Advice and answers from the Leanpub Team

Yes, we do, though there are some special rules, which you can read below. If these rules are too onerous for you or you have any questions, please let us know.
If your book is Erotica and/or Fan Fiction it must be categorized as such, as special rules apply to those.

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 are always sold for free on Leanpub. This isn't just a $0 minimum price and a $0 suggested price; we actually do not let people pay for them. The reason here is that Fan Fiction is usually considered a derivative work, so for the protection of the author and of Leanpub we insist that the Fan Fiction is always given away, not sold.
  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.

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