SFFMP 32: Traditional Publishing, Indie Publishing, and Writing More Words Per Day with Rachel Aaron

Today we chatted with Rachel Aaron on the differences in marketing between traditional publishing (she has two series out with Orbit Books) and indie publishing (she went her own way last year with Nice Dragons Finish Last). She’s also the author of the popular 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love, a book that has helped a lot of us, one of your hosts included, get more words down in a day. Lastly, Rachel blogs about writing and marketing, so check that out too.

We chatted about a lot of topics, but here’s a look at some of what we covered:

  • How Rachel got her start and first signed on with an agent and Orbit
  • What traditional publishing canΒ bring to the table in terms of marketing
  • Differences in earnings between trad publishing and self-publishing
  • How Rachel went from writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000 words a day in roughly the same amount of time (she breaks down the three keys to success that she talks about in her book and on her blog)
  • Addressing the myth that faster writing means shoddier writing (as Rachel and Lindsay have found, they write better when they’re in the flow and get the ideas out quickly!)
  • Rachel’s experience with KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited, and some of the patterns she discovered with Amazon’s algorithms (i.e. how Amazon picks a winner and helps it sell more books)
  • Pricing ebooks, traditional vs. indie
  • Longer books, versus shorter books, versus just writing what the story demands and not worrying about the market
  • What aspects of self-publishing that she finds most appealing and most difficult
  • The importance of not worrying too much about numbers and keeping it fun


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  • I really enjoyed this episode! I’ve listened to a couple of your podcasts before, but I felt like I had to go over to this site and leave a comment/compliment. Rachel Aaron’s book 2k to 10k has been a really big help to me, because it made me really think about how I was going about writing scenes.

    • SFFpodcast

      Thanks for checking us out, SB! Yes, Rachel’s book is very helpful! It was part of what motivated me to finally get the word count up there. πŸ™‚

  • Another interesting episode, as ever. Lots of notes taken and info logged. You guys are getting some great guests on πŸ™‚

    If I had a question for the three of you for the show, where would be the best place to send it/put it please?

    Cheers, Craig.

    • SFFpodcast

      Thanks for listening, Craig! Boy, we still haven’t gotten a contact form up here, have we? You can email me at BurokerL AT comcast DOT net in the meantime, if you like. πŸ™‚

  • Sean McKay

    I’ve loved how deep into the numbers that Rachel Aaron was.