It might sound like a hipster place selling low-fat beer, but leanpub is actually much more than that. I came across it the other day when I bought Rafael Irizarry’s (excellent) book on Data Analysis for the Life Sciences.
Now, let me start off by saying that you won’t get a printed book for your shelf from leanpub; they publish ebooks only at the moment. The great thing that leanpub offers, compared to many academic publishers, is that the author and customer are in (almost) complete control of the book prize. The author can set a guide prize, and leanpub will take a cut of about 10%, but the customer can choose to pay less (or more) at they wish. The authors benefit by having a sleek platform to sell their ebooks from, and the customers benefit by not having to pay outrageous prizes for academic books.
All in all, leanpub seems like a brilliant idea, and I will definitely use it if I ever write a book. Perhaps the only small niggle I had was that the PDF that was delivered to me did not have a nice filename (they’d simply removed all spaces from the title); I think this is something that leanpub should enforce to look more professional.