click update book.

About the Book

Any information you enter here will appear in the ‘About the Book’ section on your book’s landing page.

It’s a rich text editor, so you have a number of formatting options, and you can even add images if you like.

Please note that although HTML markup you use in the editor will appear as you make your draft, most of it will disappear when you click ‘Update Book’. That’s because our landing page feature only supports the options available using the buttons in the rich text editor, even though the editor itself supports more HTML options.

Custom About the Author Blurb (optional)

Any information you enter here will appear in the ‘About the Author’ section on your book’s landing page. This will override the display of information from the ‘About You’ section in your Leanpub account profile, which appears in the ‘About the Author’ section on your book’s landing page by default.

It’s a rich text editor, so you have a number of formatting options, and you can even add images if you like.

Percent Complete

This feature lets you show people how close to finished you think your book is. Set it to anything between 1 and 100 and it shows up on your landing page. Set it to 0 to hide it.

Show Reader Count

If you check this box, your book’s landing page will show how many readers you have. This can be helpful, as it provides “social proof” to readers considering buying the book. However, if you have only a handful of readers, you may want to hide this, since social proof can work both ways! (Note that your reader count is always hidden if you have fewer than 2 readers.)

This box is checked by default.

Show Disqus Comments

If you check this box, we show a form on your book’s landing page which lets anyone with a Disqus account comment on your book, much like they would comment on a blog post. This can be helpful, since it promotes community around your book: readers can subscribe to the Disqus comments by email, etc, so you can have a thriving discussion.

Show Page Count

This lets you show readers how long your book is, in pages.

Show Word Count

This lets you show readers how long your book is, in words.

Installments Completed and Installments Planned

If you are writing a serial fiction book, you can use these fields to indicate how many installments you have written, and how many you plan to write.

Collect Email Addresses While Unpublished

If you check this box, we show a form on your book’s landing page which lets interested potential readers enter their email address and how much they would pay. We will show you the names and dollar amounts of these potential readers in a special section of the Sales page. When your book is published for the first time, these people are automatically emailed to let them know your book is now available. We don’t take payment in advance, but it’s good for morale to have people say “I’d buy that for a dollar” (or twenty dollars) while you’re writing your book but before you’ve published it.

This feature is selected by default.

Display your book as a web page on Leanpub?

You can now put the content of your book on the web automatically every time you hit the publish button. This page will be available to everyone on the internet, not just people who have purchased your book.

Here are two examples for you to check out:

https://leanpub.com/lean/read

https://leanpub.com/thes3cookbook/read

By default, this is not enabled. Don’t worry, we’re not giving your book away for free unless you enable it :). This feature will always be completely optional; some books will benefit from being freely available, others will not. It’s up to you as the author to choose.

To make your book available as a web page, choose either “The full book” (we’ll create a page showing everything in your book) or “Just the sample” (we’ll create a page showing just what’s in your sample book) and save your changes. Then, publish a new version of your book (to do this, go to the ‘Publish’ tab under ‘Actions’). When the publishing steps are complete, we will have created the page and put a link to it on your book’s landing page.

You can also see a preview of what your book will look like as a web page after you preview your book with either “The full book” or “Just the sample” enabled. Only an author of the book can see the preview; you will find it at https://leanpub.com/your_book/read/preview, if you replace your_book with the actual slug for your book.

Google Analytics Code

Optionally add your Google analytics code (for example “UA-1234567-1”, without the quotes) here. We’ll embed this in your book page and the checkout pages. If you’re into analytics, this is for you! (On the other hand, if you think a conversion funnel is something you use to change your oil you can safely ignore this.)

Clicky Analytics Code

This works like the Google Analytics code feature, except it’s for Clicky.

Embargo The Book

Sometimes you may want to make your book’s landing page visible, but you may not be ready for press attention yet. If you use our Embargo feature, a message will appear to all visitors to your landing page that the book is under embargo. Doing so lets it still show up with direct navigation to your book landing page, but it will not show up in any Leanpub lists such as new releases, bestsellers, also by this author, your author profile page, etc.

Stealth Mode

If you check this box, we will make your book page look like a Leanpub 404 page (that is, it will just show a text like ‘Something is missing’, indicating that there is no content at your book’s URL). This will let you write your book in stealth mode. While we encourage you to work in public, we understand that there are certain situations where stealth mode make sense. For example, if you are a famous author and you want to experiment with Leanpub without angering your publisher. Or if you are already a Leanpub author and you want to experiment with a new book without your readers seeing it before it’s ready. Note that Stealth Mode has no effect if your book is published. Also, note that you can also put your entire user account into stealth mode on the Your Account page.

Make sure to click ‘Update Book’ at the bottom of the page after you’ve made any changes.

Formatting

Show an ‘Also By’ List in the Book?

If you check this box, we add a page near the front of your book which lists all the other books you have published on Leanpub under a title ‘Also By [your name]’, with links to them. If your book has co-authors, we will add lists for them as well. The list will only list published Leanpub books, not previews. We recommend that you select this option unless you have published books you don’t want to promote for some reason.

Page Breaks

If you want a new page after every section, check this box. This will normally be off, but it is useful for things like cookbooks.

Book Style

Leanpub has four book styles: Fiction, Business, Technical, and Custom. Each book style comes with some default format settings. You can change the book style at any time, and you can customize the book style if you want.

You can play with the following formatting elements:

Links

If you check this box, then any links to websites will also appear as footnotes in the PDF version of your book.

Font size

You can choose 11pt or 12pt font sizes.

Page size

You can choose from the following page sizes, shown width x height, in inches and then in centimetres:

US Letter: 8.5” x 11.0”, 21.6cm x 27.9cm

A4 Paper: 8.27” x 11.69”, 21.0cm x 29.7cm

US Trade: 6.0” x 9.0”, 15.2cm x 22.9cm

A5 Paper 5.83” x 8.27”, 14.8cm x 21.0cm

Digest 5.5” x 8.0”, 14.0cm x 20.3cm

Paperback 4.25” x 6.87”, 10.8cm x 17.4cm

Paragraph Style

You can choose to indent the first line of paragraphs, or to have no indent, and at the same to include a small vertical space between paragraphs. Please note that this only applies to PDF. Indentation of paragraphs will always be off for epub and mobi.

Code Samples

If you’re including code in your book, you can choose from the following options:

Show line numbers on code samples

Center section headers

Left-align section headers

Section Header Style

Using the check boxes, you can choose to have your section headers (the bigger, bold letters that appear when you format a line of text as a section) appear centered or left-aligned.

Table of Contents

You can choose from the following options for formatting your Table of Contents:

No Table of Contents

Parts and Chapters

Parts, Chapters and Sections

Everything

Section Numbering

You can choose from the following options for section numbering:

No section numbering

Number Parts and chapters (E.g.Part IV, Chapter 3)

Number Parts, chapters and sections (E.g. Chapter 3, Section 3.1, Section 3.2)

Number everything (E.g. Chapter 3, Section 3.1, Sub-Section 3.2.1, Sub-sub-section 3.2.1.4)

You can also choose ‘Do not number Parts’ to turn off the numbering of book Parts.

ISBNs for Ebooks (OPTIONAL)

In these fields, you can choose to assign ISBNs to your PDF, EPUB, and MOBI ebook (yes, you can assign the same ISBN to all your books if that is your preference). Please note that you do NOT need ISBNs to publish on Leanpub.

Also, please note that we do nothing with these ISBNs other than putting them in the Leanpub-generated PDF, EPUB and MOBI files.

Character Encoding

Depending on the text editor you are using and its settings, sometimes you may see weird characters appear in your text, and some characters may fail to appear at all. If you are experiencing this issue, and if all of your files are saved in UTF-8 format, then check this box. If this doesn’t make any sense to you, leave it unchecked.

Make sure to click ‘Update Book’ at the bottom of the page after you’ve made any changes.

Authors

You can add co-authors to your book. These co-authors need to already have Leanpub accounts, and they need to approve your add co-author request.

Your co-authors will not be able to publish new versions or delete your book, but they will be able to see your sales page, do imports and create preview versions.

For now, after you’ve added a co-author, you need to share the Dropbox folder for the book with them yourself at the Dropbox website. We may automate this later.

Co-authors can have a percentage of your royalties. The way the royalty percentages work is as follows: whatever the royalty percentage is at the end of the quarter will be used for all purchases in the quarter. When you add someone as a co-author you propose a royalty percentage that they will receive. You can’t edit this once it is set; you can only remove the co-author and add them again with a new percentage. (This way, the co-author gets to see, and approve, every new percentage they have been given.) However, since you as the author can remove your co-authors at any time, this relationship is built on their trust of you. Please play nice.

Note that as the primary author, your royalty percentage is automatically calculated. It is 100% minus the royalty percentages of your co-authors. This is the percentage of the book royalties (after the Leanpub cut), not the percentage of the revenue.

The royalty percentages are used once per quarter to split up the royalties for all purchases of the book. They are not applied on a per-purchase basis.

Add New Co-Author

Enter the Leanpub username of the person you want to add as a co-author. They’ll need to approve the request on their Dashboard page.

Here you can also add a Royalty Percentage, or the percentage of royalties each co-author will receive from book sales.

Make sure to click ‘Add Co-Author’ at the bottom of the page after you’ve made any changes.

Contributors

You can add people as contributors to your book. Contributors don’t get a share of the royalties, but they are credited on your book public page. This can include people like editors, reviewers, submitters of included essays, etc.

Make sure to click ‘Update Contributor’ at the bottom of the page after you’ve made any changes.

Categories

Please click in the box at the top of the page to select all the categories that apply to your book. Every category has its own bestseller list, so choose all that apply.

Mature Content?

Please indicate if your book as mature content.

A Note About Cover Images

ALL cover images must be non-offensive and G-rated, regardless of book category. If we receive any complaints about a cover image, or if we notice it and determine that it is offensive or not G-rated, we will rename it and regenerate your book so that your book reverts to the default cover image. (To add a cover image, you create a file called title_page.jpg or title_page.png in your manuscript/images directory.)

Special Rules for Categories

Not only does categorizing your book help readers to discover it, but there are some additional rules and features for certain categories. In particular, special rules apply to books categorized as Erotica or Fan Fiction.

SPECIAL RULES FOR BOOKS IN THE EROTICA CATEGORY

  1. Books categorized as Erotica cannot contain any images in the book manuscripts themselves. Our book generator will ignore any image tags in the body of an Erotica book. (Leanpub is not in the business of publishing erotic or pornographic images, and since we do not read our books before they are published this is our best attempt at a reasonable policy.)
  2. Books categorized as Erotica will have their own category bestseller list instead of showing up in the main Leanpub bestseller list.
  3. The Erotica category will be kept behind an age verification form, in order to prevent inadvertent access by minors.

SPECIAL RULES FOR BOOKS IN THE FAN FICTION CATEGORY

  1. Fan Fiction books must have a $0 minimum price and a $0 suggested price.
  2. Fan Fiction books must identify the original work(s) upon which they are based.
  3. If the creator or copyright holder of the original work(s) objects to a derivative work of fan fiction, we will take down the book(s) in question.
  4. Books categorized as Fan Fiction will have their own category bestseller list instead of showing up in the main Leanpub bestseller list.
  5. The Fan Fiction category will be kept behind an age verification form, in order to prevent inadvertent access by minors (as much Fan Fiction is also Erotica).
  6. Books categorized as Fan Fiction cannot contain any images in the book manuscripts themselves. Our book generator will ignore any image tags in the body of a Fan Fiction book. (This is to ensure that none of the images are copyrighted or are erotica.)

WHY SUPPORT EROTICA AND FAN FICTION CATEGORIES AT ALL?

The reason that we support Erotica and Fan Fiction is that we want to be able to publish the next book like Fifty Shades of Grey, both in its original form as fan fiction and in its rewritten commercial form. Why would we want to do this? Well, there are three reasons:

  1. [Dr. Evil voice] We’d be rich!
  2. We like the approach: Fifty Shades of Grey was published using an approach very philosophically similar to what we have always advocated in our manifesto. Specifically, we believe that books should be published as they are written, evolving in public with feedback from their readers. This is an apt description of the approach taken by the author of that book, as well as by many authors of Erotica and Fan Fiction.
  3. There’s no middle ground: we either need to support these categories appropriately or censor them. So, we choose to support them, but to have code in place to handle them appropriately.

Think of these categories as “subreddits” on reddit.com: there are certain subreddits which are not part of the main reddit experience, but which exist happily in their own virtual sandbox.

Coupons

You can create coupons for your book. Coupons are a great way to promote your book, letting you sell your book at a discount to specific customers, or even letting reviewers get free copies.

If you have any existing coupons, you’ll see them set out in a table at the top of the page.

In order to create coupons for your book, go to the Coupons page in your book tools and click ‘New Coupon’.

This will take you to a ‘Create Coupon’ page where you can assign the settings for your coupon.

Coupon Code

At the top of the page, you’ll see the ‘Coupon Code’. Anyone who has this code can enter it on your book’s purchase page in order to take advantage of the coupon deal you’re offering. You can change the coupon code to whatever you like.

Discounted Minimum Price

The Discounted Price is the new minimum price of the book, not the amount of the discount. For example, if your book has a minimum price of $9.99 and you want to sell it for a minimum price of $7.99 with this coupon, you put 7.99 in this field, not 2.00.

Start Date and End Date

You can assign a start date and an end date for your coupon. This way you can set up a temporary promotion of you book with a clear cutoff date.

Uses Limit

You can set a limit to the number of times the coupon code can be used before it is deactivated.

Note

This is an optional note for your own record-keeping purposes.

