The Leanpub Manual
The Leanpub Manual
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The Leanpub Manual

Last updated on 2019-01-04

About the Book

This is the text version of the Leanpub Manual! You can see the online version at

The manual is free to download and you will always be able to get the latest version.

Our manual is based in part on the questions asked and answered by our Google Group.

If you have a question about anything in the manual or would like to suggest an addition or improvement, please email us at

NOTE 2 Jan 2013: We are currently updating our manual. Parts of this version may be a bit out of date, as we are always trying to improve Leanpub! Our Google Group really is friendly and you can also check out our FAQs at

About the Authors

Len Epp
Len Epp

Len is a former investment banker with a DPhil in English Literature from Balliol College, Oxford. He joined Ruboss in 2012 and led customer development on Leanpub for three years before becoming a co-founder.

Len is also the host of the Frontmatter and Backmatter podcasts, where he interviews Leanpub authors and publishing industry experts, respectively.

If you're interested in his novel, you can find it here.

Scott Patten
Scott Patten

Scott is a programmer and web developer. He has an MSc in Physics from the University of British Columbia and spent a decade gainfully employed as a physicist shooting lasers at polymers and ink drops at paper.

In 2006, Scott switched to programming full time. He joined Ruboss as a co-founder in 2009, and created Leanpub with Peter in 2010. Scott is the author of The S3 Cookbook and the lead author of Leanpub's book generation engine.

Peter Armstrong
Peter Armstrong

Peter Armstrong is the co-founder and CEO of Leanpub. He has almost two decades of experience in software, half of it as a developer at Silicon Valley startups. He founded Ruboss in 2008, and created Leanpub with Scott Patten in 2010.

Peter is also the author of 7 books: Yoshidaguchi, Your First Trip to Japan, The Markua Specification, Programming for KidsLean Publishing, Flexible Rails and Hello! Flex 4. He has a BSc in Computer Science and Psychology from the University of Victoria.

Peter coined the term "lean publishing" to describe the act of self-publishing an in-progress ebook. Leanpub was created based on the principles of lean publishing. He lives in Victoria, BC with his wife and son.

