About the Book
Imagine you owned a magical typewriter.
When you used this magical typewriter, you wrote with fewer distractions. You didn't just write faster, you wrote better.
With your magical typewriter, you never worried about layout. The book formatted itself.
You could hit a key on your magical typewriter to create an ebook from your manuscript with one click.
All ebook formats would be created, and they'd all look good. You'd have PDF for computers, MOBI for Kindle, and EPUB for everywhere else. The book would look great on phones.
With your magical typewriter, you could publish your book before it was even done, and get feedback from readers all over the world. You could automatically share book updates with them. You would press one key on your magical typewriter to publish a new version, and all your readers would have it instantly.
With your magical typewriter, you could easily compare your current manuscript to any other version of your manuscript that had ever existed.
When the book was done, if you decided to make a print book, you could press a key on your magical typewriter to generate InDesign with one click. Your designer or publisher could use this as a starting point for producing a great looking print book.
With your magical typewriter, you'd only have to do one thing: Write.
Wouldn't it be great if such a magical typewriter existed?
It does. At Leanpub, we're building it.
But there's one requirement for this magical typewriter to exist: a simple, coherent, open source, free, plain text format for a book manuscript.
This simple format is what authors will write their books in, instead of Word. It will enable an ecosystem of tools to emerge around it.
This simple format will be the basis for the magical typewriter.
This simple format is called Markua.
This is its specification.
About the Author
Peter Armstrong is the co-founder of Leanpub and the author of 5 books: The Markua Specification, Programming for Kids, Lean Publishing, Flexible Rails and Hello! Flex 4. He has over a decade of experience as a software developer, with 8 years of experience doing software development at Silicon Valley startups.
Peter coined the term "lean publishing" to describe the act of self-publishing an in-progress ebook. He has written a manifesto about lean publishing; Leanpub was created based on the principles in this manifesto.
Peter is a frequent speaker about lean publishing and startup entrepreneurship. He lives in the Victoria, BC area with his wife and son. Besides writing, he enjoys snowboarding, stand up paddleboarding and playing Civ 5 and StarCraft 2.