Temporarily Suspended

This is a “manual override” which lets you to temporarily turn off coupon by checking this checkbox. Otherwise, leave this checkbox unchecked: the normal way to control a coupon is by the max # uses and the start and end dates.

Make sure to click ‘Create Coupon’ or ‘New Coupon’ at the bottom of the page after you’ve made any changes.

Fan Fiction

If you have selected ‘Fan Fiction’ as a category for your book, then a ‘Fan Fiction’ tab will appear in your book’s ‘Settings’ page.

Using the drop-down list, please select the work that your book is based on, and then click ‘Update Book’.

If you do not see the the work your book is based on, please follow the ‘list of works’ link to add the work to our list.

Public Page

When you click on Public Page you will be taken to the web page, or ‘landing page’, for your book. Unless you’re in ‘Stealth Mode’, this page will be visible to the public.

There are a number of self-explanatory features on each Leanpub landing page, and some can be turned on or off in your Settings. Below are some brief descriptions and explanations of the various landing page features.

For Unpublished Books

Notification Request If your book hasn’t been published yet, potential buyers can request to be notified when it is published. They enter their email address and the price they’d be willing to pay for your book, which can help you decide how to price your book when you publish it.

Interested readers can also tick a box to share their email address with you. By default, when they complete the notification request, we keep their email address in a notification list, but for privacy reasons, we don’t let you see the customer’s email address.

Until you publish your book, you can view the notification request statistics on your book’s Sales page (after you publish, the Sales page changes to show your sales data).

Share this book Fans of your book can click on the standard Facebook and Twitter links, but they can also click ‘Copy embed code’ and then paste code for the

Leanpub Book Widget into their blog or any web page.

To see an example of what the Leanpub Book Widget looks like, check out the web page of Scott Patten, Leanpub’s co-founder, here.

About the Book This section displays information about your book that you’ve entered in your book’s Settings.

About the Author(s) By default, this section displays the ‘About You’ information from your Leanpub account. However, you can overwrite that information with a custom blurb about your book in your book Settings.

Book Comments If you have switched on the comments feature in your book Settings (it’s on by default), visitors to your landing page will be able to add comments using Disqus.

Bundles Available If your book is part of a bundle (or bundles!), a section called ‘Bundles Available’ will appear, showing the relevant information and a Buy button.

Video! You can embed a YouTube video promoting your book on your web page by enabling the feature in your book Settings.

For Published Books

The Buy and Gift Buttons

Once you click ‘Publish’, your book is available for sale on Leanpub. Visitors to your landing page will see two green buttons, one that allows them to buy the book, and the other that lets them give the book as a gift.

  • Pricing

    Since your book is for sale, your landing page shows the minimum and suggested prices you have set for your book in its Settings.

  • Number of Readers If you’ve checked the relevant box in your book’s Settings, the number of readers will be shown on your landing page. This is the number of people who have bought your book, including free ‘purchases’.

Markdown: The Easiest Way To Format Your Text For E-Publishing

Why Should You Care?

A Leanpub book is composed of a bunch of plain text files written with Markdown formatting instructions.

To learn about the syntax and philosophy of Markdown, see this article by John Gruber.

Briefly, Markdown is a nice way of writing content which is easily transformed into HTML, and at Leanpub we use it to make ebooks in three different ebook formats.

For example, putting the number sign # at the beginning of a line becomes an h1 header (like a chapter heading), ## becomes an h2 (like a sub-section heading), ### becomes an h3, etc. Lists, paragraphs and other formatting is also intuitive.

How Markdown is Used in Leanpub

Even if you know Markdown, you need to learn a few things about how we use it at Leanpub.

Importing Markdown Files

To import Markdown files to Leanpub, you can just save them as .txt files, put them in your book’s manuscript folder, and refer to them in Book.txt (the list of files to be included in your book, in the order you’d like them to appear), and generate a new Preview of your book.

Heading Levels Become Chapters and Sections

First, we use # chapters, ## for sections and ### for sub-sections. (You can also use #### for sub-sub-sections, but don’t get carried away! Most technical books are good with just #, ## and ###, and most business and fiction books are good with just # and possibly ##.)

So, if you look at the top of the Markdown.txt file you’ll see that it has one #, meaning it is a Chapter.

Another thing this means is that one file can contain as many chapters or sections as you want: every # makes a new chapter; it has nothing to do with what file it is in. However, we strongly recommend having one file per chapter (or one file per chapter section), since it makes creating sample books easier and keeps your book directory cleaner. Since we recommend this, that’s what we’ll do in this example book.

We support Markdown syntax for links, as well as normal HTML links. Both of these are converted into functioning footnotes in the PDF. Here’s an example of a link to Leanpub.

And here’s what it looks like in Markdown (i.e., this is what you type in the text file to get that link):

[Leanpub](http://leanpub.com)

Markdown Extensions in Leanpub

We’ve made a few additions to Markdown for use in Leanpub. Two of the most important are tables and crosslinks. Furthermore, since Leanpub is so good for technical books, we also support extensions for external code samples, special directives for code syntnax highlighting, etc.

We use almost all of the Kramdown extensions (see http://kramdown.rubyforge.org/syntax.html for a list of them). Two exceptions are:

1) HTML blocks – we don’t support HTML elements in our Markdown.

2) << becoming a left guillemet. We took this out when we created the external code sample syntax.

Markdown Editors

There are a lot of Markdown editors out there. Some good choices are:

Email links are formatted by simply surrounding the address with < and >.

Just click on hello@leanpub.com to send us an email.

1 Just click on <hello@leanpub.com> to send us an email.

Attributes

You can set various ‘attributes’ directly in your book files, like setting the code language, or line numbering. You do this by adding the syntax on their own separate lines in the text.

To be clear, each attribute should be alone on a line, with blank lines above and below it (unless it’s at the beginning of the file, in which case you just need a blank line below it!).

In general, the syntax works like this:

{some-attribute=value}

{some-attribute=”some attribute value”}

Quotes are only necessary if there are spaces.

You can have multiple attributes too. Separate them with commas.

{language=ruby,line-numbers=off}

Spaces are not significant, so you could also write:

{language=ruby, line-numbers=off}

or

id: {#some-id}

So, for example, if you want a file or section to be front matter (like an introduction, which will have roman numerals for page numbers), at the top of the file or section just type:

{frontmatter}

Or if you want to turn on line numbering just for that section, type:

{line-numbers=on}

Here are the attributes supported:

general: id code blocks: language, line-numbers files: encoding

special names: {pagebreak} {frontmatter} {mainmatter} {backmatter}

Creating A New Book

How To Create A New Book

[To be updated! For now check out our how-to manual and video http://leanpub.com/help#howtos]

How To Set The Book’s Structure

To set the structure for your book - that is, what content you want to appear and in what order - you use the Book.txt file in your book’s ‘manuscript’ folder.

‘Book.txt’ is a list of the files that you want included in your book, in the order that you want them to appear.

So if you have .txt files in your ‘manuscript’ folder called ‘chapterone.txt’ and ‘chaptertwo.txt’ and you want them to appear one after the other in your book, open Book.txt and type:

chapterone.txt chaptertwo.txt

This means that you can actually have content in your ‘manuscript’ folder that isn’t included in your ebook. Only the files listed in ‘Book.txt’ will appear in your book. This is useful if you’re working on new chapters that you don’t yet want to include in the latest version of your book, for example. You don’t have to take the file out of ‘manuscript’; you can just take it out of the list of files in ‘Book.txt’.

Book Styles

Technical Books

A technical book defaults to 8.5” x 11” paper. Your cover page uses the full page width, so it should be exactly 2550 pixels wide and 3300 pixels high at 300 PPI. (Subtracting margins, you have 6.5” x 9” to work with. This means the images in your book can be up to 1950 pixels wide and up to 2700 pixels high at 300PPI.)

Business Books

A business book defaults to Digest paper (5.5” x 8”). Your cover page uses the full page width, so it should be exactly 1650 pixels wide and 2400 pixels high at 300 PPI. (Subtracting margins, you have 3.5” x 6” to work with. This means the images in your book can be up to 1050 pixels wide and up to 1800 pixels high at 300PPI.)

Fiction Books

A fiction book defaults to Digest paper (5.5” x 8”). Your cover page uses the full page width, so it should be exactly 1650 pixels wide and 2400 pixels high at 300 PPI. (Subtracting margins, you have 3.5” x 6” to work with. This means the images in your book can be up to 1050 pixels wide and up to 1800 pixels high at 300PPI.)

Sample Books

Why Sample Books?

Leanpub lets you create a sample book, which readers can download for free to help them decide whether they want to buy the real book.

To do this, you create or edit a file called Sample.txt in the ‘manuscript’ folder for your book. Note that, like Book.txt, the Sample.txt file is just a list of files. It’s supposed to be a smaller list than what is in Book.txt, or else you’re giving your whole book away! If you don’t want a sample book, just delete the Sample.txt file.

Consequences for Manuscripts

One consequence of this approach to specifying a sample book is that it’s an “all or nothing” decision to include a file. If you include a file in the list in Book.txt, all the chapters and sections in that file are inserted in your book. Because of this, we recommend a couple things:

  1. Either use a separate text file for each chapter, or
  2. Never let a section span multiple text files.

These two guidelines mean that your sample book is a lot less likely to have problems. If you don’t follow them, things can still work, but you can sometimes create a situation where your book will be created fine but your sample book will not.

So, if you use the “separate text file for each chapter” approach, things will just work.

Images and Cover Pages

How To Insert An Image

This chapter shows how you include an image in your Leanpub book.

First, you need to put the image in the ‘images’ folder in the ‘manuscript’ folder for your book.

Second, type in a reference to the image like this:

1 ![This is the Image Caption](images/LeanpubLogo1200x610_300ppi.png)

Then you’ll see the image appear:

This is the Image Caption

This is the Image Caption

That’s it! (See this web page for details on images in Markdown.)

Note: Captions will only appear if an image is on a line all by itself.

Image Format And Resolution

We support PNG, JPEG and GIF formats for images.

Note that it’s important to get the size and the resolution of the image right:

  • We use 300 pixels per inch (PPI) in our books, and we recommend you use that for your images. Any smaller PPI is scaled up to 300 PPI. Since we scale up to 300 PPI, your image may look blurry if it’s a smaller PPI.
  • If you save your image in a 300 PPI format, a 1200 pixel wide image takes 4 inches (1200 pixels / 300 pixel per inch = 4 inches)
  • However, if your save your image in a 72 PPI format (the default in most programs), it can only be 288 pixels wide (72 PPI * 4 inches = 288 pixels). If it’s wider, it will bleed into the right margin, and if your image is much too big it may not show up at all. (Please don’t use 72 PPI though, since scaling looks like absolute garbage!)

Maximum Image Sizes

You can choose different page sizes for Leanpub books. Each page size comes with a corresponding maximum size for images (images with bigger dimensions than the maximum allowed dimensions will be automatically resized).

This table sets out the maximum image sizes (width x height) for each page size:

Unit US Letter A4 Paper US Trade A5 Paper Digest Paperback
Pixels 1950 x 2700 1881 x 2907 1200 x 2100 1149 x 1881 1050 x 1800 900 x 1650

Positioning An Image On The Page

You can ‘float’ your image on the page, aligning it to the right and left as your prefer. (You can also use {float=inside} or {float=outside} rather than {float=left} and {float=right} in your Markdown).

For example, if you type this (using the name of your image and not the Leanpub logo, of course):

1 {width=60%,float=left}
2 ![This is the Image Floated Left](images/LeanpubLogo1200x610_300ppi.png)

Then you willl see the image floated to the left, with text wrapping around it, like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

This is the Image Floated Left

This is the Image Floated Left

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Floating images and lists

Because of the way that we create floated images using LaTeX, floated images and lists do not mix. If you have a floated image and place a list beside it, the float will not stop where you would expect it to.

There’s no real fix for this, but the workaround is to avoid using lists next to floated images.

How To Insert Cover Images / Cover Pages

Below are some sections explaining how to put cover images in Leanpub books and what the constraints and optimal settings are. These sections are devided into a Brief Explanation and a Detailed Explanation.

Brief Explanation

Just put a file called title_page.png in your images directory, and that will get used. The file should be at 300 pixels per inch (PPI, or DPI, dots per inch) resolution for best quality. The actual size of the image varies based on the book style you have chosen. A technical book defaults to 8.5 inch x 11 inch paper. Your cover page should be exactly 2550 pixels wide and 3300 pixels high at 300 PPI. A business book defaults to Digest paper (5.5 inches x 8 inches). Your cover page should be exactly 1650 pixels wide and 2400 pixels high at 300 PPI. A fiction book also defaults to 5.5 inches x 8 inches. So your cover page should be exactly 1650 pixels wide and 2400 pixels high at 300 PPI. Please note that smaller files and resolution values work too (for example, 432x648 at 72 PPI), however these images will be scaled and may look fuzzy.

You can also choose A5 and A4 page sizes. Below is a table setting out the dimensions for cover page images in inches and pixels (width x height) for each page size:

Unit Digest US Letter A5 paper A4 paper
Inches 5.5 x 8 8.5 x 11 5.8 x 8.3 8.3 x 11.7
PPI 300 300 300 300
Pixels 1650 x 2400 2550 x 3300 1740 x 2490 2490 x 3510

Detailed Explanation

Different book types have different default paper sizes. Each different paper size has a different maximum image width, before your image will bleed over the margin.

Currently all Leanpub books have 1 inch margins.

Before we get into specifics there’s one really important thing to note:

Watch Your File Sizes!

Before publishing your book, you should look at the sizes of your images in the images directory. If your images are huge, your book will be too. This is especially true at 300 PPI – the images are a lot bigger than you’re used to at 72 PPI.

