In this article we're going to show you how to publish a "Community Edition" of your Leanpub book, if you are using one of Leanpub's plain text book writing modes.
A Community Edition is a version of your book that includes a portion of your book, and is available to readers for free, in exchange for them sharing their email address with you.
This is a very common marketing practice: offering people something for free in exchange their permission for you to add their email address to a mailing list or newsletter.
Many people have asked us to provide authors with this popular marketing took, and we're proud to finally have it available as a tool for authors to reach more readers and expand their audience!
Switching to Markua 0.30
By default, new Leanpub books are currently set to use Markua 0.10.
Here is an article that shows you how to switch to Markua 0.30:
(Please note you can find the Markua manual here. If you have no idea what Markua or Markdown or plain text is all about, here is a lighthearted introduction to the subject on our blog!)
Marking Sections of Your Book for Inclusion in the Community Edition
You can include one more sections of your book in the Community Edition by typing the following in your manuscript, above the heading or each section you can to include:
For example, if you have a chapter called "Chapter Two", you would type the following in your manuscript:
# Chapter Two
Writing in Markdown is easy! You can learn most of what you need to know with just a few examples.
That's all you need to do in your manuscript! Really!
Setting Up the Community Edition Landing Page Content and Features
You can set up the Community Edition landing page content and other features by going to this page:
...making sure to replace YOUR_BOOK with your book's unique web address.
You can also find a link to the Community Edition page on your book's Overview page here:
Here's what the Community Edition page looks like:
Next, fill in all the sections with content describing your book. You'll see an example what everything will look like on the Community Edition landing page just a bit later in this article!
In this example, we're setting up a Community Edition of Leanpub's Sample Nonfiction Theme Book.
Here's a screenshot of the page with all the sections filled in:
Next, you'll want to select the box to instruct Leanpub's book generators to create a Community Edition:
Optionally Collecting First and Last Names from Readers
In the last section, you can choose whether or not you ask people for their first or last names, in addition to their email address, and whether you want this to be required or optional:
For this example, we're just going to leave the default settings, which require the reader to give both a first name and a last name, in order to get the Community Edition.
Publishing Your Community Edition
With everything set up, there's just one last step: publishing a new version of your book, so Leanpub's book generators can create the Community Edition ebook files, and set up the Community Edition landing page on Leanpub.
To publish a new version of your book, go to the Publish page for your book here:
...again, making sure to replace YOUR_BOOK with your book's unique web address.
You can also get to the Publish page from your book's Overview page here:
On the Publish page, scroll to the bottom and click the "Publish Book" button:
When the book generation process completes, you will now see download links for your Community Edition ebook files at the top of the Publish page:
Click the links to download the new files and see what your Community Edition looks like in the PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats.
Your Community Edition Book Landing Page
On your book's Leanpub landing page, there will now be a link to get the free Community Edition:
Click the link, and you'll go to the Community Edition landing page for your book:
Now, in addition to prompting people to buy the full book, you can also use this web page to offer people some content for free, add them to your newsletter or mailing list, and hopefully convince them to buy the full book!
If you have any questions or thoughts on writing and self-publishing with Leanpub, please join our global community of authors in our Authors Forum here!
Interested in creating your first Leanpub book? Here are some quick tutorials for our most popular writing modes: http://help.leanpub.com/en/articles/3088382-quick-walkthroughs-for-getting-started-on-a-leanpub-book
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