Places to Publish: Leanpub

Leanpub is a place to publish ebooks. Leanpub’s defining feature is they allow you to publish works in progress. You can show early drafts to readers to get their feedback.

To best use Leanpub, write your book in Markdown. Using Markdown makes the book formatting easier. Markdown may sound tricky, but if you’re publishing a novel, your book is mostly going to be plain text paragraphs.


Leanpub charges a fee of $99 per book.

Leanpub also takes a percentage of each sale. They take 10% of the book price plus 50 cents. If you sell an ebook for $10, you receive $8.50. In this example Leanpub takes 15% of the book price, half of what Amazon and Apple take.

Leanpub does not publish print books, but you can generate a PDF to publish at CreateSpace or another print on demand publisher.


Leanpub lets you publish and sell works in progress.

You can let your customers choose how much they want to pay for your book.

Leanpub’s royalty rate is higher than Amazon or Apple’s.


You can get a higher royalty rate by creating a website and selling your ebook there.

Readers who are unaware of your book’s existence are unlikely to stumble upon it at Leanpub. This problem isn’t specific to Leanpub. Most online book publishing services have a storefront of books to buy, but the average person isn’t aware of these storefronts. A reader who buys your book from Leanpub is probably going to get there from a link on your website.


Using Leanpub is a great way to get feedback from readers as you write your book. Leanpub also provides a way to easily produce electronic and print versions of a book and sell the electronic version.