Lean publishing

I liked publishing chapter by chapter when writing my first books. I could get feedback while writing and that was very motivating. Leanpub is set up for this, and it was an enjoyable experience. Easy to set up a new project and easy to update books — but since they started charging $99 per book ($125 for me with VAT), I can’t use them. I am not sure I will make the money back; I just do not sell that many books.

So, when I wrote Functional Data Structures in R, I instead used Gumroad. I’m not sure it is really geared for lean publishing, though — there isn’t much support making updates compared to Leanpub. I made $14.40 on that book on Gumroad, so you can see that paying $125 for hosting a project is not cost-effective.

Well, I say I made $14.40, but I have never actually received the money. They are supposed to pay out each week if the balance is above $10, but it has never happened to me — still, hope springs eternal.

Are there any Leanpub-like sites out there where one can publish without upfront payment? Everyone takes percentages, of course, and there is nothing wrong with that — I’m just not too keen on upfront payment.

Author: Thomas Mailund

My name is Thomas Mailund and I am a research associate professor at the Bioinformatics Research Center, Uni Aarhus. Before this I did a postdoc at the Dept of Statistics, Uni Oxford, and got my PhD from the Dept of Computer Science, Uni Aarhus.

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