Thanks for your question! This article explains Reader Memberships from a reader perspective. We are so thankful for the support of all our readers...
First, and most important, any Leanpub book, bundle, course or track can still be purchased with money without requiring a Reader Membership. (This is true regardless of whether the minimum price of the book, bundle, course or track is free or paid.)
But if you want free access to all of the books, bundles, courses or tracks with a free minimum price, then a Reader Membership is for you.
Having a Reader Membership means you can get any book, bundle, course or track that has a free minimum price for free. (Books, bundles, courses or tracks with paid minimum prices still need to be purchased separately.)
A Reader Membership can be purchased for $4.99/month, $29/year or $149 for a Lifetime Reader Membership.
We have about 2000 books with free minimum prices, so a Reader Membership is a great deal!
To learn more about the benefits of Leanpub Reader Memberships, see this article.
You can search all the books, bundles and courses in our store which have free minimum prices here.
Besides being a great deal, Reader Memberships support Leanpub authors!
Specifically, 50% of the money from Reader Memberships is paid as royalties to Leanpub authors. (For a $29 annual Reader Membership, $14.50 is paid as royalties to the authors of the books, bundles, courses and tracks you got for free with your Reader Membership!)
Reader Membership revenue also supports Leanpub, helping us invest in building our platform for independent authors to self-publish in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses. We're a bootstrapped startup, so Reader Memberships are very helpful to us!
Note that there are still two ways that some books, bundles, courses or tracks with free minimum prices can be purchased for free without a Reader Membership:
The author of a book or course, or the creator of a bundle or track, can opt out of requiring a Reader Membership for free purchases.
The author of a book or course, or the creator of a bundle or track, can create a free coupon. Free coupons do not require Reader Memberships.
Note that if a book, bundle, course or track is purchased for free without requiring a Reader Membership, either because it was opted out, or because a free coupon was used, this free purchase does not contribute any Reader Membership royalties to its authors.
Currently of the over 2000 books on Leanpub with free minimum prices, there are about 100 which are opted out of requiring a Reader Membership to be purchased for free. You can tell them apart on the book landing page:
If a book with a free minimum price is opted out, you will see "Free! Minimum Price" on its landing page. This book does not require a Reader Membership to be purchased for free.
If a book with a free minimum price is not opted out, you will see "Free! With Membership" on its landing page. This book requires a Reader Membership (or a free coupon, or a Standard Membership or Pro Membership) to be purchased for free.
Finally, many of you have been Leanpub readers for years, buying dozens of Leanpub books and supporting our authors, and us, for over a decade. Regardless of whether you buy a Reader Membership, we are so grateful for your continued support.
Thanks very much for your continued support of Leanpub and our authors!