Leanpub Reader Memberships are a great deal, and are very important to us and to our authors.
First, a Leanpub Reader Membership gives you you free access to about 2000 books on Leanpub that are only free with membership. This includes hundreds of books about computer programming, data science, software architecture and more!
It's important to note that not all Leanpub books are free with membership: the books which are free with membership all show a minimum price of "Free! With Membership". You can buy these books for $7.99 without a Reader Membership, and you do not need a Reader Membership to make any paid purchases. (You can learn more at our Help Center.)
Also, we have some books which are free for everyone, regardless of whether you have a Reader Membership. When an author chooses for their book or course to have a free minimum price, they can also choose whether it requires a Reader Membership to be purchased for free. (This is edited by a checkbox on the pricing page:
Leanpub tries really hard to make things easy for authors.)
However, even omitting the books which are free for everyone, it would cost you over $15,000 to buy all the books that are only free with a Reader Membership! Like we said, a Leanpub Reader Membership is a great deal!
Besides being a great deal, Reader Memberships support Leanpub authors! Specifically, exactly 50% of the money from Reader Memberships is paid as royalties to Leanpub authors. (This is $9.50 on a $19 Annual Membership, and $49.50 on a $99 Lifetime Membership.)
Here's how it works: If a book or course requires a Reader Membership to be purchased for free, this book or course participates in
the Reader Membership Revenue Pool. Half of the money from each Reader Membership is put into this
pool. Then, on a per-membership basis, this revenue is shared with the authors of the only-free-with-membership books or courses which were purchased for free by a particular reader. So, if a given reader purchases only one such book or
course, that author gets all of the Reader Membership Pool revenue from that membership. If a reader purchases
two or more such books or courses, it's shared on a weighted basis.
We launched Reader Memberships in summer 2022, and our Reader Membership Revenue Pool already has thousands of dollars in it. We're excited to see how it grows, and we're thrilled that we've found yet another way to help Leanpub readers to support Leanpub authors!