After reading Rachel Aaron’s much-shared blog post about how she increased her daily word output, I decided to buy her book on the same topic, which, she claims, “combines several writing posts from my blog, cleaned up and expanded, with all new content, and all for under a buck.” 2k to 10k begins with the original blog post from Aaron’s blog, Pretentious Title, and includes several other chapters similarly based around her blog posts, such as Editing for People Who Hate Editing.
The book is full of good advice. It seems aimed at the intermediate writer – the writer who is, perhaps, not yet published but has a fair few thousand words under their belt. The blog posts chosen for inclusion in the book suit this target audience. Aaron’s tone is friendly and helpful – reflective of the original blog format, but equally appropriate in the book version.
The additional content created for the book adds depth to what she has said, providing illustrative examples of how Aaron has used her process to, for example, write a book in 12 days.
The claim that the posts have been “cleaned up”, however, falls flat. I noticed numerous errors, mostly typos, in the course of the book. One might expect a thorough copyedit should have taken place – the quality expected of a published book is higher than that expected of a blog post – but apparently this hasn’t taken place.
The chapters based on blog posts seem to be entirely unchanged from the original material. I haven’t done a paragraph by paragraph comparison of each chapter, but a quick glance suggests that the “expansion” claim is also something of an exaggeration. In some cases a little extra depth or more careful consideration would have been in order – as with copyediting, the quality expected of a book one buys is greater than that expected of a blog post.
Overall, then, this book is a well-chosen selection of blog posts and additional bits with some strong advice and a good tone, though it doesn’t do enough in the blog post chapters to distinguish itself from the original material. It felt like I was paying for the extra bits and the convenience of these posts being collected into one place, rather than for a standalone book of writing advice. However, at $0.99 or £0.77, it’s not a massive outlay. For the price that it is, it’s perfectly adequate.
I rate 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron 6/10. The reliance on blog posts which are already available online for free, and the failure to properly copyedit the book, leave it with something to be desired.