A simple tip to avoid problems is to use JPEG for all photographs, and to use 80% quality or lower. For figures that are drawings instead of photographs, PNG will look better than JPEG. You should be fine with PNG for these, since drawings typically produce files that are a lot smaller than photographs.

How To Insert Your Cover Image

To insert a cover image, you need to do two things.

First, save the image into the ‘images’ folder in the ‘manuscript’ folder for your book.

Second, rename your file ‘title_page’. We support .jpg and .png image formats for cover images, so to be very specific, your cover image can be called:

title_page.jpg

or

title_page.png

Just one more thing!! Different book types need covers of different sizes. Here’s what you need to know for the different Leanpub book types…

Covers For Technical Books

A technical book defaults to 8.5” x 11” paper. Your cover page uses the full page width, so it should be exactly 2550 pixels wide and 3300 pixels high at 300 PPI. (Subtracting margins, you have 6.5” x 9” to work with. This means the images in your book can be up to 1950 pixels wide and up to 2700 pixels high at 300PPI.)

Here’s the sample cover image for a Technical book:

Sample Technical Book Cover

Sample Technical Book Cover

Covers For Business Books

A business book defaults to Digest paper (5.5” x 8”). Your cover page uses the full page width, so it should be exactly 1650 pixels wide and 2400 pixels high at 300 PPI. (Subtracting margins, you have 3.5” x 6” to work with. This means the images in your book can be up to 1050 pixels wide and up to 1800 pixels high at 300PPI.)

Here’s the sample cover image for a Business book:

Sample Business Book Cover

Sample Business Book Cover

Covers For Fiction Books

A fiction book defaults to Digest paper (5.5” x 8”). Your cover page uses the full page width, so it should be exactly 1650 pixels wide and 2400 pixels high at 300 PPI. (Subtracting margins, you have 3.5” x 6” to work with. This means the images in your book can be up to 1050 pixels wide and up to 1800 pixels high at 300PPI.)

Here’s the sample cover image for a Fiction book:

Sample Fiction Book Cover

Sample Fiction Book Cover

Questions About Images and Cover Pages

Is there a way to scale pictures?

We know that this isn’t perfect, but here’s how it works right now. We only scale pictures if they are too big or if their resolution is below 120 DPI. So, if you want the images to be a certain size make their resolution above 120 DPI and their width less than the max width for the page size you are using. That way we’ll leave it alone.

The max widths are 6.5” for US Letter and A5 paper and 4.0” for digest and A4 paper.

Your Profile, Dashboard and Account

When you create a Leanpub account, you can edit your personal information.

Once you’ve logged in to your Leanpub account by clicking ‘Sign In’ at the top right of the home page, you will see your name appear in the top right. When you click on your name, you will see a drop-down menu with the following options:

Dashboard

When you click on Dashboard, you will be taken to your Dashboard. There are five tabs in your Dashboard:

Your Books

This is the Dashboard tab you are taken to by default. Here, you’ll see all the Leanpub books you’re working on, and which books are in stealth mode.

If you click on the blue text for each book’s title:

a) if your book is in stealth mode, you will go to your book’s Settings page. b) if your book is not in stealth mode, you will go to your book’s Landing page.

If you click on the author name, you will go to that author’s Profile page. (If your book has more than one author, you will see all the author names).

Your Bundles

On this page, you’ll see information related to any bundles you’ve created.

Other Bundles Which Include Your Books

Other authors can create and propose bundles that include your books. These bundles show up in your Pending Invitations tab above. If all the authors in a bundle accept the bundle, the bundle is published and shows up here.

In the table, you will see information related to each bundle, including its name, state (pending or accepted), Total Royalties (your royalties), Minimum Price and Suggested Price.

Bundles You’ve Created

Here you’ll see similar information as described in the section above, except it’s for bundles you’ve created.

New Bundle

After you fill in this information and create your bundle, you will be able to add books to it. The bundle gets the same 90% - 50 cents royalty that Leanpub books do. This bundle royalty is then split up between the books in the bundle according to percentages you set. If you include other authors in your bundle, make sure you are generous with the percentages: they must approve the bundle for it to be published.

In this section, you can set the new bundle name, URL, Minimum and Suggested Prices, and add some information About the Bundle. See the Bundles section elsewhere in this manual for more information.

Edit Account

On this page, you can edit your account information.

Full Name and Username

At any time, you can change your Full Name and your Username (though you can only have a username someone else hasn’t taken). Your Full Name will appear as your author name on your books and on Leanpub wherever your book is featured, including the landing pages for your books.

Email and Paypal Email

You can also change the email address you use with Leanpub, and you can enter a separate email for receiving PayPal payments from Leanpub (otherwise we’ll use your Leanpub account email to pay you your royalties through PayPal).

New Password

You can change your Leanpub account password here anytime.

Picture

You can upload a picture here that will be displayed in your Profile and on your landing page(s).

Twitter ID

If you have a Twitter ID, enter it here and it will appear in your Profile and on your landing page(s).

About You

Information you enter here will appear in your Profile and on your landing page(s). You can override the About You information for the landing pages of individual books in the ‘Custom About the Author Blurb’ section on the ‘Landing Page’ tab of your book’s Settings page.

As always, make sure to click the button at the bottom of the page to register any changes you’ve made.

Pending Invitations

If someone has invited you to join a bundle including one or more of your books, you will see pending invitations on this page.

You can check out the bundle name, your proposed percentage of the royalties, and your minimum royalty per sale. If you like the offer, just click ‘Accept’; if you don’t, you can click ‘Reject’.

Your Purchases

On this page you’ll find download links for all the Leanpub books you’ve bought.

You’ll also see the following features:

Download Your Books

You can click the links you’ll find here to download the latest versions of any books you’ve purchased. You can download versions in PDF, EPUB (for iPad etc.) and MOBI (for Kindle) formats.

You can also change your email settings for each book. You can choose to be emailed about new book releases, and/or to receive separate emails from the book’s author. By default, these options are selected.

Send To Readmill

If you use the awesome Readmill app, which lets you store a library of your ebooks on the web, just click the ‘Send To Readmill’ button for any book you’ve purchased. For more information on Readmill, check out their website at http://readmill.com/ and to read more about the ‘Send To Readmill’ feature, click here.

Email Preferences

Leanpub authors are never given your name or email address. However, by default they can use the Leanpub website to email you when new versions of their books are ready for you to download, and they can also email you with announcements related to their books. You have the ability to configure whether you want those emails on a per-book basis above and saving below. However, you can also just turn all Leanpub email off by unchecking this checkbox and saving below.

Send books right to your Kindle

Every Kindle has an email address. You can find yours by going to your personal Documents Settings on Amazon. It will be something like “your.name@kindle.com”. Enter the “your.name” part in the input box you’ll find in this section.

While you are there, you also need to add hello@leanpub.com as an approved email address. (Look for “Add a new approved e-mail address” near the bottom of the page).

Once you have saved these settings (click on the button below), you will see “send to Kindle” links for all of your purchases.

To avoid costing you money, we only send to the @free.kindle.com address, which only works on models with wi-fi.

As always, make sure to click the button at the bottom of the page to register any changes you’ve made.

View Your Profile

When you click View Your Profile, you’ll be taken to your Profile page (unless all your books are in Stealth Mode - if they are we assume you want your Profile invisible to the public too. If you try to go to your Profile when all your books are in Stealth Mode, you’ll just go to Leanpub’s home page.)

On your Profile page, you’ll see a list of all your books that aren’t in Stealth Mode. Your Profile page is public, and is what other people will see if they click on your name when it appears on Leanpub in connection with any of your books.

At the top of the page, you’ll also see any ‘About You’ information that you entered in the ‘Edit Account’ section, as well as your chosen picture and Twitter ID.

Edit Account

If you click on Edit Account in the dropdown menu that appears after you click on your name in the top right of the page after you sign in, you’ll go to the Edit Account section (see above).

The Landing Page

When you create a new book, Leanpub creates a web page or ‘landing page’ for your book. This is a central location where readers can find out about your book - and where they can click to buy it!

You can hide the landing page by selecting the ‘Stealth Mode’ option in the book’s settings. However, we generally recommend having a public landing page for your project as soon as you start working on Leanpub. Telling people what you’re working on can be a great way of drumming up and gauging interest in your project.

Please note that while the content of the page can be customized and there are some features you can turn on and off, as always on Leanpub we don’t want you worrying too much about design, so the overall design of your web page is already set. Also, we want a uniform look for Leanpub - we don’t want to make the MySpace mistake!

The following sections set out some aspects of the Leanpub landing page.

Table of Contents

The Table of Contents is added to your book’s landing page automatically when you publish, and re-generated every time you publish.

If you want to add something before you publish, then it (currently) has to be done by hand.

Widget

We provide embeddable widgets for you to stick on other websites to promote Leanpub books and bundles!

You can grab the embed code to any Leanpub book or bundle by clicking on the “Copy embed code” button on the book/bundle page. Then just paste the HTML code into your blog post, template, or whatever you want! (For an example, see http://scottpatten.ca).

You can adjust the size of the widgets by playing with the “width” and “height” parameters in the embed code. They were designed for 160px by 400px, but should look decent at other sizes.

Publishing

How To Publish Your Book On Leanpub

When you’re edited your Preview and you’re ready to make you book available to the public, just go to the Publish page in your book tools and click ‘Publish My Book’!

Notifying Readers When You Publish

Whenever you publish your book (that is, when you publish it for the first time, and whenever you publish a new version), you can choose whether or not to email your existing readers (you’ll see this option on the Publish page; by default readers are not emailed). We recommend only emailing readers once or twice a month. (Your readers can choose whether they want to be emailed with updates from you.)

ISBNs

Here is some information about ISBNs and whether you need one or not for your book:

  • For publishing on Leanpub, you do not need an ISBN.
  • If you do need an ISBN for publishing with another service, the rules are that an ISBN refers to a specific format of a book, so theoretically you should have one for epub, one for mobi and another for PDF.
  • According to the Int’l ISBN’s own position paper, the ISO standard says:

“Each different format of an electronic publication (e.g. ‘.lit’, ‘.pdf’, ‘.html’, ‘.pdb’) that is published and made separately available shall be given a separate ISBN.”

  • As a Canadian publisher, one of the requirements for us is to send a copy of each book we get an ISBN for to the Canadian archives. We do that when we publish to iBooks for you. There’s no requirement to do this until you have an ISBN, and this is a strictly Canadian requirement. There may be similar requirements for other countries, but these won’t affect you unless you get an ISBN through them.

Changing Your Title and URL

You can change the title of your book and change the URL for your book at any time, even after you’ve published it for the first time.

Please note that after you change your URL, you will need to re-publish your book. We get the cover image from your book’s images folder each time you publish, so you’ll have to re-publish the book to get the cover image to update.

Also, the name of the Dropbox folder for your book will remain unchanged – you can just use the old one.

Questions About Publishing on Leanpub

If I publish my book on Leanpub, can I also publish it elsewhere?

Yes! You are totally free to take the files we generate and and do what you like with them, e.g. publish with Amazon, Apple or Kobo, or to approach a traditional publisher with your work in the traditional way.

If I’m going to publish my book while it’s in progress, how much of my book should I have completed before I publish for the first time?

This will be different for every author. For a discussion about this issue amongst Leanpub authors, please go here.

Languages and Letter Accents

Setting the Main Language Used in the Book

In the Settings page in your book tools, you can set the main language used in the book.

By default, the main language is English.

This helps us to set up the fonts that we use in your book. If you are writing with a mixture of languages that includes Chinese, Japanese or Korean, then you should check out the language switcher section (right below here). If you have troubles with characters not showing up properly, please let us know at hello@leanpub.com.

Overriding Leanpub Language Defaults

You can tell Leanpub what encoding a file is in via a snippet of text that you put at the top of the file:

1 {:: encoding="utf-8" /} 

This will let you over-ride our encoding guessing.

Switching back and forth between language fonts

You can switch back and forth between language fonts by indicating the font in curly brackets.

For example, you can switch to a Chinese font by typing {chinesefont} and back to latin characters again by typing {latinfont}.

Here’s an example:

Here is some Chinese text 办事去了 and here’s some English.

Here is some Chinese text {chinesefont}办事去了{latinfont} and here's some English.

There are also equivalent switches for Japanese {japanesefont}, Korean {koreanfont} and Thai {thaifont}.

A note about writing Leanpub books in Japanese, Korean and Chinese

If you are writing with a mixture of languages that includes Chinese, Japanese or Korean, then you should select Chinese, Japanese or Korean as the main language for your book.

Dedication, Parts, Chapters and Sections

Dedication

Parts

To start a new “Part” in your book, you start a line with -# followed by the title of the Part.

1 -# Part 1

Chapters, Sections and Sub-sections

Chapters are started by a single #. Sections with two ##, sub-sections with three ### all the way down to sub-sub-sub-sections #####.

1 # Chapter 1
2 
3 ## Section 1.1
4 
5 ### Sub-section 1.1.1
6 
7 #### Sub-sub-section 1.1.1.1
8 
9 ##### Sub-sub-sub-section 1.1.1.1.1

Please note that only lines of text with one or more number signs will show up in the Table of Contents (you can control what level of hierarchy you want to show up in your Table of Contents in the Settings section for your book).

Table of Contents

Leanpub automatically generates a Table of Contents for you. It will show Chapter headings in bold in a large font.

Front Matter, Main Matter and Back Matter

Authors often want their books to be composed of distinct front, main, and even back ‘parts’. For example, an Introduction will be numbered separately from the main chapters of the book. So an Introduction might be numbered (if you want numbering) 1, and then for Chapter One the numbering will start over at 1.

