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I love getting updates to books I've bought on Leanpub, but is there a way to compare versions, so I can see what has changed specifically?
I love getting updates to books I've bought on Leanpub, but is there a way to compare versions, so I can see what has changed specifically?

Keywords: change, changelog, version, versions, new version, compare

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Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago
I love getting updates to books I've bought on Leanpub, but is there a way to compare versions, so I can see what has changed specifically?

One of our core missions at Leanpub is to make it easy for authors to publish their books chapter-by-chapter, as they write them, and to easily publish updates to their books, from fixing typos to adding new images, or anything else they need.

Opting In to Receive Update Emails from the Author About Their Book

Readers love getting updates to ebooks they've purchased on Leanpub, and typically authors will share information about major updates with their readers. You can opt in to receive these update emails on your "Email Settings" page here:

Comparing Book Versions

There are many ways to compare documents! We'll include some examples below.


Many Leanpub authors include a Changelog that documents changes between versions. You can often find this in the back of the book, if the author has created one. They may also have set up a web page where they document their changes; if so, there will probably be a link to the changelog in the introduction to their book.

Dedicated Version Comparison Apps

There are lots of apps out there for comparing versions of documents!

Adobe Acrobat, for example, has a "Compare files" tool:

If you don't have Adobe Acrobat, or you don't want to pay for an app, a quick search may help you find free resources online, that will help you compare ebook files.

Quick Note: There is currently no way to download older versions of an ebook from Leanpub.

When an author updates a Leanpub book, that instantly updates the file you'll download from your Leanpub library.

So, if you want to compare versions yourself, you should create a folder for the ebook somewhere, and name the versions you download sequentially.

For example, if you wanted to compare versions of the Markua Manual,, you might to set up a folder called Markua Manual, and whenever you download a new version, add 1 to the filename at the end of the new file, so you'll end up with a list like this:



If an author has used Git and GitHub to write their book, then they may have a public repository, or some other open access resource, where you can track their changes in detail.

Using AI to Compare Documents

We tried using ChatGPT 4 to compare two very short PDF versions of a fantasy novel (itself generated by Chat GPT 4), where we just added a second four-paragraph chapter to a first four-paragraph chapter. (You can see the generated content on Len's X/Twitter account here.) and while it gave a good description of the changes, it explicitly stated it could not display the word-for-word changes:

Trying to get GPT 4 to compare two PDF documents

It appears that word-for-word document comparison is a use case that may be purposefully excluded from Chat GPT 4:

If you know of a way to get Chat GPT 4 to do this, or if you know another AI service that can do it, please email the team at, if you'd like to write a guest post for us! If you're a Leanpub author, you can also share your insights in a post on our Authors Forum here.

Contact the Author

You can also contact the author to let them know you're interested in see comparisons between versions:

How can I contact a Leanpub author?

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

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