At the top right of a Leanpub book page, you'll see a set of icons and words, indicating the language that the book is written in, and the ebook formats it is available in.
Here's an example:
This means the book is written in English, and is available in PDF, EPUB, MOBI and in the Leanpub App.
Here's what the different formats mean, and how to read them:
PDF - This is the best format for reading on computers. The book layout is the nicest. On a Mac, you open a PDF in Preview by double-clicking it. On Windows or Linux, you typically use Adobe Reader for PDFs, but there are other programs as well. If you double-click it, it will open in the PDF reader you have.
EPUB - This is the format for phones and tablets. If you want to read the book on an iPhone or Android phone, or an iPad or Android tablet, you'll want this format. You can also read an EPUB file in the Books app on a Mac, or on an EPUB reader on Windows or Linux. The layout in an EPUB file isn't as nice as a PDF, but the fonts are customizable and resizable. To open an EPUB file on your computer you just double-click it and the default EPUB reader will be used. To get an EPUB ebook onto your phone, just use the Books app or the Google Play app and then sync.
MOBI - This is the format for Amazon Kindle and for the Kindle app on computers, tablets, iPhone or Android. If you like reading all your books on a Kindle or in the Kindle app, this is the format for you.
APP - This is the Leanpub app. We have apps for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. This is the easiest way to read a Leanpub book, since you don't need to manually download files and remember where you put them.
Now, most Leanpub books are available in all formats. However, some are not. The reason for this is that Leanpub supports two types of books:
- Leanpub-generated. This way, the author uses Leanpub to generate the ebook. Authors can easily create Leanpub-generated books using a number of writing modes, including Dropbox, GitHub, Bitbucket, Google Docs, and even a visual editor or an in-browser text editor. With any of these modes, they can preview or publish their books with one click. Most of the books which are sold on Leanpub are Leanpub-generated books, and all Leanpub-generated books are available in all formats.
- Bring your own book. Leanpub also lets authors sell books which they have produced via their own workflows, and upload the ebook files to us. Some authors like to write in Word and save a PDF. Other authors like to write in LaTeX, for highly technical or academic books, and then generate a PDF. So, if an author uses our bring your own book workflow to upload a PDF, then we only have the PDF to sell. Similarly, if an author uploads only an EPUB file, then that's all we can sell. (Yes, if an author uploads an EPUB file, we do not support it in the Leanpub App. This is to make our software testing lives easier: there are lots of different ways to make EPUB files, and to keep things simple, the Leanpub App only supports EPUB files which were produced by Leanpub.)