To format sections as front matter (like an introduction), main matter (the chapters of your book) and back matter (an appendix, say), you just need to type the following at the point where you want the front matter, main matter or back matter section to begin:

{frontmatter}

{mainmatter}

{backmatter}

Each instruction should be on a line by itself, with blank lines above and below it. Unless the instruction is the first line in a .txt file, in which case you just need a blank line below it.

We do generally recommend that each instruction for a part should have its own file, so things are clear in book.txt. That means you should have a separate file that contains only the e.g. backmatter instruction and is called “backmatter.txt”.

Introduction & Acknowledgments

These sections are usually included at the front of the book as front matter. Files designated as front matter will be numbered as a separate set of files and their page numbers will be roman numerals (i.e. 5 is V). This means that when you start the next section, the numbering starts over.

To designate that a section is front matter, at the beginning of the section, just type:

{frontmatter}

on a separate line, with blank lines above and below it.

When you want the ‘mainmatter’ section to start, just type:

{mainmatter}

at the start of the main matter section (or at the end of the front matter section) on a separate line, with blank lines above and below it.

One easy way to do this is to make a separate text file that just contains the syntax indicating the start of the section.

So you could create a new text file, and just type:

{frontmatter}

and nothing else! If you save the file as frontmatter.txt in your Book.txt file, it might look like this:

frontmatter.txt

introduction.txt

and Leanpub will know to format introduction.txt as front matter.

Front matter has no section numbering, even if you have turned on section numbering for the rest of your book.

Also, you only need to give each instruction once, and that instruction applies to everything that comes after, unless you type a new instruction. So if you type {frontmatter} in one file, everything after it will be frontmatter until you type {mainmatter}.

Appendix, Appendices, Index

These sections are usually included at the back of the book as back matter. Back matter has no section numbering, even if you have turned on section numbering for the rest of your book. However, page numbering continues unchanged.

To designate that a section is back matter, at the beginning of the section, just type:

{backmatter}

on a separate line, with blank lines above and below it.

Front Matter, Main Matter, and Back Matter Example

Below is a sample Table of Contents page showing Frontmatter (the Introduction and a Dedication), Mainmatter (Chapters One, Two and Three, with section numbering), and Backmatter (Appendix One and Two).

(Please note that Leanpub has introduced a special Dedication feature, which is described at the beginning of this chapter. Previously, authors who wanted a Dedication formatted it as Frontmatter, as shown in this image.)

You could make this book using a single .txt file with the following content:


{frontmatter}

# Introduction

This is the first front matter section.

# Dedication

This is the second front matter section.

{mainmatter}

# Chapter One

This is the first main matter section

# Chapter Two

This is the second main matter section

# Chapter Three

This is the third main matter section.

{backmatter}

# Appendix One

This is the first back matter section.

# Appendix Two

This is the second back matter section.


Styling Text

Bold, Emphasis/Italics, and Underlining

You can emphasise text by putting * or _ (one underscore) before and after the text.

1 I am *emphatic*

You can make bold text by putting ** or __ (two underscores) before and after the text.

1 I am **bold**

You can do bold-italic with *** or ___ (three underscores) before and after the text.

1 I am ***bold-italic***

You can underline text with ____ (four underscores) before and after the text.

1 I am ____underlined____

Please note that some ebook viewers don’t display underlining. For example, you can see underlines on Kindle for Mac and on the Kindle Paperwhite, but Adobe Digital Editions doesn’t display them. Older Kindles may fail to display underlines as well.

Superscripts

Surround something in carets ^ to make it superscript. Like 1st or 2nd.

1 1^st^ or 2^nd^

Monospaced Text

Use backticks to make text monospaced (it looks red here, but won’t in your book).

1 I am `monospaced`!

Non-Breaking Spaces

You can add non-breaking spaces with &nbsp;. This is useful for e.g. numbers that would be confusing if they were split onto more than one line. Here’s an example: 120 000 €

1 120&nbsp;000&nbsp;

Blocks Of Text

Paragraphs

Paragraphs are consecutive lines of text. You can separate paragraphs from each other by putting a blank line between them.

You can also separate paragraphs, or blocks of text, by adding two spaces at the end of the paragraph. This is useful when you are going to follow a paragraph with another kind of text block, like a numbered list, or any of the other kinds listed in this section.

1 Paragraphs are consecutive lines of text. 
2 
3 You can separate paragraphs from each other by putting a blank line between them.
4 
5 You can also separate paragraphs, or blocks of text, by adding two spaces  
6 at the end of the paragraph. This is useful when you are going to follow  
7 a paragraph with another kind of text block, like a numbered list.

Centering Paragraphs Or Lines Of Text

You can center paragraphs or lines of text by putting C> (followed by a space) at the start of the line.

Just type this in your .txt file:

1 C> This is a centered sentence on its own.

…and you’ll see this in your Leanpub book:

This is a centered sentence on its own.

You can also group together blocks of centered text. Just type something like this in your .txt file:

1 C> This is a centered sentence.  
2 C> Another centered sentence, in the same paragraph as sentence one.  
3 C>   
4 C> This sentence will be in a new paragraph.  

…and you’ll see this in your Leanpub book:

This is a centered sentence. Another centered sentence, which will be in the same paragraph as sentence one.

This sentence will be in a new paragraph.

Numbered/Ordered Lists

Numbered lists are easy to make.

  1. This is the first item in the numbered list.
  2. Each number (plus a period) should be followed by a space.
  3. Once you start a numbered list, it doesn’t matter what number you put at
    the beginning of the line. This line starts with 1. as it is written, but
    appears in the ebook as 3.
1 1. This is the first item in the numbered list.
2 2. Each number (plus a period) should be followed by a space.
3 1. Once you start a numbered list, it doesn't matter what number you put at the b\
4 eginning of the line. This line starts with 1. as it is written, but appears in t\
5 he ebook as 3.

Unordered/Bulleted Lists

To make a list without numbers, where items are separated by bullets, you add an asterisk * followed by a space at the beginning of a line.

  • This is the first item in a bulleted list.
  • This is the second item in a bulleted list.
  • You can also use hyphens - to indicate you are making a bulleted list
1 * This is the first item in a bulleted list.
2 * This is the second item in a bulleted list.
3 - You can also use hyphens - to indicate you are making a bulleted list 

Nested Lists

If you want nested lists, then you indent by two spaces:

  • one
  • two
  • three
    • three.one
    • three.two
1 * one 
2 * two 
3 * three 
4   * three.one 
5   * three.two 

Putting Code Blocks Inside Lists

To put a code block in a list, do something like this:

  • one
    1   #!/usr/bin/env ruby 
    2   puts "hiya" 
    3   10.times {|n| puts n} 
    
  • two
  • three

Some notes:

  1. The code is indented by 8 spaces, not the usual 4.
  2. There must be a blank line before and after the code block
  3. Tilde delimited code blocks do not work.
1 * one 
2 
3         #!/usr/bin/env ruby 
4         puts "hiya" 
5         10.times {|n| puts n} 
6 
7 * two 
8 * three 

Putting Paragraphs Into Lists

If you’d like to add a paragraph in the middle of a list, and have the list numbering continue afterwards, you can indent the paragraph by four spaces.

  1. This is the first one
  2. The second

    A whole lot more info about the above item.

  3. This is the third item
  4. This is the 4th item
1 1. This is the first one 
2 1. The second  
3 
4     A whole lot more info about the above item. 
5 1. This is the third item 
6 1. This is the 4th item 

Putting Images Into Lists

You can put images in lists, like this:

  1. One thing.
  2. Second thing.
    Leanpub Logo

    Leanpub Logo

  3. Third thing.
  4. Fourth thing.
1 1. One thing
2 2. Second thing.
3 
4    ![Leanpub Logo](images/LeanpubLogo1200x610_300ppi.png)
5 
6 3. Third thing
7 4. Fourth thing.

Definition Lists

Put the thing you want to define on a line by itself. On the next line, or after a blank line, type a colon followed by the definition. For a more detailed example that explains how to nest definitions and have multiple paragraphs in definitions, see http://kramdown.rubyforge.org/syntax.html#definition-lists.

Ruby
A wonderful language.
JavaScript
Lovely little language that really shines when you add CoffeeScript to the mix. This is a longer entry to see what it looks like when it wraps to a second line.
Haskell
Messes with my head.
 1 Ruby 
 2 
 3 : A wonderful language. 
 4 
 5 JavaScript 
 6 
 7 : Lovely little language that really shines when you add CoffeeScript to 
 8 the mix. This is a longer entry to see what it looks like when it wraps to 
 9 a second line. 
10 
11 Haskell 
12 : Messes with my head.  

Putting Footnotes Into Definition Lists

You can include a footnote text in a list by putting two spaces before the line where you define the footnote. Here’s an example:

item1
some explanation without a footnote
item2
some explanation1.
item3
more
 1 item1
 2 : some explanation without a footnote
 3 
 4 item2
 5 : some explanation[^foot].
 6 
 7   [^foot]:note
 8 
 9 item3
10 : more

Blockquotes

This is a blockquote

A blockquote should be indented.

The second paragraph should be indented as well.

And the third!

You can also have blockquotes inside blockquotes

1 > **This is a blockquote**
2 >
3 > A blockquote should be indented.
4 >
5 > The second paragraph should be indented as well.
6 >
7 > And the third!
8 >
9 > > You can also have blockquotes in blockquotes

Nesting Lists In Blockquotes

You can put lists in blockquotes. To do this, just add two spaces before each list item, and don’t type a > sign:

This is a blockquote

  1. This is a list item.
  2. This is another list item.
  3. This is a third list item.

Now this is regular text in the same blockquote.

1 > **This is a blockquote**
2 >
3 >  1. This is a list item.
4 >  2. This is another list item.
5 >  3. This is a third list item.
6 >
7 > Now this is regular text in the same blockquote.

Asides/Sidebars

The code for the aside is:

1 A> This is an aside.
2 A>
3 A> This is also sometimes known as a sidebar.
4 A>
5 A> To make one of these, put `A>` at the beginning of the lines of
6 A> the aside, similar to the `>` that you use for a blockquote.

This is what the aside will look like:

This is an aside.

This is also sometimes known as a sidebar.

To make one of these, put A> at the beginning of the lines of the aside, similar to the > that you use for a blockquote.

If you want to title an Aside, you do it like this:

1 A> ## Your title goes here.
2 A>
3 A> This is also sometimes known as a sidebar.

This is what the aside with a title will look like:

Your title goes here.

This is also sometimes known as a sidebar.

If you want to cross-link to your aside, you can name your aside like this:

1 A> ## Your Aside title {#your-aside-title}
2 A>
3 A> This is also sometimes known as a sidebar.

Your Aside title

This is also sometimes known as a sidebar.

Please note that headers ## that are inside of quotes, asides, etc. are not included in section numbering.

More Text Block Types

In addition to asides, there are warnings (W>), tips (T>), errors (E>), information (I>), questions (Q>), discussions (D>) and exercises. These are the same as asides, except they have a relevant icon in them.

Below you’ll find examples of each block type.

Warning!

Here’s the code for a Warning:

1 W> ## This is a Warning
2 W>
3 W> Warnings are generated by using `W>` at the beginning of lines.

And here’s what it looks like:

This is a Warning

Warnings are generated by using W> at the beginning of lines.

Tips

Here’s the code for a Tip:

1 T> ## This is a Tip
2 T>
3 T> To make a tip, put `T>` at the beginning of the lines of 
4 T> the tip, similar to the `>` that you use for a blockquote.
5 T>
6 T> To make paragraphs in a tip, you need to put lines 
7 T> with just `T>` between your paragraphs.

And here’s what it looks like:

This is a Tip

To make a tip, put T> at the beginning of the lines of the tip, similar to the > that you use for a blockquote.

To make paragraphs in a tip, you need to put lines with just T> between your paragraphs.

Errors

Here’s the code for an Error:

1 E> ## This is an Error
2 E>
3 E> Describe a common Error here.

And here’s what it looks like:

This is an Error

Describe a common Error here.

Information

Here’s the code for an Information box:

1 I> ## This is an Information box
2 I>
3 I> Put some special information here.

And here’s what it looks like:

This is an Information box

Put some special information here.

Questions

Here’s the code for a Question box:

1 Q> ## This is a Question box
2 Q>
3 Q> Ask & answer a common question here.

And here’s what it looks like:

This is a Question box

Ask & answer a common question here.

Discussions

Here’s the code for a Discussion box:

1 D> ## This is a Discussion box
2 D>
3 D> You can discuss aspects of the main text in a Discussion box.

And here’s what it looks like:

This is a Discussion box

You can discuss aspects of the main text in a Discussion box.

Exercises

Here’s the code for an Exercise:

1 X> ## This is an Exercise
2 X>
3 X> Exercises are generated by using `X>` at the beginning of lines.

And here’s what it looks like:

This is an Exercise

Exercises are generated by using X> at the beginning of lines.

Update on Asides etc.

We have done some work on Warnings / Tips / etc. We realized that asides are different from all of the other types of boxes. Asides are meant to be longer, while the other boxes are just short tips or warnings. So, asides can be as long as you want and will break across pages. All of the other boxes will be forced to be on a single page. If they’re too long to fit on a page, the text will get truncated. As part of this, we were able to fix a bunch of display problems with the boxes.

1) the space before the first word no longer jumps around. 2) They look nicer when there’s only a single line in the box 3) the images are now higher resolution so you should see fewer (or no) artifacts

Code

Lots of Leanpub authors write about computer programming. Here are some instructions and tips for using code in your Leanpub book.

Code Samples

If you are writing a programming or technical book you may want to add code blocks.

There are three ways to insert code blocks into a Leanpub book.

First, you can just type in the code directly. To indicate that you are writing a code block, indent each new line of code with 4 spaces.

