A New Feature Inspired By NaNoWriMo: The Leanpub Word Count

published Nov 22, 2012

Inspired by NaNoWriMo, Leanpub has added a new feature: an optional public word count for your book.

If you switch this feature on, whenever you publish a new version of your book, anyone visiting your book’s landing page can see your word count. We hope this will help motivate Wrimos in the final push to the end of November, and give their friends (and readers) a new way to show encouragement — and to apply gentle pressure where necessary!

Publishing Your Book While You’re Writing It

One reason Leanpub is a NaNoWriMo sponsor is that we also believe receiving encouragement from others, and making your writing plans public, is a great way to motivate you to keep working on your book project. Writing is always going to be a solitary thing in some ways, but in the digital age there are alternatives to writing in severe “stealth mode”. Keeping your manuscript hidden away from the world until you’re not only merely done, but really most sincerely done, is only a cultural convention, after all.

The Leanpub motto is “Publish Early, Publish Often”. This reflects our commitment to in-progress publishing: getting your first chapters out there early, and interacting with your early-adopter readers (even if it is just your Mum and a couple of obliging friends), can be a really rewarding experience. That way you can get feedback and encouragement at a point in the writing process where otherwise you might have already abandoned your computer to clean your room for the ninth time or re-watch all five seasons of Friday Night Lights. The best antidote to procrastination is having eager readers waiting for your next chapter, even if at the beginning it’s only one or two people.

And of course, when you’re finished writing your book this way, you can still approach traditional publishers in the traditional fashion. But you’ll have already had the reinforcement that comes from having actual readers actually read your work, which is, as any author will tell you, awesome.

Originally published at leanpub.com.

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