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The Leanpub Author Update

The Leanpub Author Update for December 2019: Special New Year's Eve Edition!

This is our monthly author newsletter, which features news for Leanpub authors. You can subscribe or unsubscribe here or you can click the "unsubscribe from this list" link at the bottom of this email.


Well, there are a couple hours left in the year, so it’s time for the monthly Leanpub Author Update email!

Normally in this newsletter there’s news about what we’re doing, and a sale, and some podcast links. This one is going to be a bit different, in that it’s going to talk about New Year’s resolutions and how that relates to Leanpub books and courses.

Or, if you don't feel like reading it, you could just go buy a discounted Lifetime Standard Plan or Lifetime Pro Plan instead!

* * *

Anyway, some typical New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more, read more, look at your phone less, blah, blah, blah.



Who cares?

Really, do you?

When I make these types of resolutions I like to think I do.

But, I don’t.

Not really.

They're too small. Given the amount of effort or lifestyle change involved, they're not exciting enough. So I usually stop.

Ironically, many things that I have accomplished over the years which would have been good New Year’s resolutions (quitting smoking, quitting drinking, losing weight, drinking more water, writing a book, starting a company) never coincided with New Year’s Eve. They did, however, coincide with a quiet commitment and without drama. (Usually, the more drama I would attach to starting things meant there would be less chance of actually finishing them.)

So, what are some good things to commit to in 2020?

Well, since you've subscribed to this newsletter, here are three good candidates for goals:

  1. Write a(nother) book.
  2. Create a course out of that book.
  3. Do the work to market that book and course.

At Leanpub, we give you the tools for #1 and #2, and we give you the encouragement for #3 :) We also give you attractive book and course landing pages for #3, of course. But you still need to do the work!

Supporting these goals, here are some good candidates for habits:

  1. Write at least 30 minutes a day (either every day, or every weekday).
  2. Do marketing at least 30 minutes a week.
  3. If your book or course is done, consider switching the time lengths of #1 and #2.

Now, in this newsletter, we’re going to give you one more thing:

A discounted Lifetime Standard Plan or Lifetime Pro Plan!

You can go to and see the choices.

(Yes, we really hid this on the shelf spot purchase page, but no, you don’t actually get a shelf spot with the purchase!)

You can buy a Lifetime Standard Plan for $199 or a Lifetime Pro Plan for $299.

We also have monthly subscriptions still, of course, and we even have a free plan. However, nothing says New Year’s Resolution like spending actual money on an up-front commitment. Like a gym membership.

A Leanpub Pro Plan is a lifetime gym membership for your mind. For about the price of a gym membership for a year.

It won’t do the work for you, but it will be there for you. All you need is the motivation.

* * *

By the way, speaking of marketing and courses: when we launched courses, we totally screwed up. We focused on all the features, especially on the fact that you could add video and audio to courses.

What we should have done is emphasized that you can make a course out of an existing book really easily.

I’ve said this before, and this email is long enough as it is, but it’s true. So, to emphasize this, today I made my Programming for Kids book and course have a public GitHub repository (book branch, course branch) and free minimum prices.

So, if you want to see how easy it is to make a course out of a book, take a look at the repositories above. If you want to see a Leanpub course in action, just buy it for free and take it! You can test your Ruby skills too :)

Or, if you want to look at something smaller than that, we also have an example course here.

Recent Podcasts

Subscribe to our Frontmatter podcast for Leanpub author interviews for publishing industry interviews. These are our most recent podcast episodes...

Tom Hombergs - Tom is the author of the Leanpub book Get Your Hands Dirty on Clean Architecture: A Hands-on Guide to Creating Clean Web Applications with Code Examples in Java. In this interview, Tom talks about his background, how he got into programming, the value of doing a year abroad in high school, switching jobs and moving to Australia, software architecture, his book, and at the end, they talk a little bit about his experience as a self-published author. Listen Now

Larry Shushansky - Larry is the author of the book Independent Enough: A Book About Relationships. In this interview, Larry talks about his background, overcoming drug addictioin and serious illness, the US military draft process during the Vietnam war and his own service in Japan, the impact of US politics and polarization on people’s relationships, the nature of dependencies in personal relationships and what it means to be “Independent Enough”, his book, and at the end, they talk a little bit about his experience as a self-published author. Listen Now

David Clinton - David is the author of the Leanpub book Solving for Technology: How to quickly learn valuable new skills in a madly changing technology world. In this interview, David talks about his background, the challenges of teaching high school, whether or not teenagers looking for careers in software should go to university, big career changes, using technology to do modern education at scale, his books and his experience working with different publishers, and at the end, they talk a little bit about his experience as a self-published author. Listen Now

Ana Bell - Ana is the author of the Manning Publications course Get Programming with Python in Motion. In this interview, Ana talks about her background, how she got into Computer Science, and what it’s like teaching popular MIT programming courses both in person and online. Listen Now

Adam Bertram - Adam is the author of the Leanpub book Teach Me: How to Write How-to Technical Articles that Make Money. In this interview, Adam talks about his background, how he got into technology, remote work, ADHD, software automation, freelance and technical writing and negotiating pay, his books, and at the end, about his experience as a self-published author. Listen Now

Henning Schwentner - Henning is the author of the Leanpub book Domain Storytelling: A Collaborative Modeling Method. In this interview, Henning talks about his background, how he got into programming, the collaborative nature of programming and the importance of developing soft skills, the nature of Domain-Driven Design and Domain Storytelling and their application in the development of sophisticated ship navigation software for the port of Hamburg, the nature German compound words, his book, and at the end, they talk a little bit about his experience as a self-published author. Listen Now

Ricci Wolman - Ricci is the Founder and CEO of Written Word Media. In this interview, Ricci talks about her background, the challenges and benefits of beginning your career in the demanding environment of investment banking, the evolution of online marketing and ecommerce, some of the reasons email newsletters have proven to be such a good tool for marketing, her experience building a successful business that helps authors and publishers find the right readers for their books and drive book sales, and at the end, they talk about some important changes in the indie publishing industry that have been taking place recently. Listen Now

Helen Anderson - Helen is the author of the Leanpub book Big Data: From A to Z. In this interview, Helen talks about her background, her path to a career in tech, supply chain analysis, data science, working with imperfect data sets and issues around data visualization, career shifts, big data, her blogging, her books, and at the end, they talk a little bit about her experience as a self-published author. Listen Now

What's Next

We’re still working on improving the website, especially on mobile. We’re also going to be promoting courses in our newsletters more in 2020. So, if you were thinking of making a course, now’s the time to start!

Also, note that our Lifetime Standard Plans and Lifetime Pro Plans are lifetime, but you can only buy them on special occasions. So, if one of them appeals to you, get it now before we take them away again!

Thanks very much for being Leanpub authors!

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. If you have questions, please email (Don't reply to this email: we send it from an unmonitored email address.)

Also, we have monthly and weekly sale newsletters too!

The Leanpub Monthly Sale newsletter features a huge sale, plus news for Leanpub readers and links to recent podcast episodes. The Leanpub Weekly Sale newsletter is like our monthly sale, but a lot shorter, and weekly. If you like sales, and you like our emails, you'll probably like both of them.

You can subscribe or unsubscribe from all our emails from your email settings page. You can also subscribe to our emails from our mailing lists page.

Thanks for reading, and, as always, thanks for being a Leanpub author!

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