1 This is the first line of code.
2 This is the second line of code.
3 And this is the third line of code!
1     This is the first line of code.
2     This is the second line of code.
3     And this is the third line of code!

Second, you can also make code blocks by adding a set of 8 tildes ~~~~~~~~ above and below the code block.

(Actually, we support any number of tildes for code blocks as long as the number of tildes before and after the code-block is the same, but we recommend using 8 as best practice).

Third, when you’re writing you can refer to external code samples in a ‘code’ folder in the ‘manuscript’ folder for your book.

1 Here is a code sample:
2 
3 <<(code/sample1.rb)

You can also put titles on your code samples:

1 <<[This Code Sample Has A Title](code/sample2.rb)

Actually there’s one more way to format lines of code. For short chunks, less than a line in length, you can put the code between back-ticks `.

Here is some code between back-ticks

1 `Here is some code between back-ticks`

Overriding The Default Syntax System

Leanpub attempts to guess the language for syntax highlighting. However, sometimes you will want to specify the language yourself, for example if Leanpub guesses wrong.

When things don’t work, you can force the language by doing this:

1 {lang="js"} 
2     Error: Something terrible has happened! 

We use Pygments for our syntax highlighting. You can see the list of languages supported here: http://pygments.org/languages. It includes Java, bash, JSON and HTML.

If you have a code block for which you want no syntax highlighting, you can use lang="text".

1 {lang="text"} 
2     Error: Something terrible has happened! 

Vim Syntax Fix for Code Markup

Here’s how to make sure your code snippets will work with the official Markdown syntax provided by the Vim text editor.

Just create a markdown.vim file in your .vim/after/syntax dir and add the following lines:

1 syn match markdownLeanCode '^<<(.*)$'
2 
3 hi def link markdownLeanCode   markdownH1

Line Numbers in Code Samples

On the Formatting tab for your book there is a setting called “Show line numbers on code samples” that sets whether or not we show line numbers on your code samples.

You can also turn line-numbers on or off for an individual code-sample by setting the linenos attribute to either on or off. This will force line-numbers to be on:

1 {linenos=on}
2     def hello
3       puts "Hello, world"
4     end

While this will force line-numbering to be off:

1 {linenos=off}
2     def hello
3       puts "Hello, world"
4     end

Setting First Line Number

Sometimes you may want to begin a code sample with number that shows it is a continuation of a previous code sample. You use the starting-line-number attribute to do this. Like so:

1 {line-numbers=on,starting-line-number=32}

…. though of course you can choose whatever number you like.

Here’s an example of how this looks, followed by the text as it is written in Markdown:

32 module Leanpub
33   module Generate
34 
35     class Leanpub::Generate::BinaryLatexGenerator
36 
37       attr_reader :start_chapter, :end_chapter
38       attr_accessor :results
39 
40       ...
41 
42     end
43   end
44 end
 1 {line-numbers=on,starting-line-number=32}
 2 ~~~~~~~~
 3 module Leanpub
 4   module Generate
 5 
 6     class Leanpub::Generate::BinaryLatexGenerator
 7 
 8       attr_reader :start_chapter, :end_chapter
 9       attr_accessor :results
10 
11       ...
12 
13     end
14   end
15 end
16 ~~~~~~~~

Displaying only part of a code file

You can use the crop-start-line and crop-end-line attributes to set the start and end line of a code sample to display. This is useful if you have a large file and you only want to display parts of it. For example, if you have a large file called books_controller.rb and only wanted to show lines 15–30 of it, you would do this:

1 {crop-start-line=15,crop-end-line=30}
2 <<[BooksController](code/books_controller.rb)

Code Samples In Asides

This will work if you put the A> before every line in the code sample. Note that you’ll have a few less characters to work with due to the indentation in the aside.

Like this:

 1 A> ^[r1184]^ This behaviour makes it hard to execute VCL code from the 
 2 `OnStop` so revision 1184 introduced another variation of `OnStop` that 
 3 accepts a delegate with an `IOmniTask` parameter. 
 4 A> 
 5 A> {lang="pascal"} 
 6 A> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
 7 A>   TOmniTaskStopDelegate = reference to procedure (const task: IOmniTask); 
 8 A> 
 9 A>   IOmniParallelLoop = interface 
10 A>     ... 
11 A>     function  OnStop(stopCode: TOmniTaskStopDelegate): 
12 IOmniParallelLoop; overload; 
13 A>   end; 
14 A> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
15 A> 
16 A>^[r1184]^ Using this version of `OnStop`, the termination handler can use 
17 `task.Invoke` to execute some code in the main thread. This, however, 
18 requires the `ForEach` abstraction to stay alive until the `Invoke`-d code 
19 is executed so you must store the `ForEach` result

[r1184] This behaviour makes it hard to execute VCL code from the OnStop so revision 1184 introduced another variation of OnStop that accepts a delegate with an IOmniTask parameter.

1   TOmniTaskStopDelegate = reference to procedure (const task: IOmniTask); 
2 
3   IOmniParallelLoop = interface 
4     ... 
5     function  OnStop(stopCode: TOmniTaskStopDelegate): 
6 IOmniParallelLoop; overload; 
7   end; 

[r1184] Using this version of OnStop, the termination handler can use task.Invoke to execute some code in the main thread. This, however, requires the ForEach abstraction to stay alive until the Invoke-d code is executed so you must store the ForEach result

Code Sample Titles

A code block without a title looks like this:

1 class Book
2 
3   def initialize(title, subtitle)
4     @title = title
5     @subtitle = subtitle
6   end
7 
8 end

You can give a codeblock a title using the title attribute. Adding a title styles it a bit differently. Here is an example of what it looks like, followed by the actual text written in Markdown that produces the title and code block:

Example 12: Creating a class in Ruby


1 class Book
2 
3   def initialize(title, subtitle)
4     @title = title
5     @subtitle = subtitle
6   end
7 
8 end

 1 {title="Example 12: Creating a class in Ruby", lang=ruby}
 2 ~~~~~~~
 3 class Book
 4 
 5   def initialize(title, subtitle)
 6     @title = title
 7     @subtitle = subtitle
 8   end
 9 
10 end
11 ~~~~~~~

You can specify multiple attributes (like the title and the language for syntax highlighting) like this:

{title="Some Title", lang=coffeescript}

Here’s an example:

Example 13: Creating a class in CoffeeScript


1 class Book
2   constructor: (@title, @subtitle) ->
3     # Other initialization code goes here

Here’s the text in Markdown that produced the code sample above:

1 {title="Example 13: Creating a class in CoffeeScript", lang=coffeescript}
2 ~~~~~~~
3 class Book
4   constructor: (@title, @subtitle) ->
5     # Other initialization code goes here
6 ~~~~~~~

Marking lines as deleted or added to a code block

If you are building up an example while writing your book, you will probably want to emphasise lines of code that have been added to your book and strike-out lines of code that have been removed. This is done by adding comment lines to your code. The special words that can be used are leanpub-start-delete, leanpub-end-delete, leanpub-start-insert and leanpub-end-insert. Note that any line containing these strings will be removed completely from your code before being inserted in the book. This should allow you to use any comment syntax you require.

For example, the following code has leanpub-start-delete before def old_stuff and leanpub-end-delete after it, and leanpub-start-insert before def new_stuff and leanpub-end-insert after it. (It’s hard to put this inline as we strip it out, so I’ll just have to describe it).

 1 def nochange
 2   "No change here"
 3 end
 4 
 5 def old_stuff
 6   "Old"
 7 end
 8 
 9 def new_stuff
10   "New"
11 end
12 
13 def unmoving
14   "No change here either"
15 end

Some Details About Line-Wrapping

The wrap-length of a line of code is dependent on page size and font size. It had been hard-coded to 75 characters previously. Here’s a table with some wrap-lengths; the numbers represent the number of characters in each line.

page-size 11pt wrap length 12pt wrap length
usletter 90 81
a4paper 87 78
a5paper 53 47
digest 48 43
paperback 41 37
ustrade 55 50

Questions About Code

I’d like to make available source code to my readers. Does leanpub provide support for this?

We don’t provide a specific feature for making source code available to your readers. But there are a number of ways to do this, of course!

Here are some options that came up in a discussion of this topic on the Leanpub Google Group:

  • Put source code on the Google Code (http://code.google.com) and put a link to the code in the introductory part of your book.
  • Make a downloadable zip file:
    1. Make the zip file and upload it somewhere.
    2. Put the link to the zip file in the About the Book description which shows up on the landing page for the book.
    3. Put the link to the zip file in the front matter of the book to tell people where they can get the supporting material.
  • Use a public GitHub repository
  • Use Dropbox’s Public folder feature

Every account registered with Dropbox has a ‘Public’ folder. The Public folder lets you easily share single files in your Dropbox. Any file you put in this folder gets its own Internet link that you can share with others​.​

  1. Make sure the feature is enabled. For details, go here.
  2. Put a file into the Public folder.
  3. On your computer, right-click on the file, and then choose ‘Dropbox > Copy Public Link’.

Poetry

You can write poetry in Leanpub books. Here are a couple of tips:

Poetry Stanzas in Regular Markdown

To make stanzas, you have to put two blank spaces at the end of each line (i.e. press the space bar twice). Then you can get poems to look like this:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

Spacing Control for Poetry

For more powerful spacing control, for example to put letters wherever you like in the line, we have made a special block of text for poetry. This is necessary in order to produce poetry in a reasonably uniform way in many different e-formats with one click.

To make a block of poetry, you need to indicate where you are starting and stopping the block of poetry. Your readers will not see the instructions to start and stop the block of poetry; they will only see the poetry. Here is an example of what you need to do:

1 {style=poem}
2 ~~~~~~
3 In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
4    A stately pleasure-dome decree:
5       Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
6          Through caverns measureless to man
7             Down to a sunless sea.
8 ~~~~~~

If you type the above example into your text file, and then generate a Preview, in the ebook you will see this:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
   A stately pleasure-dome decree:
      Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
         Through caverns measureless to man
            Down to a sunless sea.

Please note the poem needs to have a line of six tildes ~ above and below it. This indicates that it’s a special block of text. And don’t forget to type {style=poem} where the poem starts, to indicate that the following block of text is a poem. Don’t worry, the tildes and {style=poem} won’t be visible in the book!

If you write using our special poem block of text, you don’t have to worry about putting the two spaces at the end of your lines.

Line Lengths

If a line of poetry is too long to fit in the margins, you will have to manually edit the line. You can also try changing the size of the book page, in the ‘Formatting’ tab in your book’s ‘Settings’.

One last thing: you can actually copy and paste poetry from Microsoft Word in between the tilde lines, and the spacing of your words will be retained.

We support Markdown syntax for links, as well as normal HTML links. Here’s an example of a link to Leanpub:

Leanpub

1 [Leanpub](http://leanpub.com)

You can also create links like this:

http://leanpub.com

1 <http://leanpub.com>

If you have particularly long hyperlinks in your text, you may prefer to make the long link show up only in the footnote in the PDF.

To do this, first you should make sure you have ticked ‘Show links as footnotes in PDFs’ on the ‘Formatting’ tab of your book (and then scrolled to the bottom of the page and clicked ‘Update Book’ to save the change).

Then you can format the link with a custom name, so only that name shows up in the body of your text, and the link shows up in the footnote.

For example, instead of doing this:

https://groups.google.com/group/leanpub/browse_thread/thread/9dd1391e6d9899c9

1 [https://groups.google.com/group/leanpub/browse_thread/thread/9dd1391e6d9899c9](h\
2 ttps://groups.google.com/group/leanpub/browse_thread/thread/9dd1391e6d9899c9)

You can do this:

add a link name here

1 [add a link name here](https://groups.google.com/group/leanpub/browse_thread/thre\
2 ad/9dd1391e6d9899c9)

The part inside of the square brackets becomes a clickable link followed by a footnote number. The part in parentheses becomes a footnote, which is also clickable.

There is a setting on the formatting tab of your book’s setting page that allows you to choose whether links are rendered as footnotes or html-style-links in PDFs. The option is:

Show links as footnotes in PDFs

It’s checked by default.

There are 3 types of links:

  • URLs (a link where the URL is the text shown and the link it’s going to)
  • normal links to web pages (where the display text is different than the URL)
  • crosslinks within the book

This affects formatting of PDFs:

For Books that have the above checkbox checked:

URLs:

  • no footnote
  • make clickable
  • the text is a dark-blue

Normal links to web pages:

  • footnote
  • make clickable in both spots
  • do not make them look any different than other text because that gets rid of the point of footnotes

Crosslinks:

  • no footnote
  • make clickable
  • the text is a dark-grey

For Books that have the checkbox unchecked:

URLs:

  • no footnote
  • make clickable
  • the text is a dark-blue

Normal links to web pages:

  • no footnote
  • make clickable
  • the text is a dark-blue

Crosslinks:

  • no footnote
  • make clickable
  • the text is a dark-grey

Footnotes and Endnotes

Footnotes

To add a footnote, you insert a footnote tag like this2.

Then you add the footnote content later in the text, using the same tag, with a colon and a space:

That’s it. You can keep writing your text after the footnote content.

To add a footnote, you insert a footnote tag like this[^foo].

Then you add the footnote content later in the text, using the same tag, with a c\
olon and a space:

[^foo]: This is the footnote content.

That's it.  You can keep writing your text after the footnote content.

Please note it is best to put the lines with footnote content at the end of the text file (this helps avoid problems when you are e.g. using code blocks in your book).