Table of Contents

  • About The Leanpub Manual
  • The Leanpub Manual: The ebook!
  • Help
  • Getting Started
    • The Five Steps To A Leanpub Book
    • Brief Instructions
    • Setting Up Dropbox On Your Computer
    • Your Book’s Content
    • The Book.txt File
    • Making a Sample Book for Readers to Browse for Free
    • Adding Images or Pictures to Your Book
    • Creating a Preview
    • Publishing Your Book
  • Leanpub Book Tools
    • The Book Tools
  • Markdown: The Easiest Way To Format Your Text For E-Publishing
    • Leanpub Flavoured Markdown and Markua
    • Why Should You Care?
    • How Markdown is Used in Leanpub
  • Attributes
  • Creating A New Book
    • How To Create A New Book
    • How To Set The Book’s Structure
  • Book Styles
    • Technical Books
    • Business Books
    • Fiction Books
  • Sample Books
    • Why Sample Books?
    • Consequences for Manuscripts
  • Images
    • How To Insert An Image
    • Image Format And Resolution
    • Recommended Image Resolution
    • Maximum Image Sizes
    • Positioning An Image On The Page
    • Basic Image Recommendations
    • Maximum Image Sizes
    • Questions About Images and Cover Pages
  • Your Profile, Dashboard and Account
    • Dashboard
    • View Your Profile
    • Edit Account
  • The Landing Page
    • Table of Contents
    • Widget
  • Publishing
    • How To Publish Your Book On Leanpub
    • Notifying Readers When You Publish
    • ISBNs
    • Changing Your Title and URL
    • Questions About Publishing on Leanpub
  • Languages and Letter Accents
    • Setting the Main Language Used in the Book
    • Overriding Leanpub Language Defaults
    • Switching back and forth between language fonts
    • A note about writing Leanpub books in Japanese, Korean and Chinese
    • A note about writing Leanpub books in right-to-left (RTL) languages
  • Dedication, Parts, Chapters and Sections
    • Dedication
    • Parts
    • Chapters, Sections and Sub-sections
    • Table of Contents
    • Front Matter, Main Matter and Back Matter
  • Styling Text
    • Bold, Emphasis/Italics, and Underlining
    • Superscripts
    • Monospaced Text
    • Non-Breaking Spaces
  • Blocks Of Text
    • Paragraphs
    • Centering Paragraphs Or Lines Of Text
    • Numbered/Ordered Lists
    • Unordered/Bulleted Lists
    • Definition Lists
    • Blockquotes
    • Asides/Sidebars
    • More Text Block Types
    • Warning!
    • Tips
    • Errors
    • Information
    • Questions
    • Discussions
    • Exercises
    • Generic Boxes
  • Code
    • Code Samples
    • Code Sample Titles
    • Marking lines as deleted or added to a code block
    • Some Details About Line-Wrapping
    • Questions About Code
  • Poetry
    • Poetry Stanzas in Regular Markdown
    • Spacing Control for Poetry
    • Line Lengths
  • Links
    • Formatting Links
    • Long Hyperlinks
    • Footnotes and Hyperlinks in PDF
  • Footnotes and Endnotes
    • Footnotes
    • Endnotes
    • Remove Footnotes
  • Crosslinks
    • Quick Explanation
    • Longer Explanation
    • Crosslinking to something with an ID
    • Some Crosslink Details
  • Breaks
    • Pagebreaks
    • Line Breaks
  • Tables
    • Table Width
    • Multi-line rows
    • Alignment and footer rows
    • Table Titles
    • HTML Tables
    • A note on combining attributes
  • Selling your book
    • Bundles
    • Coupons
    • Royalties
    • Library Purchasing
    • Maximum Sale Price
    • Selling Digital Extras
    • Selling Multi-reader Licenses
    • Buying Books on Leanpub
  • Miscellaneous
    • Sales and Analytics
    • Backing Up Your Files
    • Escaping Markdown Syntax Characters
    • How To Exclude Lines From Your Book
    • Copyright Protection
    • Moving Dropbox Folders
    • Fonts
    • Distributing Extra Files with Your Book
    • Mathematical Equations
    • Cover Designers and Editors
    • Information About Your Readers / Customers
    • Multimedia Content
    • Does Leanpub Accept Authors From Anywhere (i.e. international authors, foreign authors)?
    • Coupons for Other Leanpub Authors
    • Curly Quotes
    • Figure Captions and Labels
    • Links In Footnotes
    • Viruses
    • Kerning
    • Full Table of Contents in Sample Books?
    • On the landing page, can we feature a channel instead of an individual video on the YouTube link?
    • Why can’t I put section commands in Book.txt?
    • Trouble With Accents? Forcing Text Editors To Save As UTF-8
    • I don’t understand how things get added to a Table of Contents
    • What encoding should I use to write files in Markdown? Should I write in ASCII or UTF-8?
    • How Can I Add Blank Lines To My Text?
    • Why Can’t I See My Profile When I Go To ‘Your Profile’?
    • A General Note On Formatting
    • GitHub Commits
    • Downloading onto your iPad or iPhone
    • Working with GitHub and Dropbox
    • Adding a motto or epigraph to the beginning of a chapter
    • Can I publish my book on Leanpub and KDP Select at the same time?
    • Does Leanpub give me tools to help me build my own book landing page?
    • Disabling Line Numbers While Nesting Code Blocks In Lists
    • Can I write my Leanpub book in Markdown files, with the .md extension?
    • Page Sizes and Maximum Image Sizes
    • Indentation
    • Hanging Indents
    • How can I import a Microsoft Word document?
    • Problems With Adobe Digital Editions
    • Long strings of characters running off the right-hand side of the page / the right margin
    • Time Zone
    • How can I increase the space between paragraphs?
    • Font Samples
    • Using Dropbox and Git
  • Notes

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Write and Publish on Leanpub

Authors, publishers and universities use Leanpub to publish amazing in-progress and completed books and courses, just like this one. You can use Leanpub to write, publish and sell your book or course as well! Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors, combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks. Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. It really is that easy.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub