At Leanpub, we have years of experience interacting with thousands of authors, so we've learned a number of things which can help authors resolve the problems they sometimes run into. This is why we've written this short article.
(We're very fortunate that Leanpub works as well as it does, and this is thanks to our authors' amazing feedback and bug reports over the years!)
When we investigate any issue, we always try to see if it is a possible symptom of a systemic problem with a systemic solution. So, when we help an individual author, it helps us improve Leanpub for everyone else on the platform.
However, the ideal world for us is that authors can solve their own problems as much as possible, of course! This is especially important to us as we grow.
So, here are some proven guidelines for what to do if you have an issue with your book or course, or when you are trying to do something in Leanpub and you can't find out how or where to do it:
- Search our Help Center: http://help.leanpub.com/en/collections/32694-author-help.
- If you can't find an answer in our Help Center, try checking out our manuals: the Leanpub manual, the Markua manual, and the Leanpub-Flavoured Markdown manual
- If you're still stuck, try searching our Authors Forum: https://community.leanpub.com/c/authors.
- If searching in the Authors Forum doesn't get you an answer, try asking your question by creating a New Topic in the forum (here's a real-world example of a great support post on the Authors Forum: it has a detailed description of the issue, a screenshot, and the source text from the author's manuscript). The Leanpub author community is typically helpful and responsive, and collectively they have a lot of experience using Leanpub to write books and courses! Plus, anything authors talk about in the Authors Forum can be found by people searching the forum with a similar issue or question in the future. Furthermore, we also monitor the Authors Forum as well, so asking a question there can often get it answered by us, if needed.
- If that doesn't work, please email the Leanpub team at email@example.com. Of course, it will typically take longer for you to get a reply when you email hello than it will if you can find the answer in our Help Center or if you post in the Author Forum. When you email hello you're on our schedule (and we're in Pacific Time), whereas if you post on the Authors Forum you can also get help from Leanpub authors all over the world. However, if you have a question which doesn't belong in the Author Forum (say it's private), or if you're really shy, then contacting our team is the best way to get an answer to your question. Also, please note that we may run previews of your book or course ourselves, in our effort to fix the problem. (We will not publish your book or course, obviously!)
When you're reporting a problem or asking a question, here are a few guidelines to follow, that will help you get to a solution as quickly as possible:
- If you're emailing us, please do so from the same email address you use for your Leanpub account. Not only will this help us find your account easier, but it will also let us talk to you about your account. We treat reader and author privacy very seriously.
- Please include a link to each relevant book or course. We get lots of questions, and some authors have lots of books and courses, so if your email points us exactly where to look, this is helpful.
- Try to describe the issue as precisely as possible (but we'll understand if you don't have a PhD in Leanpub yet!). For example, if you are seeing an error message somewhere, please tell (or, better, show) the team the error message you're seeing, and where and when you're seeing it. Speaking of showing us information...
- Screenshots are hugely helpful! If you are seeing something that does not look right to you, please try to take a screenshot of what you're seeing, and include it in your communication with us.
- If you are having a particular problem with the contents of your book or course, please point us to the specific part of the specific file, where you think the problem is located. For example, if you are seeing a funny character in your preview, please tell us the page number in the preview where you are seeing the funny character, and tell us where to look in your manuscript for the source of the funny character. If you want to make us love you forever, the gold standard in a bug report is for you to make a test in-browser editor book containing only the bug and almost nothing else. If you can make a small reproducible example showing a problem, our developers will be thrilled! Not only will it be easy for us to see the issue, we can also confirm it is fixed by just previewing the book. Since every plan (including Free plans) can create up to 100 books or courses, it's totally fine for you to make a new book to show us an issue. (And if you're on a Free plan, and you hit a preview or publish limit when doing this, just ask us to reset the count for you and we'll happily do that.)
Doing all of this in your first communication with us about the issue will help us get your problem resolved, or your question answered, much faster!
Finally, we recommend you bookmark this page in your web browser in a folder called Leanpub, so you can get back to all these (hopefully!) useful links and suggestions easily.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! We really do believe that if you follow these steps, you'll get to a solution as quickly as possible, if you ever have an issue, or a question :)
PS If you're new to Leanpub, here are some quick walkthroughs for our various writing modes that you might find helpful, when you're getting started on your first Leanpub book.
PPS If you're running into book generation failures when you try to preview or publish a new version of your book, please check out this short list of relevant articles and select the one that matches your writing mode. (If you're familiar with debugging things and you'd like the tl;dr solution, you might want to start with this short article instead.)