In response to author feedback, we’d like to be very explicit about a few things:

  1. There needs to be a blank line before and after the footnote content.
  2. The ^ caret symbol is required.
  3. Each footnote will need its own unique tag. So the first one might be [^foo1], the second [^foo2], etc.
  4. The tag doesn’t have to have foo in it. It can be anything, like [^note1] or [^tag1].
  5. At the moment, we don’t support periods in footnote tags, like this [^55.3].

Footnotes will format themselves correctly over multiple lines. However, if you want to continue the footnote on a second line using a line break of your own choice, you indent the second line (and any following lines) by 4 spaces.

Like this:3

[^foo2]: This is the footnote text. We are now going to add a second line
    after typing in four spaces.

Endnotes

We don’t have specific support for endnotes, but you can achieve this with crosslinks.

Crosslinks link one part of your book to another part of your book.

There are two steps to making a crosslink:

  1. Give the thing you want to crosslink to an ID.
  2. Create a crosslink to that ID.

Quick Explanation

Crosslinks are just like other links in Markdown, except that instead of linking to a web page, you link to an ID name you’ve created.

So, if you want to link the words ‘a previous chapter’ to a chapter heading in your book, you would type something like:

As we discussed in [a previous chapter](#chapter-32)...

… if you have already assigned an ID name to the chapter heading, like this:

# Chapter 32 {#chapter-32}

The ID can be on the same line as a chapter or section header, like this:

# Chapter 32 {#chapter-32}

But it can’t be on a line of text. So, for example, this won’t work:

{#SirHDavyResults} Sir H. Davy, a British chemist

To make it work, the ID should be above the text, with no blank line between the ID and the text, like this:

{#SirHDavyResults} 
Sir H. Davy, a British chemist

In order to crosslink to an image, you will need to use the following syntax:

{id="cat-picture"}
![A picture of a cat](images/cat.jpg)

Then crosslink to it like this:

Remember that [picture of a cat](#cat-picture)?

It’s important not to have any blank lines between the id and the image, and the image needs to be by itself on the line.

The exact same thing works for a code-block, you just need to add an id:

{id='something-amazing',line-numbers=off,lang=ruby}
~~~~~~
def something
  puts "something, something, something"
end
~~~~~~

Longer Explanation

To link from one word (or set of words) to another, you first need to identify the word (or words) you want to link to. To do that, you need to give the word you want to link to an ID name. The ID name will not be visible to the reader.

You can create an ID name by adding some text enclosed in { and }, plus a number sign #, like this:

{#IDname}

You can call the ID anything you like, which is why we just wrote ‘IDname’ in this example.

So, for example, if you want to link to the start of a chapter, you can add an ID to the line at the start of the chapter, like this:

# Chapter 32 {#chapter-32}

Crosslinking to something with an ID

Now that the item you are crosslinking to has an ID, you can link to it from anywhere in your text.

To do that, surround the word or words you want to turn into a link with [ and ], and then follow that with a section in ( and ) which includes the ID name you made up.

To complete the example, here’s what you would type if you wanted the words ‘a previous chapter’ to become a link to the ID {#chapter-32}:

As we discussed in [a previous chapter](#chapter-32)...

Here we give an ID of shopping-list to a list.

{#shopping-list}
* Bananas
* Cream
* Pie Crust

Make sure not to put the ID within an element, like a list or a code block, however. The ID should come before or after the element. So you can do this:

{#anchor}
- `test`

    abc

but not this:

- `test`
{#anchor}

    abc

Here are some further technical details:

This Markdown:

{#anchor}
- `test`

    abc

Produces this HTML (and similar LaTeX):

<ul id="anchor">
  <li><code>test</code>
    <p>abc</p>
  </li>
</ul>

Breaks

Here’s how you can create line breaks and page breaks on Leanpub.

Pagebreaks

You can force a page break by adding {pagebreak} on a line by itself, with blank lines before and after. For example:

1 And the winner is....
2 
3 {pagebreak}
4 
5 Ta-dah!

Line Breaks

Also, in your book Settings you can select the option: “No indent, small vertical space between paragraphs”.

Tables

To make a table, you use vertical bars (|) to separate the columns of your tables. Here are a few examples.

This results in a very simple table with two columns of ingredients:

1 | 2 cups old fashioned oats          | 1 1/2 tsp vanilla              |
2 | 1 cup sunflower seeds              | 1/4 tsp salt                   |
3 | 1 cup shredded coconut             | 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates   |
4 | 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ or bran | 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots |
5 | 3 tbsp unsalted butter             | 1/2 cup dried cranberries      |
6 | 2/3 cup honey                      |                                |
7 | 1/4 cup packed brown sugar         |                                |
2 cups old fashioned oats 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sunflower seeds 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shredded coconut 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ or bran 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
3 tbsp unsalted butter 1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup honey  
1/4 cup packed brown sugar  

If you want the first line to be formatted as a heading, then do something like this:

1 |Verb   |Action                                          |Idempotent?|
2 |-------|------------------------------------------------|-----------|
3 |GET    |Responds with information about the resource    |Yes        |
4 |POST   |Creates a sub-resource of the resource POSTed to|No         |
5 |PUT    |Creates or updates the resource being PUT to    |Yes        |
6 |DELETE |DELETES the resource                            |Yes        |
7 |HEAD   |Gets metadata about the resource                |Yes        |
Verb Action Idempotent?
GET Responds with information about the resource Yes
POST Creates a sub-resource of the resource POSTed to No
PUT Creates or updates the resource being PUT to Yes
DELETE DELETES the resource Yes
HEAD Gets metadata about the resource Yes

Table Width

Your book has a default table-width setting. By default, it’s set to “default”, which stretches tables to 80% of the page width.

The other two settings are “narrow” and “wide”. Narrow makes the table as narrow as possible, wide makes it take up the full page width.

You can set the default table-width on the “Edit Formatting” tab for your book.

The major drawback to narrow is that we do no automatic word-wrapping in PDFs, so the table may go off the side of the page. We recommend using default or wide mode.

You can also over-ride the width of individual tables by setting a width attribute. For example, if your book had a default table width of “wide”, the table below would be narrow:

1 {width="narrow"}
2 | one | two | three |
3 |-------------------|
4 | a   | b   | c     |
5 |-------------------|
6 | d   | e   | f     |
one two three
a b c
d e f

Here it is with {width="default"}:

one two three
a b c
d e f

You can use “wide”, “default” or “narrow”, or a percentage for the width parameter. The following table would take up exactly half the page-width

1 {width="50%"}
2 | one | two | three |
3 |-------------------|
4 | a   | b   | c     |
5 |-------------------|
6 | d   | e   | f     |
one two three
a b c
d e f

Multi-line rows

Multi-line rows are only necessary if you are using the “narrow” table-width. If you find yourself spending time manually wrapping text in tables, it’s probably better to use either the “wide” or “default” table widths instead.

They are useful, however, if you want complete control over what text goes where or if you find that Leanpub’s line-wrapping is making some table columns too narrow.

Here is that table from above reformatted to be narrower by using multi-line rows. The first dashed line makes the line before it a heading. The rest of the dashed lines just result in a larger vertical gap than a plain newline.

 1 |Verb   | Action                                   |  Idempotent?   |
 2 |-------|------------------------------------------|----------------|
 3 |GET    | Responds with information about the      |  Yes           |
 4 |       | resource                                 |                |
 5 |-------|------------------------------------------|----------------|
 6 |POST   | Creates a sub-resource of the resource   |  No            |
 7 |       | being POSTed to                          |                |
 8 |-------|------------------------------------------|----------------|
 9 |PUT    | Creates or updates the resource being    |  Yes           |
10 |       | PUT to                                   |                |
11 |-------|------------------------------------------|----------------|
12 |DELETE | DELETES the resource                     |  Yes           |
13 |-------|------------------------------------------|----------------|
14 |HEAD   | Gets metadata about the resource         |  Yes           |
Verb Action Idempotent?
GET Responds with information about the Yes
  resource  
POST Creates a sub-resource of the resource No
  being POSTed to  
PUT Creates or updates the resource being Yes
  PUT to  
DELETE DELETES the resource Yes
HEAD Gets metadata about the resource Yes

IF you want to put line breaks in table cells, you can do the following:

 1 |Verb          | Action                                 |
 2 |--------------|----------------------------------------|
 3 |Multiline     | You can have multiple-lines in a       |
 4 |              | table, and line-breaks are respected.  |
 5 |              |                                        |
 6 |              | This is a second paragraph             |
 7 |-------------------------------------------------------|
 8 |continued!    | You create new table cells with a      |
 9 |              | line of dashes surrounded by pipes     |
10 |              |                                        |
11 |              | (Pipes are the vertical lines, "\|")    |
Verb Action
Multiline You can have multiple-lines in a
  table, and line-breaks are respected.
   
  This is a second paragraph
continued! You create new table cells with a
  line of dashes surrounded by pipes
   
  (Pipes are the vertical lines, “|”)

You can also do fancy things with alignment and footer rows. Here is an example.

1 | Default aligned |Left aligned| Center aligned  | Right aligned  |
2 |-----------------|:-----------|:---------------:|---------------:|
3 | First body part |Second cell | Third cell      | fourth cell    |
4 | Second line     |2nd line    | **strong**      |                |
5 |-----------------|------------|-----------------|----------------|
6 | Second body     |            |                 |                |
7 | 2 line          |            |                 |                |
8 |=================|============|=================|================|
9 | Footer          | footer2    | footer3         | footer4        |
Default aligned Left aligned Center aligned Right aligned
First body part Second cell Third cell fourth cell
Second line 2nd line strong  
Second body      
2 line      
Footer footer2 footer3 footer4

Table Titles

You add a title to a table by adding a title attribute to the table, like this:

{title="Figure 32"}
| City          | Annual Rainfall (inches) |
|------------------------------------------|
| Rome          | 23                       |
| London        | 29                       |

Here’s what that looks like:

 

Figure 32

City Annual Rainfall (inches)
Rome 23
London 29

If you want to set both the title and the width, it looks like this:

{title="Figure 32",width="60%"}
| City          | Annual Rainfall (inches) |
|------------------------------------------|
| Rome          | 23                       |
| London        | 29                       |

HTML Tables

If you try putting an HTML table in a .txt file, you’ll find that it works in the epub and mobi version but is missing in the PDF. Here’s why:

Markdown normally just generates HTML. So it could “support” using HTML tables and any other HTML construct by just not parsing the HTML. But we need to actually parse the Markdown (we use a slightly modified Kramdown parser), in order to generate LaTeX and then PDF.

A note on combining attributes

To combine attributes for a table, add a comma and a space between the attributes, like this:

{title="table title", width="wide"}

Selling your book

Bundles

You can now sell bundles of your own books and (with permission) other authors’ books. Readers love buying bundles, and we think this will help drive a lot of sales of your books.

If you’re the author of multiple Leanpub books, this is a no-brainer: create a bundle of all your books together. But even if you’re “only” writing one Leanpub book, you can still create and sell bundles. Just propose a royalty split that is fair, so the other authors accept!

For more information about bundles, take a look at:

  • The post in which we first announced this feature to readers - click here.
  • The Bundles section of our How To book - click here.
  • Our how-to video about making bundles on Leanpub - click here to see the video on YouTube or just go to our Help page.

Here is the full text from the post in which we announced this feature:

Today we’re launching a big new Leanpub feature: Bundles. Example: http://leanpub.com/b/node

You can now sell bundles of your own books and (with permission) other authors’ books. Readers love buying bundles, and we think this will help drive a lot of sales of your books.

We’ve already sold a couple thousand copies of a bundle in a test on a separate website, and we’ve realized that instead of being a separate website this needs to become a core Leanpub feature. Here’s why this feature exists, and how it works…

== Why Bundles? ==

While most of the work we do is focused on improving the experience of writing a Leanpub book, we also are focused on improving the experience of selling a Leanpub book. The variable price and dual price + royalty slider feature was a good start, and we’ve also done a site redesign to make your book pages more attractive. This next feature is, we think, bigger than both of these combined.

Bundles lets you sell your books and other authors’ books (with their permission, of course) together as a bundle. Buyers of the bundle pay one price and get all the books in the bundle. (These purchases are no different than normal Leanpub purchases: they are entitled to all the updates, etc.)

Readers love buying bundles. We have tested the concept by selling a bundle of two Leanpub books, The Node Beginner Book and Hands-on Node.js, on http://leanbundle.com. It currently has 2097 sales, most at its previous $7.99 price, but some at its new $14.99 price. (We’ve found that these two prices are about equivalent in terms of revenue for the authors.)

If you’re the author of multiple Leanpub books, this is a no-brainer: create a bundle of all your books together. But even if you’re “only” writing one Leanpub book, you can still create and sell bundles. Just propose a royalty split that is fair, so the other authors accept!

== How it Works ==

There’s now a “Your Bundles” tab on your Dashboard (http://leanpub.com/dashboard). On this page you can create a new bundle. Once you’ve created the bundle, you can add books to the bundle. You add multiple books to it, and you set the percentage of the bundle royalties that each book gets.

The royalties work like a normal Leanpub book purchase: The bundle has a minimum and suggested price. The bundle gets a 90% - 50 cents royalty. This royalty is then split among the books in the bundle according to the percentages you set. (These percentages add up to 100%, since they are the percentage of the royalties not the revenue.)

Once you’ve added all the books you want into the bundle and the percentages add up to 100%, you will see a Propose Bundle button at the bottom of your bundle page. If you click this, your bundle is proposed. Any books where you are the author get automatically accepted. For the other books, we email the primary author to let them know about the proposed bundle, and we put the bundle invitation in the Pending Invitations tab (http://leanpub.com/dashboard#pending) of the author’s Dashboard. Each author (besides you) with an included book can accept or reject the proposal. (The minimum price and royalty percentage are both told to the authors, so they know the minimum amount that they will make on a sale of the bundle. So make sure this amount is compelling.) Also, you may want to reach out to the other authors via email or Twitter first, before proposing the bundle!

