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I want to stop selling my book on Leanpub, but it is not finished. What should I do about people who have bought my book on Leanpub?
I want to stop selling my book on Leanpub, but it is not finished. What should I do about people who have bought my book on Leanpub?

Keywords: stop, unfinished, unpublish, retire, not continue

Leanpub Support avatar
Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago

Authors sometimes decide to stop selling or "retire" their books on Leanpub, for all kinds of reasons.

Please note that most Leanpub readers are quite understanding when a book project is started and stopped in good faith!

For example, their book may get picked up by a publisher (congratulations!).

Or, the author may just decide the project is not worthwhile, for example if people don't seem to show much interest in it.

Also, sometimes this happens because the author has decided to finish the book on another platform, and they may want to come up with a way to make sure anyone who bought their book on Leanpub eventually gets a copy of the finished book, when the author does complete it using another service.

Regarding anyone who has already bought the book on Leanpub, we cannot provide the author with private contact information that belongs to their readers, like their readers' email addresses or names, or anything like that.

Please note that we do not unilaterally issue refunds for books; people do not like it if we make changes to their libraries like that. Anyone who wants a refund can get one with just a few clicks within 60 days of purchase (the instructions for getting a refund are set out in this article). If the 60 days have passed, and you want to personally offer them a refund yourself somehow (which is very kind), you can explain your offer to them using the methods detailed below.

Explaining the Situation to Your Readers

There are a couple of things you can do to explain the situation to your readers.

First, check to see if anyone has opted in to share their email address with you, by going here:

...making sure to replace YOUR_BOOK with your book's unique web address.

You are permitted to contact people using the email addresses provided there, just be sure to explain everything clearly and politely.

Second, we highly recommend you publish a new version of your book on Leanpub, with a new section called "A Message to My Readers" at the beginning of the book, that explains what you are doing. In that new section, we recommend you add your email address, so anyone who has bought the book can contact you if they want to.

Third, when you publish the new version of your book to include this new "A Message to My Readers" section, we recommend you use our feature to notify your readers when you publish the new version of the book. Only readers who have opted in to this feature will get the email notification, but most Leanpub readers do opt in to this feature, particularly readers of unfinished books, who are expecting updates.

Fourth, we recommend you update the About the Book details of your book with a similar section called "A Message to My Readers", where you explain the situation, asking them to download a new copy of the book from their Leanpub library, so they can get your contact information. In this section, you may also want to explain where people can get a copy of the book when it is completed, if your book has been picked up by a publisher, or something like that.

You can edit About the Book section of your book here:

Retiring Your Book

Finally, you should retire your book. After you retire your book, it will no longer be for sale on Leanpub, but the book will still be available for download in the Leanpub library of anyone who has bought a copy, and your book's landing page will still be visible to the public, so they can still see the About the Book section. That way, any existing reader can understand the situation if they download a new version or visit the book's landing page, and you can also use that page to point people to wherever else on the web they can buy your book, if it is going to be available for sale elsewhere.

Good luck in all your future efforts, and thank you for trying Leanpub!

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