[This article was last updated on November 8, 2019. If you think this article needs improvement or updating, please contact us by clicking the little icon at the bottom right of your browser!]

You can write a Leanpub book using Git and GitHub. In this section we'll show you how to create a book and generate your first preview.

Once you have successfully generated your first preview, you'll know everything you know to get started writing in the GitHub writing mode.

You'll find more information and detailed instructions on the "Getting Started" page for your book, which you'll go to automatically when you create your book.

(Also, if you ever run into an issue or have any questions, here is a short article with guidelines for authors to answers and solutions as quickly as possible!)

Creating Your Book's GitHub Repository

The first thing you need to is create a repository for your book on GitHub.

To do this, go to https://github.com and sign in.

Click the green "New" button to the right of the list of Repositories.

This will take you to a page where you can set up a new repository for your Leanpub book.

By default, "Public" will be selected. This means anyone can see your repository. Select "Private" if you don't want anyone to be able to see your repository.

Next, type a name for your repository.

Click the green "Create repository" button.

This will take you to a "Quick setup" page:

Select the repository information and copy it.

Go to the command line on your computer. In this tutorial we're using a Mac, and we go to the command line by opening an application called "Terminal.'

Go to the folder on your computer where you want to clone your GitHub repository. In this tutorial, that is a folder called "repos."

Type "git clone" and paste in the repository information you copied on GitHub.

After a moment, you will see a message saying that the repository has been cloned.

Creating a Book in GitHub Writing Mode

Go to https://leanpub.com/create/book to create a book in GitHub writing mode.

First, type a title for your book into the "TITLE" box. You can change your title later.

Click in the "BOOK URL" box. Leanpub will automatically suggest a URL for your book's web page on Leanpub. You can change this URL at any time.

In this case, the URL that was automatically generated was already taken.

If a URL you want is already taken, you can add hyphens to create a URL that is close to it.

Scroll down and you will see "MAIN LANGUAGE USED IN YOUR BOOK." You can select a language from the drop-down. Like the other settings, you can change this at any time.

Scroll down and you will see the "BOOK THEME" options. "Business" will be selected by default. The Book Theme is just a set of standard formatting options conventional for books on these subjects. You are not required to choose any particular option. You can change your Book Theme at any time.

In the section below, you will be presented with various Writing Mode options:

Select the "On your computer" option:

In the section below, you will be presented with various Writing Mode options. For this tutorial, select "Using Git and GitHub":

Next, enter your GitHub username, followed by a forward slash / and your GitHub repo name.

When you scroll down, you will see the subscription plan options. By default, "Standard" will be selected, if you are setting up your first book in Leanpub.

Select a plan.

Scroll down and, if you are not signed in to a Leanpub account, you will see an option to enter information to create a new account. You will also see an option to sign in, if you already have a Leanpub account.

To create a new account, fill in the relevant information.

If you selected a monthly account, you'll see a form for entering your payment information:

Finally, click the blue button to finish creating your new GitHub book.

You will now see that you are on the Getting Started page for your book:

[Please note this page has been updated, so it doesn't exactly match the rest of the screenshots in this tutorial.]

If you use bookmarks in your web browser, we recommend you bookmark this page in your web browser in a bookmark folder for your book, but this is not required.

Look at the Book Tools "breadcrumb" menu at the top of the screen. This is how you will navigate to the web pages you will be using in Leanpub to work on your book and see all the features we provide, like uploading a book cover, or setting a price for your book.

When you are finished this tutorial, we recommend you explore the various Book Tools options.

Adding Leanpub As A Collaborator on Your Book's GitHub Repository

Go back to the GitHub page for your book's GitHub repository.

Click on "Settings" near the top right, to go to the "Settings" page for the repository.

Click on "Manage Access" at the top of the menu on the left to go the page where you can add collaborators:

Scroll down until you see the green "Invite a collaborator" button:

Click the button and you will see a box where you can add a collaborator:

Type "leanpub" in the search box.

Select the "Leanpub" option and click the "Add leanpub..." button.

You will see that Leanpub has been added as a collaborator on the repository.

Adding Default Content to Your GitHub Repository

Next, you need to add some content to your GitHub repository. (Leanpub does not write to your GitHub repository.)

To download our default book content, click link to download the zip file. This will download the default content to your computer.