If all authors accept the bundle proposal, the bundle is published, and is for sale on an attractive bundle landing page at http://leanpub.com/b/yourbundle. (If the bundle only contains your books, these all auto-accept the bundle so your bundle is published right away.) If any author rejects the bundle proposal, the bundle is rejected. You can’t re-propose bundles; instead, just delete it and make another bundle.

For discoverability, if your book is in one or more bundles, these bundles are now shown in a “Bundles Available” sidebar of your book landing page. You can buy the bundles directly from that sidebar, or you can click on the bundle names to go to the bundle landing pages to learn more. For an example of this sidebar, see the http://leanpub.com/nodebeginner book page.

== Feedback Please! ==

Anyway, we think this feature will work well for lots of you. (This is especially true for you agile authors: your books would make great bundles!) Please let us know any and all feedback you have, and let us know if you hit any issues with the workflow etc.

Coupons

You can create coupons for your book. Coupons are a great way to promote your book, letting you sell your book at a discount to specific customers, or even letting reviewers get free copies.

If you have any existing coupons, you’ll see them set out in a table at the top of the page.

In order to create coupons for your book, go to the Coupons page in your book tools and click ‘New Coupon’.

This will take you to a ‘Create Coupon’ page where you can assign the settings for your coupon.

Coupon Code

At the top of the page, you’ll see the ‘Coupon Code’. Anyone who has this code can enter it on your book’s purchase page in order to take advantage of the coupon deal you’re offering. You can change the coupon code to whatever you like.

Discounted Minimum Price

The Discounted Price is the new minimum price of the book, not the amount of the discount. For example, if your book has a minimum price of $9.99 and you want to sell it for a minimum price of $7.99 with this coupon, you put 7.99 in this field, not 2.00.

Start Date and End Date

You can assign a start date and an end date for your coupon. This way you can set up a temporary promotion of you book with a clear cutoff date.

Uses Limit

You can set a limit to the number of times the coupon code can be used before it is deactivated.

Note

This is an optional note for your own record-keeping purposes.

Temporarily Suspended

This is a “manual override” which lets you to temporarily turn off coupon by checking this checkbox. Otherwise, leave this checkbox unchecked: the normal way to control a coupon is by the max # uses and the start and end dates.

Make sure to click ‘Create Coupon’ at the bottom of the page after you’ve made any changes.

Royalties

Royalties are paid monthly by PayPal, no later than 25 days following the end of the calendar month. For example, royalties from the end of March 2012 would be paid by April 25, 2012. If we owe you less than $40 in royalties, we may roll your royalties forward to the following month until an amount of $40 is reached; see the Terms of Service for details.

Library Purchasing

At Leanpub, we don’t have a purchasing program for libraries. This is for a number of reasons, the main one being that many of our books are published while they are still in-progress.

When a library does express interest in purchasing an individual book, we forward on the request to the author, who makes the decision to sell or not.

Please note that we do love libraries! Leanpub books belong to their authors, not to Leanpub, and we’re simply letting our authors choose what they want to do with library sales.

Maximum Sale Price

Note that we have raised the maximum price that can be paid for a book to be $500. This is not our recommendation to charge libraries (their budgets are typically shrinking), but it’s an allowance for the fact that large institutions or corporations could possibly pay that for technical books.

Selling Digital Extras

You might have more to offer your readers beyond the page, such as videos, music, photos, artwork, source files, code samples, apps, templates, worksheets, and more. Leanpub lets you package combinations of digital extras with your books, and sell them at different price points, including for free. See Extras to get started.

Selling Multi-reader Licenses

To sell a multi-reader license, simply create a Package, configure it similarly to the single-reader package, offer it at a price point commensurate with the number of licenses being sold, and name it accordingly (eg. “The Book (10 copy license)”).

Buying Books on Leanpub

How Readers Find Books

There are two ways to browse through books for sale on Leanpub.

  1. The Bestsellers page Here you’ll find the bestselling Leanpub books sorted by money earned and by number of copies sold.
  2. The Categories Page On this page you can see Leanpub books sorted by category. Just choose the category from the drop-down box at the top of the page.

How Readers Buy Books

When someone wants to buy a book on Leanpub, they click the green ‘Buy the ebook now!’ button on the book’s landing page. Then they are presented with a pair of sliders that lets them choose the price they want to pay for your book.

Payment

When someone has chosen a price they want to pay for your book, they have two choices:

  1. They can click a link that takes them to PayPal where they will complete their purchase.
  2. They can fill out the credit card form directly on Leanpub to pay via PayPal Website Payments Pro.
Sending Purchases to a Kindle

If readers give us the email address of their Kindle, they will see a “Send to my Kindle” link for each purchase on their dashboard (Go to http://leanpub.com/dashboard and click on the “purchases” tab).

They will also have to do some setup on Amazon for this to work, which is explained on the bottom of that page.

The one caveat is that we can’t send attachments that are greater than 10 MB, so if your book has a .mobi file that is bigger than that, readers will have to send it to their Kindle manually.

Miscellaneous

Sales and Analytics

Leanpub lets you track sales and traffic to your landing page in a couple of ways.

Sales

For information about Leanpub sales data, please check out the Sales section in this manual.

Google Analytics

Leanpub lets you add a Google Analytics code to your landing page, so you can use Google Analytics to track sources of traffic to your page. Note that it can take up to a day to start seeing data after you enter the code.

To help you choose your settings if you are setting goals for particular pages, the full purchase path for a Leanpub book is:

Your landing page (https://leanpub.com/your_book) <– optional, as they may come directly to the purchase page The purchase page (https://leanpub.com/your_book/purchases/new) The reader’s dashboard (https://leanpub.com/dashboard)

We only ping your analytics account from the user’s dashboard when a purchase of your book has just been completed.

Backing Up Your Files

All your files are backed up by Dropbox. Also, every time you preview or publish your book, Leanpub internally backs up your files using a version control system called Git.

Also, if you are technically savvy, we HIGHLY recommend you use something like Git and GitHub (a private repository, most of the time) yourself as well. We ignore any .git directories, so you can use Git and you won’t conflict with our use of Git.

[If that last paragraph was gibberish, just ignore it!]

Escaping Markdown Syntax Characters

Sometimes you’ll want to use a character or set of characters that is a part of the Markdown syntax. To make the character show up in your text, instead of acting as a Markdown formatting marker, just put the backslash \ character in front of it.

For example, if you just type “# Header” at the beginning of a line, it will appear as a header, and you won’t see the number sign “#”.

If you want “# Header” to show up at the beginning of a line, type “\# Header”, and you’ll see the number sign:

# Header

\# Header

How To Exclude Lines From Your Book

If you have some lines in your .txt files that you’re working on, but don’t want to appear in your book, you can hide or ‘comment out’ the lines by adding two ‘%’ characters:

1 %% You won't see this text!

Please note the ‘comment out’ line must be preceded by a blank line.

Any line that meets these requirements will not show up in the published PDF, EPUB or MOBI files.

To ‘comment out’ like this in Book.txt, type a # at the beginning of a line.

Leanpub does not offer copyright protection or DRM for books.

The fact that you are self-publishing means you may experience less piracy, since it’s abundantly clear that it’s you that is being ripped off, not a faceless corporation.

At one point we thought we might add optional watermarks, where we put the purchaser’s email address at the bottom of the PDF. This would be a deterrent to accidental piracy.

Our current thinking is that soft nudge watermarks with email addresses are also not the Leanpub way. They basically are a rude statement “you’re probably a thief” which will only offend paying readers and not deter pirates (since they can just unzip the EPUB).

So our current thinking is that watermarking is a quaint DRM-holdover and we should just relax and treat our readers with respect.

If this sounds radical, consider that iTunes has sold DRM-free MP3s for a long time now…

Using Your Leanpub PayPal Balance to Buy Books from Other Leanpub Authors

If you have an outstanding balance with Leanpub (that is, you have not yet received all your royalties), you can use that balance to buy Leanpub books.

[to be updated]

Moving Dropbox Folders

You can move your book folders in Dropbox to different Dropbox folders. After Dropbox syncs with your computer, Leanpub will have no problem syncing with the folder.

So, for example, in Dropbox, you could create a folder called ‘Leanpub’. Every time you create a new book, you can move that new book’s folder into your Leanpub folder in Dropbox.

Fonts

Our current serifed font is LinLibertine. The sans font is OpenSans.

Our requirements for fonts are that they must be open source and that they must have bold and italic (and preferably a bold-italic as well) versions available.

Distributing Extra Files with Your Book

Sometimes, authors like to distribute extra files (like a spreadsheet) with their books. Currently, Leanpub does not support this feature. One workaround is to host any such files on your own website, and provide a link to the website (or links to the files themselves) in the ‘About the Book’ section on your book’s landing page.

To work around this, you can make the files available for download at an obscure URL, and mention that URL in the thank you message that readers get from you when they buy your book.

Mathematical Equations

You can put mathematical equations in your book.

You use LaTeX math syntax, surrounded by {$$} and {/$$}. You can do both inline and block math. Here is a full example:

Equations

You create a block equation by putting it by itself:

\left|\sum_{i=1}^n a_ib_i\right| 
\le 
\left(\sum_{i=1}^n a_i^2\right)^{1/2} 
\left(\sum_{i=1}^n b_i^2\right)^{1/2}
1 {$$} 
2 \left|\sum_{i=1}^n a_ib_i\right| 
3 \le 
4 \left(\sum_{i=1}^n a_i^2\right)^{1/2} 
5 \left(\sum_{i=1}^n b_i^2\right)^{1/2} 
6 {/$$} 

Inline equations are written inline. For example:

The four kinematics equations are d = v_i t + \frac{1}{2} a t^2, v_f^2 = v_i^2 + 2 a d, v_f = v_i + a t and d = \frac{1}{2}(v_i + v_f) t.

1 The four kinematics equations are {$$}d = v_i t + \frac{1}{2} a t^2{/$$}, 
2 {$$}v_f^2 = v_i^2 + 2 a d{/$$}, {$$}v_f = v_i + a t{/$$} and {$$}d = 
3 \frac{1}{2}(v_i + v_f) t{/$$}. 

Cover Designers and Editors

If you’re looking for a cover designer for your book, or an editor, please feel free to join the Leanpub Google Group and ask the group for any recommendations.

Information About Your Readers / Customers

Some Leanpub authors have asked how we can facilitate interaction between Leanpub authors and readers.

Leanpub policy is to not disclose any personal information about readers/customers to Leanpub authors.

However, there are a number of ways Leanpub authors can facilitate interaction with their readers:

  • you can turn on the Disqus comments on your book’s landing page
  • you can put your email address on your landing page or somewhere in your book, and encourage readers to contact you
  • you can put your Twitter ID on your landing page
  • With the new design of the post purchase page, we have a clear place to ask readers whether they want to share their name, email, etc with the author
  • Also, with the upcoming feature where a book can have a Google Group, there’s now an incentive to the reader to provide info other than just giving the author some helpful info.

We do recognize that many authors want more info about their readers, so we should find a way to ask nicely for it in a way that does not impact the simplicity of purchasing. The design of the reader dashboard is a starting point down that path.

Leanpub Only Sells The Books Generated By Leanpub

Once you’ve published your book for the first time, you’ll see a ‘published’ folder appear in the Dropbox folder for your book, containing copies of your book in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats. Congratulations!

Please note that Leanpub does not look in this folder for the files that are sold through our website. In other words, you can’t put your own files in this folder, and then have those files for sale through Leanpub. The only books that are sold on Leanpub are the ones we generate (unmodified).

Multimedia Content

Some Leanpub authors have asked about whether we provide multimedia features in Leanpub books, such as embedded video.

We are focused on the “words, and optionally images” types of books, not the “multimedia extravaganza” types of books, and we intend the ebook files we produce to be simple and compliant with the standard.

So the answer is that for now, no, we don’t offer features like embedded video in Leanpub books.

Does Leanpub Accept Authors From Anywhere (i.e. international authors, foreign authors)?

Yes, of course! Please note though that we pay royalties via PayPal.

Coupons for Other Leanpub Authors

One cool thing that has emerged from our community of authors is coupon-sharing. When an author’s work is ready, she can email the Leanpub Google Group with a coupon code to share the book with other Leanpub authors. Besides being nice, this can help you get readers and feedback and gives other Leanpub authors a push to plug your book for you!

Curly Quotes

Ideally you should just have “straight” ‘quotes’ in the Markdown. We auto-produce curly quotes for you. We change curly quotes into straight quotes and then make them curly again.

Figure Captions and Labels

In technical books, is common to have figures with a label and a corresponding reference in the text.

Here’s how you can do something like this in Leanpub:

1 # Chapter 1 
2 See [figure 32](#figure-32) for an example. 
3 # Chapter 2 
4 {#figure-32} 
5 ![Figure 32](images/figure32.jpg) 

What we don’t do (yet) is provide auto-numbering of figures and captions.

Currently, a link mentioned within a footnote doesn’t generate a new footnote (in the PDF), and doesn’t have a clickable URL either. We’ll implement a solution to this soon.

Viruses

Leanpub doesn’t offer an special virus protection, but we do take this issue very seriously and do our best to ensure everything’s protected.

We interact with Dropbox via a custom Ruby library that we wrote (source code at https://github.com/kenpratt/dbox), and the file operations we do are driven by when you preview or publish. We’re not just randomly syncing things.

Kerning

Currently you can’t manipulate kerning (the space between letters and words) in Leanpub books.
For the near future anyway this will just be a limitation of Leanpub. (Also, it won’t work on EPUB and MOBI anyway).

