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Creating Blurbs and Adding Custom Blurb Icons in Your Book
Creating Blurbs and Adding Custom Blurb Icons in Your Book

Keywords: blurb, blurbs, icon, icons, Font Awesome, custom, callout, sidebar

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Written by Leanpub Support
Updated over a week ago
Creating Blurbs and Adding Custom Blurb Icons in Your Book

If you'd like to distinguish a special type of paragraph from ordinary paragraphs in a book, you can do that in a Leanpub book by adding "blurbs".

Blurbs will be familiar to readers of technical books and textbooks. They are used throughout a book as a special "Tip" or "Information" or "Warning" paragraph, that people will recognize when they come across them throughout the book.

What Ordinary Paragraphs Look Like, and How You Write Them

Here's what normal paragraphs in a Leanpub book look like:

Here is the manuscript text for that section:

# Basic formatting

You can start new chapters by starting a line with a # sign and a space, and then typing your chapter title, just like you can see at the top of this page, where you see # The Basics on a line by itself.

You can create multiple chapters in one file, but we recommend one chapter per file. This way, your manuscript files will be easier to navigate. So, for example, this chapter is contained in the file named "The Basics" that you can see listed under the "Manuscript" menu to the left. "The Basics" is in bold in the menu, because it is the file that is currently selected.

(If you start typing in here, the Manuscript menu and all the other menus will go away, so that you can relax and focus on your writing! Just click outside of this text area, and all the menus will come back.)

You can make a thematic break with three asterisks, like this:

By the way, the above formatting is actually *all* you need to know to write a typical novel using Markdown formatting! To write a technical book, however, you'll need to know a bit more Markdown, and learn a bit about Markua.

Turning a Paragraph Into a Blurb

To turn a paragraph into a blurb, you just add B> to the beginning of the paragraph.

So, if we wanted to make the second paragraph in the example above into a blurb, we would do this:

B> You can create multiple chapters in one file, but we recommend one chapter per file. This way, your manuscript files will be easier to navigate. So, for example, this chapter is contained in the file named "The Basics" that you can see listed under the "Manuscript" menu to the left. "The Basics" is in bold in the menu, because it is the file that is currently selected.

Here's what this blurb will look like, centered on the page and in a smaller font:

If you want to do a multi-paragraph blurb, you would do this in your manuscript:

# Basic formatting

You can start new chapters by starting a line with a # sign and a space, and then typing your chapter title, just like you can see at the top of this page, where you see # The Basics on a line by itself.

B> You can create multiple chapters in one file, but we recommend one chapter per file. This way, your manuscript files will be easier to navigate. So, for example, this chapter is contained in the file named "The Basics" that you can see listed under the "Manuscript" menu to the left. "The Basics" is in bold in the menu, because it is the file that is currently selected.
B>
B>(If you start typing in here, the Manuscript menu and all the other menus will go away, so that you can relax and focus on your writing! Just click outside of this text area, and all the menus will come back.)

You can make a thematic break with three asterisks, like this:

By the way, the above formatting is actually *all* you need to know to write a typical novel using Markdown formatting! To write a technical book, however, you'll need to know a bit more Markdown, and learn a bit about Markua.

Note the extra B> on a line by itself, which you need to add to the manuscript, to continue the blurb across consecutive paragraphs:

In your next preview, you will now see that you have a multi-paragraph blurb:

Note: If you're interested in the technical details of how this works, you can find the section on Blurbs in the Markua specification here.

Using Leanpub's Different Classes of Blurbs to Add More Icons to Your Blurbs

You can set a special "class" on a blurb to add an icon to the blurb.

These are the standard blurb "classes" you can choose from:

- Center

- Discussion

- Error

- Information

- Tip

- Warning

Just like adding B> to the beginning of a paragraph in your manuscript turns the paragraph into a blurb in your book, so will using the first letter of each of these class names.

To set out the options in detail:

D> will create a Discussion blurb

E> will create an Error blub

I> will create an Information blurb

Q> will create a Question blurb

T> will create a Class blurb

W> will create a Warning blurb

X> will create an Exercise blurb

Each blurb "class" has its own unique icon. Here's an example of what all the blurb icons look like in a book:

Note: The icon for an "Error" blurb is a bug. That's because many of these blurb classes have their origin in computer programming books. If you've ever wondered why an error in the engineering world is called a "bug", read this cool history of the term.

Adding Other Icons to Blurbs

The icons for Leanpub blurbs are from Font Awesome.

Each Font Awesome icon has a name. You can use any available Font Awesome icon on a blurb by adding its name to the blurb.

You can search for icons here:

The icons have names like vehicle, positive, delete, gem, car, and, believe it or not, leanpub!

You can't use the D> method for using these icons, though, since Leanpub's book generators need to know the full name of the unique icon you want to use.

You have to add a directive in curly brace { } above a blurb to add a different icon.

Here are some examples of how you would use different icon names to add different icons to blurbs in your manuscript:

{icon: car}
B> You can't spell carbon without it!

{icon: leanpub}
B> Yes, we're in Font Awesome!

{icon: github}
B> So is GitHub, of course. Unicorns.

{icon: gem}
B> This is a gem of an icon.

Here's what this will look like in the book:

We Don't Support Pro Font Awesome Icons, Sorry

Font Awesome has paid plan "Pro" icons, which we don't support, sorry about that!


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