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What is Leanpub?

Keywords: author, writer, book, Leanpub, in-progress, self-publishing, books, ebooks

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Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago
What is Leanpub?

Leanpub is a unique self-publishing platform and bookstore that provides authors with the best way in the world to write, publish and sell in-progress and completed ebooks.

When you buy a Leanpub book, you will get all future updates to the book for free. Updates may include simple improvements like typo fixes, or entirely new chapters, depending on how complete a book is when you buy it. All our books are DRM-free.

For a high-level discussion of the ideas behind Leanpub, please see this talk by Leanpub co-founder Peter Armstrong:

A Unique Platform for Self-Published or Indie Authors to Write and Publish Books

When you write a book using one of our "writing modes", you can generate ebook files in PDF and EPUB formats.

You can then publish your book on Leanpub or elsewhere - it's up to you!

If you do choose to publish your book on our bookstore, we pay an 80% royalty rate on every sale.

Uploading Ebooks to Leanpub

If you've already written a book and you have your ebook files, you can upload them to Leanpub in just a few minutes; here's our step-by-step walkthrough.

Writing Your Book Using Leanpub

Leanpub is a bit unique because of our focus on in-progress publishing: we make it easy to publish your book chapter-by-chapter, as you write it, and even go back and editing chapters you've already published.

If you want to get started right now, you can go here to choose a "writing mode" and set up a new book any time!

If you'd like to do a little research first, you can find step-by-step tutorials for all our writing modes here.

What is Markua?

If you write a book on Leanpub, you'll be writing in plain text, using our markup syntax for books, which is called Markua.

If terms like "plain text" and "markup syntax" and phrases like "Markdown for books" don't mean anything to you, please see this (hopefully!) fun article.

Getting Your Book Into Print

Obviously if you're publishing your book in-progress, releasing new versions of the book as you write and publish new chapters, it will be available in ebook format.

But when you're book is 100% complete, we can help you get it into print!

If you've written your book in one of our own book writing modes, you'll be able to click a button to get the PDF file you'll need to use most "Print-On-Demand" services, like Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) or Ingram. Here's our article explaining how this works:


This Help Center has hundreds of articles, many of which were written directly in response to questions authors have asked us over the years.

If you can't find an answer here, you may want to try joining our worldwide community of authors on our Authors Forum, which you can join after you create your first Leanpub book.

And of course you can always email your questions to the Leanpub team anytime at

OK, that's it!

If you have any feedback or questions about this article, please email the Leanpub team about it at!

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Are you interested in self-publishing, and creating your first Leanpub book? Here are some quick tutorials for our most popular writing modes:

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