Full Table of Contents in Sample Books?

We’re currently working on a way to include the Table of Contents for the Full Book in the Book Sample. For now, the Table of Contents in the Book Sample will only show the contents of the Book Sample.

There’s no way to do that right now, sorry!

Why can’t I put section commands in Book.txt?

After a lot of thought and experimenting, we’ve decided to make Book.txt just a list of files. That means you can’t put section commands in the Book.txt file, like

{frontmatter} Introduction.txt {mainmatter} Chapter1.txt {backmatter} Appendix1.txt

Instead, we recommend you make a separate .txt file for each section command, and then refer to it in Book.txt. So e.g. you’d make a frontmatter.txt file that only has this content:

{frontmatter}

… and do the same for mainmatter and backmatter. Then, your Book.txt file will look like this:

frontmatter.txt Introduction.txt mainmatter.txt Chapter1.txt backmatter.txt Appendix1.txt

… and you can still see your book’s structure in Book.txt.

This is an easier thing to explain and understand than if we’d turned Book.txt into a DSL. We had started down that approach about a year ago, and it is confusing.

Now, since Book.txt is just a list of files, you could in theory write an entire book in one file. We don’t recommend this, since if you did that, you couldn’t give away a subset as Sample.txt, since it’s also just a list of files. Also, splitting your book up into different .txt files actually makes it easier to find and edit content, and to reorganize or delete sections. So we still recommend one file per chapter, both for clarity and for ease of creating book samples.

Trouble With Accents? Forcing Text Editors To Save As UTF-8

Normally, to get things like letter accents to work if you’re having troubles, you can force the encoding by putting this at the top of your text file:

{:: encoding="UTF-8" /}

However, you may still have problems if the text editor you’re using is not set to save to UTF-8. Normally you can change this setting by doing ‘Save As’, and finding the ‘Encoding’ option.

I don’t understand how things get added to a Table of Contents

By default, all headers are added to the Table of Contents. A header looks like this:

# Chapter One

… where you put the number sign # at the beginning of the line, and follow the number sign with the text you want for the header.

Also by default, all ‘Part’ titles are added to the Table of Content. You create a Part by typing -# like this:

\-# Part One

You can choose to have the Table of Contents include sections as well. To do this, go to your book’s Settings page and select the Formatting tab, and then scroll down to the Table of Contents section. There, you can select ‘Parts, Chapters and Sections’ or ‘Everything’.

Then, sections will also appear in the Table of Contents. A section is subordinate to a heading, so you type two or more number signs, like this:

## This is a section subordinate to a heading. ### This is a section subordinate to ## sections #### This is a section subordinate to ### sections

What encoding should I use to write files in Markdown? Should I write in ASCII or UTF-8?

We translate everything to UTF-8 internally, so if you start with UTF-8 everything will work smoothly.

How Can I Add Blank Lines To My Text?

While there is no official way to add a larger space between paragraphs, adding a blank table (two vertical pipes separated by a space, like this | |) works. For example:

This is a line.

This is a second line. It has a larger space after it.

 

This is a third line.

This is a fourth line.

1 This is a line.
2 
3 This is a second line. It has a larger space after it.
4 
5 |  |
6 
7 This is a third line.
8 
9 This is a fourth line.

Why Can’t I See My Profile When I Go To ‘Your Profile’?

This is because all of your books are in stealth mode. The idea is that while all of your projects are in stealth mode, you won’t want your profile being visible to the public. If we let you see it within your account when you’re signed in, some people would be worried the information was already public.

A General Note On Formatting

We do think that book formatting support is important, but we also think that our role is to make it as easy as possible for you to focus on your words, rather than their appearance.

In terms of formatting our approach is just to relax a little and think “will the reader get the idea regardless of the formatting”. Or, “is the reader better served by my spending an hour on more content / editing of the content rather than formatting and layout”.

Standardized, simple formatting is also important when you’re publishing across a number of ebook platforms, like you do with Leanpub (PDF, EPUB for iPad etc. and MOBI for Amazon’s Kindle). That way you have more assurance that your book will be decently presented in all three formats, and on a wide variety of ebook readers.

GitHub Commits

We do a commit on preview and publish. (If this makes no sense to you, you can just ignore it!)

Downloading onto your iPad or iPhone

To view your book on your iPad or iPhone, try the following steps:

  1. Click the EPUB link.
  2. The download is triggered, and you’re taken to a screen which has a picture of the book in the middle as an epub file.
  3. Click “Open in iBooks”.
  4. This takes you to your iBooks library with the book shown.
  5. Double-tap the book to open in iBooks.

If this doesn’t work, you can also download the book to your desktop or laptop computer and add the book to iTunes. That way you can sync with iTunes on your IPad.

Working with GitHub and Dropbox

One of Leanpub’s authors asked:

“We’re working on our .md’s in Github’s wiki and copying updates into Dropbox. I don’t suppose it would be advisable to clone our git folder into Dropbox?”

Here’s our response:

In terms of putting your Git folder in Dropbox, the best thing to do is something slightly similar, like this:

yourgitrepo .git stuff otherstuff yourbook manuscript images

Make the Dropbox folder be a subfolder inside yourgitrepo. Then you can push yourgitrepo to GitHub, etc.

The reason I recommend this is that this way, your .git directory will not get sync’d with Leanpub’s Dropbox, so your book generation will be slightly faster. (We ignore .git directories, but they still can slow things down.)

Adding a motto or epigraph to the beginning of a chapter

There is no special feature for adding a motto or epigraph to the beginning of a chapter, but one nice way to do this is to use text centering.

So, if you type this:

1 C> *It was the best of times, it was the worst of times*
2 C>
3 C> -- Charles Dickens
4 
5 It was a dark and stormy night...
6 
7 Suddenly, a shot rang out!

You’ll see this:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

– Charles Dickens

It was a dark and stormy night…

Suddenly, a shot rang out!

Can I publish my book on Leanpub and KDP Select at the same time?

Specifics:

If you are going to put your book into KDP Select, you’ll need to retire it on Leanpub during that period. Now, we may need to have a “temporary retirement” concept or something for situations like this where you want a book to be back for sale on Leanpub after a period. As far as I know, exclusive means exclusive, and KDP Select has no specific Leanpub exemption.

General:

One thing about Leanpub is that we are the least jealous or exclusive “publisher” ever.

Our core strength is to be the best way in the world to write, publish and sell in-progress books.

Amazon is the best storefront in the world in terms of the traffic they bring you to market finished books. And Apple is #2, and they are competing against each other.

Where Amazon and Apple are non-exclusive, we expect that authors will also continue to sell their finished books on Leanpub: a) our royalty rates are better b) distributing updates is easier c) variable pricing d) bundles e) more reader info

Now, where Amazon or Apple does something with temporary exclusivity (like KDP Select), our goal is to make it as easy as possible for a Leanpub author to take full advantage of that program.

We want Leanpub to be the best way to get a book into KDP Select. So, if there are any other features like temporary retirement etc, we will build them.

Does Leanpub give me tools to help me build my own book landing page?

Yes! Besides the embed code which you can copy from your book’s Leanpub landing page at any time, here are some other Leanpub tools you can use to build your own landing page:

We know that some of you want to experiment with different ways of marketing your books, and we want to give you that flexibility. So, we’ve made a few changes so that you can make landing pages on your own site. For a great example of this in use, check out http://grumpy-phpunit.com/

There are three things you can use:

  1. a “Buy Now” button
  2. a link to your sample PDF
  3. a link to your cover page image (in various sizes).

All three things are just plain HTML elements. There’s no Javascript and no need to sign up for an API key or anything like that. All you need is your book’s “slug”. This is the part of the URL for your book after https://leanpub.com/. So, for “The S3 Cookbook”, which is found at https://leanpub.com/thes3cookbook, the slug is thes3cookbook.

The “Buy Now” button can be a simple link pointing at https://leanpub.com/thes3cookbook/purchases/new, like so:

1 <a href="https://leanpub.com/thes3cookbook/purchases/new">Buy it now</a>

You can also build a form, but make sure it does a GET request:

1 <form action="https://leanpub.com/thes3cookbook/purchases/new" method="get">
2   <input type="submit" name="commit" value="Buy Now!" />
3 </form>

A couple of other things you might want are links to your sample PDF and your cover page image. The sample PDF is found at

1 http://samples.leanpub.com/<slug>-sample.pdf

For example:

1 http://samples.leanpub.com/thes3cookbook-sample.pdf

The cover pages are found at

1 http://titlepages.leanpub.com/<slug>/<size>

Here’s an example of how you would implement this, if you wanted to use the ‘bookpage’ size:

1 http://titlepages.leanpub.com/thes3cookbook/bookpage

Size can be one of the following (the numbers after each size are the max width and height in pixels. Aspect ratios are preserved so the image might not be exactly this size)

  • bookpage 270x405
  • bundlepage 213x320
  • medium 240x360
  • small 120x180
  • tiny 34x50

Note the lack of extension.

Disabling Line Numbers While Nesting Code Blocks In Lists

For the indentation method:

  1. There must be a blank line between the list item and the code.
  2. The {line-numbers=off} line should be indented by four characters.
  3. The code should be indented by 3 more characters than the {line-numbers=off} line.
* with no line numbers:
    
  {line-numbers=off}
      def foo
        "foo"
      end

* with line-numbers on:
    
      def foo
        "foo"
      end
  • with no line numbers:
    def foo
      "foo"
    end
    
  • with line-numbers on:
    1 def foo
    2   "foo"
    3 end
    

For the tildes method

  1. There must be a blank line between the list item and the first line of the code block
  2. The tildes and the code should be indented to match the indentation of the list.
* with no line numbers:
    
  {line-numbers=off}
  ~~~~~~~
  def foo
   "foo"
  end
  ~~~~~~~
   
* with line-numbers on:
    
  ~~~~~~~
  def foo
    "foo"
  end
  ~~~~~~~
  • with no line numbers:
    def foo
     "foo"
    end
    
  • with line-numbers on:
    1 def foo
    2   "foo"
    3 end
    

Can I write my Leanpub book in Markdown files, with the .md extension?

Yes!

If you are a not a programmer, and this makes no sense to you, please ignore it. Our documentation, in the manual and elsewhere, focuses on .txt files because they work for everyone, easily.

Page Sizes, Cover Sizes and Maximum Image Sizes

This table sets out the available Leanpub page sizes and the corresponding cover image sizes and maximum internal image sizes. Sizes are shown width x height.

Type Page Size Cover Size Max Image Size
  Inches Pixels Pixels
US Letter 8.5” x 11” 2550 x 3300 1950 x 2700
A4 Paper 8.27” x 11.69” 2481x 3507 1881 x 2907
US Trade 6” x 9” 1800 x 2700 1200 x 2100
A5 Paper 5.83” x 8.27” 1749 x 2481 1149 x 1881
Digest 5.5” x 8” 1650 x 2400 1050 x 1800
Paperback 4.25” x 6.87” 1275 x 2061 900 x 1650

Hanging Indents

Scholarly works sometimes need bibliographical entries to be formatted with hanging indents. So, we’ve added this to Leanpub.

To use it, you use the directives {begin-hanging-paragraphs} to start using hanging paragraphs, and {end-hanging-paragraphs} to end it. These should be on lines by themselves, with blank lines above and below them. Here’s a quick example, showing first what you would type in your text file, and second how this would look when published:

 1 This is a normal paragraph.
 2 
 3 
 4 {begin-hanging-paragraphs}
 5 
 6 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec hendrerit tempor \
 7 tellus. Donec pretium posuere tellus.
 8 
 9 Aliquam erat volutpat. Nunc eleifend leo vitae magna.
10 
11 Pellentesque dapibus suscipit ligula. Donec posuere augue in quam. Etiam vel tort\
12 or sodales tellus ultricies commodo. Suspendisse potenti. Aenean in sem ac leo mo\
13 llis blandit. Donec neque quam, dignissim in, mollis nec, sagittis eu, wisi. Phas\
14 ellus lacus.
15 
16 Pellentesque dapibus suscipit ligula. Donec posuere augue in quam. Etiam vel tort\
17 or sodales tellus ultricies commodo. Suspendisse potenti. Aenean in sem ac leo mo\
18 llis blandit. Donec neque quam, dignissim in, mollis nec, sagittis eu, wisi. Phas\
19 ellus lacus.
20 
21 {end-hanging-paragraphs}
22 
23 This is a normal paragraph again.

This is a normal paragraph.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec hendrerit tempor tellus. Donec pretium posuere tellus.

Aliquam erat volutpat. Nunc eleifend leo vitae magna.

Pellentesque dapibus suscipit ligula. Donec posuere augue in quam. Etiam vel tortor sodales tellus ultricies commodo. Suspendisse potenti. Aenean in sem ac leo mollis blandit. Donec neque quam, dignissim in, mollis nec, sagittis eu, wisi. Phasellus lacus.

Pellentesque dapibus suscipit ligula. Donec posuere augue in quam. Etiam vel tortor sodales tellus ultricies commodo. Suspendisse potenti. Aenean in sem ac leo mollis blandit. Donec neque quam, dignissim in, mollis nec, sagittis eu, wisi. Phasellus lacus.

This is a normal paragraph again.

How can I import a Microsoft Word document?

We have a detailed explanation for how to do this here: https://leanpub.com/help/howtofromworddirectly

The video is a bit outdated, so certain tabs and pages will look different, but the process is the same.

Please note that one extra step can help make things easier. Before you make your first Preview, go to the ‘Settings’ page for your book, and click on the ‘Formatting’ tab. Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and check the box for

  1. note
  2. This is the footnote content.
  3. This is the footnote text. We are now going to add a second line after typing in four spaces.