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What formats do Leanpub ebooks come in?
What formats do Leanpub ebooks come in?

Keywords: What do the PDF, EPUB, and WEB mean? How do I read an ebook in one of the formats? Why do some books not have all formats?

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Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago
What formats do Leanpub ebooks come in?

In a section near the top of every Leanpub book page, just above the "About the Book" section, 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, and on the web in your internet browser.

Please note that Leanpub only sells ebooks.

There is no DRM on any of our ebooks.

What Are the Different Ebook Formats?

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. For more information about Leanpub PDFs, please go here.

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.

WEB - This means the book is available to be read in your internet browser.

Why are some Leanpub books only available in PDF? Why are other books only available in EPUB?

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:

  1. 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, or our in-browser plain 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.

  2. Uploaded. 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 Upload writing mode 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.)

OK, that's it!

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