I stumbled upon Leanpub through the NaNoWriMo website’s sponsors page. Leanpub’s tagline is “Publish Early. Publish Often,” which allows fiction writers like me to post my story one chapter at a time to build up my audience if I want to. I already do that with Wattpad but still, something about Leanpub peaked my interest.
They just don’t give you a platform to publish your work online, one chapter at a time, they also help you publish your work in various formats, such as pdf, epub and mobi.
AND they also allow you to set up a sliding scale for readers to buy your work. You can set a minimum price for your book – a price that can’t go any lower as well as the retail price (regular price for us expert shoppers!). However, should the reader wish to pay you more, they can certainly do that with just a touch of their mouse. And I thought that was cool.
You also get 90% royalty, less .50 per sale. Not bad at all.
One thing I did notice on the Leanpub website is that there are many programmers who publish books through them. The reason for that is Markdown, which is totally not the WYSIWYG type of program like Word or Pages. Markdown is a plain text format that can be read easily, and can be easily converted to HTML, which I think is called Markup.
The thing is – programmers and the techies get Markdown quite easily. Us creative types? Not so much.
But because I already use Ulysses III, I knew markdown language – or at least the basics. It’s the way I write these days though the only fancy markdown bits I use are basically hard returns for line spacing, headings, italics and bold.
Here’s a blurb on what Leanpub is, from their website:
Leanpub is part of a movement called Lean Publishing, which is the future of publishing. If you’re curious about what the big idea is, read our manifesto.
You write a Leanpub book using Markdown.
When you’re ready to sell your book, just set your price and click a button on Leanpub. We generate and sell PDF, EPUB and MOBI versions of your book. (PDF is for computers; EPUB is for iPad and other ebook readers; MOBI is for Kindle.) We also automatically create free sample versions of your book if you specify files to include in the sample.
Whenever you publish an updated version of your book, your current readers get automatic updates. This lets you create a community around your book as you write it. Or just publish your book when it’s done; it’s up to you!
Leanpub is the best way in the world to publish a book while you’re writing it. This is true whether you’re writing a programming book, a business book or even a cookbook!
Leanpub is FREE for authors to join and use.
Besides having to tackle Markdown language, another thing about Leanpub is that it doesn’t have a lot of options as far as formatting goes. It’s fixed. A Helvetica-like font for the title and Times New Roman for the text. Other than that, that’s it, and it looks weird on the page, when I see two fonts fighting for attention.
Still, it’s something I’m going to consider, at least in formatting my NaPoWriMo 14 effort (National Poetry Writing Month) and see what happens. After all, it is free to publish with Leanpub. However, I am having problems with formatting the front matter though, the centering and all that.
And I have to be honest here – it’s one of the reasons I cozied up to Pressbooks for my novel, even though I discovered Leanpub after Pressbooks (I’ll write about Pressbooks another time). Still, it’s worth a try and I’ll do that by “publishing” my NaPoWriMo effort, Apophasis, and see what happens.
So stay tuned!