SUMM 608
FRIDAY, August 16 2013
9:00am -5:00pm [Room 2960]
$225.00 CDN (includes course material)

In this hands-on, one-day workshop on the future of publishing, every participant will create and publish an ebook on Leanpub, as well as participate in a discussion of approaches for writing, publishing and marketing their book.

The workshop will start with a presentation on the core concepts of lean publishing. These include how lean publishing differs from traditional self-publishing, how writing a book is similar to creating a startup, and lessons from lean startups, the customer development process, blogs and open source software. The presentation will discuss how lean publishing especially applies to non-fiction, and what it means for readers and publishers. After this presentation, we will have a short but (hopefully!) lively discussion of the lean publishing ideas.

The bulk of the workshop will consist of putting these lean publishing ideas into practice. Every workshop participant will create and either preview or publish an ebook on Leanpub by the end of the workshop. (Every book will be capable of being published, but there may not be enough content for the author to feel comfortable

doing so; in these cases we will just preview the book.) The book will either be started from scratch, or if the author has written content (such as a blog) with an RSS feed, we will import this content. We will write the books in a text editor like TextEdit using Markdown for the formatting. Markdown is a simple plain-text writing format which has been traditionally used as a way of producing HTML.

We will learn the basics of Markdown in the workshop: the amount of Markdown you need to know to write a book can be learned in between 5 minutes and 30 minutes based on how much formatting you are trying to do.

After discussing the lean publishing ideas and putting them into practice creating a book, if time permits we will also discuss marketing approaches, pricing and other considerations. Questions to discuss may include how long should a book be before being first published when in-progress, what the price should be, advantages of variable pricing (in which a book has a suggested and a minimum price, and readers are able to choose any price as long as it is at least the minimum), how to connect with readers, how often new versions should be published, etc.


Peter Armstrong is the co-founder of Leanpub, and the author of LeanPublishing, Hello! Flex 4 and Flexible Rails. Peter coined the term “lean publishing”, which describes the act of self-publishing an in-progress ebook. He has written a manifesto about lean publishing (, and is writing an in-progress ebook about it. Leanpub was founded based on the principles in this manifesto. He has over a decade of experience as a software developer, with eight years of experience doing software development at Silicon Valley startups before founding his own consulting company, Ruboss, in 2008. He is a frequent speaker about lean publishing and startup entrepreneurship. He lives in the Vancouver, BC area with his wife and son. Besides writing, he enjoys snowboarding and playing StarCraft 2.

Registration Form