You will now find the file wherever you store downloads on your computer.

Double-click the folder to unzip it.

Copy the "manuscript" folder. Then, go to the cloned GitHub repository on your computer, and paste the "manuscript" folder into the repository.

Go back to the command line on your computer and change to the GitHub repository for your book.

Type git add . to  the content using Git.

Type git commit -m "adding default manuscript folder". You will see messages indicating that the content has been committed.

Type `git push` to push the commit to the repository on GitHub.

Creating a Preview

To create your first preview, using the default content we included in your new book, go back to the Getting Started page for your book:

Click on "Getting Started" at the top, and you will see your the Book Tools menu. It will look something like this:

Click on "Preview or Publish" under the "Book Info" column, and you will see something like this:

Select "Preview' in the column to the right, and you will go to the "Preview" page for your book:

Click the "Create Preview" button. You will go to a page like this, where you will see a progress bar at the top:

When the preview process is complete, you will see download links for the preview, in a variety of formats:

Click on the links to see what your book looks like in the various formats.

Writing in Your Book

Open your book folder in Dropbox. You'll see a folder named `manuscript` inside it. This is where you write your book.

If you have just created a new book, the `manuscript` folder will contain four files with the file name extension `.txt`. There will also be a folder called `resources`:


Open the file called `chapter1.txt` by double-clicking on it. You can also open the file in any specific text editing software you prefer.

Next, delete the contents of the file and type:

# Chapter 1

Hello, world!

In your text editor, save this change.

Make a New Preview of Your Book

Next, you need to commit your changes and push them to GitHub.

On the command line, type `git commit -m "first tutorial steps"` and hit the return key.

Next, type 'git push' and hit the return key.

The next time you create a preview of your book, you will see that Chapter One has changed, and it now says "Hello, world!"

To create a new preview, repeat what you did when you made your first preview, by using the Author menu in Leanpub to go to:

`Author > Books > [Your Book Title] > Preview or Publish > Preview`

How the List of Files in Book.txt Works

When you create a preview, you may not want our book generators to use all of the files in your `manuscript` folder. Also, you may want the contents of your book to reflect a different order than the order they are presented in, in your `manuscript` folder.

So, whenever you create a preview, our friendly bookbots generate your book using only the files that you have listed in the `Book.txt` file that is in your book's `manuscript` folder, and they use those files in the order that you have listed them.

Let's see how this works.

First, delete a file. In your book's `manuscript` folder, select the file named `chapter3.txt` and delete it.

Now, let's rename a file. The files listed in `Book.txt` can have any name you want to give them. (To be clear, the files do not have to include the word "chatper" in the file name.)

In your book's `manuscript` folder, select the file `chapter2.txt`.

Now, change the file name to `conclusion.txt` by right-clicking on the file and selecting "Rename." **(Your computer might show a different word than "Rename," but there should be an option to change any file's name if you right-click on the file.)

Now that we have changed the files in the `manuscript` folder, we need to update the list of files in the `Book.txt` file.

Using your text editor, open the `Book.txt` file.

In the `Book.txt` file, you will see this list of files, like this:


First, delete `chapter2.txt`. Then, delete `chapter3.txt`.

Next, on the second line, type `conclusion.txt`.

Now, your list of files in Book.txt will look like this:


Next, open the file `conclusion.txt`.

Now, delete everthing in the file, and type this:

# Conclusion

This book is **done** and ready for *the world to see*, hooray!

Finally, save this change your text editor.

Next, you need to commit your changes and push them to GitHub.

On the command line, type git commit -m "finishing tutorial" and hit the return key.

Next, type 'git push' and hit the return key.

Now, go back to the preview page for your book at:

`Author > Books > [Your Book Title] > Preview or Publish > Preview`

The next time you create a preview, it will reflect the changes you have made.

**Congratulations!** You've completed the Getting Started tutorial for writing a book in Leanpub using GitHub.

Next Steps

Next, we recommend you explore the Overview page for your book:

`Author > Books > [Your Book Title] > Book Info > Overview`

On the Overview page, you can see all the pages you need to get your book set up on Leanpub, like "Upload Book Cover" and the "Book Details" page, where you can explain what your book is about to potential readers.

If you have any questions or can't find anything, please search our Help Center for authors here: http://help.leanpub.com/author-help.

Happy writing!

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