Leanpub now offers Reader Memberships that give you free access to over two thousand participating "Free with Membership" books, in addition to participating bundles and courses, and a new way to support Leanpub authors!

Note that you do not need a Reader Membership to make paid purchases, or to make some free purchases. To learn more, see this article.

We're looking forward to building new features and privileges around Reader Memberships going forward. Our intention in the long run is to give readers the opportunity to help make Leanpub into something more than a great bookstore, and to add an element of community to the platform.


You can purchase a monthly Reader Membership here. To purchase a Reader Membership for a team, please see this article.


In this article, we'll explain the benefits of a Leanpub Reader Membership, how to get a Reader Membership (monthly, annual, or liftetime), how to find participating products, and how your Reader Membership contributes to the new shared revenue pool for authors.

Article Sections:

Reader Membership Benefits: The First Feature

The first feature we've built for Reader Memberships is the ability to contribute to our unique shared revenue pool for Leanpub authors, in exchange for access to free purchases of participating books, bundles, and courses.

Whenever you make a payment for a Reader Membership, 50% of the revenue to Leanpub goes into a shared author revenue pool, that will be distributed to participating Leanpub authors.

A Reader Membership is a great deal! There are currently about 2,000 participating books and 50 participating courses with free minimum prices on Leanpub. Many of them are high-value books about computer programming and data science, to pick just two examples of the subjects they cover. So, even if you only find a few books or courses that you’re interested in, you’re getting an amazing value!

Buying a Leanpub Reader Membership

There are three ways to buy a Leanpub Reader Membership: a monthly payment of $4.99, an annual payment of $29, or a single payment of $149 for a "lifetime" Reader Membership. All of these can be purchased from our Memberships page here:

By default, the monthly "Reader" Membership will be selected:

Scroll down, and after you enter your account information, you can choose to pay with "PayPal Subscribe" or separately, with a debit or credit card:

That's it!

Purchasing an One Year Reader Membership for $29

Currently, you can also purchase a one year reader membership by choosing a Free! price for a participating book, and adding the book to your shopping cart.

This will automatically add a $29 One Year Reader Membership purchase to your shopping cart, in addition to the free book purchase:

Please note that the One Year membership does not auto-renew! It's a one-time purchase with no further commitment. If you want an annual membership that does renew, please purchase an Annual membership from our Membership page.

Finding Participating Books, Bundles, and Courses You Can Get for Free

To find participating products that you can get for free on Leanpub, in the store dropdown, select "Free With Membership":

This will show you all the books in Leanpub with a minimum price of "Free!"

When you find a participating book, you will see this above the pricing sliders:

Please note that not all books with a Free! minimum price are participating in the Reader Membership program. For non-participating books, you'll see this above the pricing sliders:

To get the book for free, just slide the pricing sliders to the left, like this:

You can then add the product to your cart and get it for free with your Reader Membership.

Contributing to the Reader Membership Revenue Pool

As we mentioned above, whenever you make a payment for a Reader Membership, 50% of the revenue to Leanpub goes into a shared revenue pool for authors.

The revenue sharing calculation is inevitably a bit complicated, but in essence, your contribution to the author revenue pool is shared with every author of a participating product that you buy for free with your Reader Membership, over the course of a year.

We'll explain this in more detail in another article, but we hope that's straightforward enough!

We wanted to create an author revenue sharing pool that lets authors make money from books they write and then publish for a free minimum price. That way, they can reach a huge audience, and you can access all of the participating books, selecting the ones you want, know that the author will still get something, even if you choose the Free! minimum price.

Thanks for reading!

PS For a long Leanpub-style "homepage essay" explaining all of this from more of a business and author perspective, please see this article.


Are you looking for great deals on Leanpub ebooks, ebook bundles, and courses? Sign up for our Weekly and Monthly newsletter sales 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

Did this answer your question?