Writing a Book 101 With Rachel Hollis

Jenna Kutcher 

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April 23, 2018


Rachel Hollis joins Jenna Kutcher on the Goal Digger Podcast to talk all about how to write a book and tips for getting started, how to come up with the content an self publishing vs. using a publisher.

Giddy up, Goal Diggers, because today we are digging into how to write a Book 101 with the incredible author and girl boss, Rachel Hollis! Rachel is the host of Dais podcast, and she was such a joy to interview.
This rockstar woman is a best-selling author, tv personality, public speaker, CEO, and mother of four. As if that wasn’t enough, Rachel was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the “Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30” and she is deeply passionate about women in business.

In addition to an online reach in the millions, Rachel has written several books from cookbooks and fiction series all the way to her most recent “Girl, Wash Your Face”. and has one of the most impressive book launch processes I’ve ever seen, and today she is peeling back the curtain and letting us see how the magic happens!


First things first, know your field. Rachel mentioned she reads “a lot” (AKA “3 books per week”!). Because she is such an avid reader she learned which genres she loved and which she didn’t, what made them different and what made them similar, etc. Simply put, she dove into the book world before writing.

And when she did start what happened? “….I started and stopped about 25 manuscripts.” I loved Rachel’s honesty and transparency about this process. In the episode, you hear the whole story, but to summarize, “The one thing I would recommend is to do your research: what’s the genre, fellow authors, word counts, submission process…”


Wow. This was one of the most clarifying 10 minutes of Goal Digger ever. How many of us have heard “published” versus “self-published” and never truly understood the difference?! Well, Rachel breaks it down for us, and WOW, there was a lot to know.

With traditional publishing, they will give you an “up-front” check that says “we believe that your book will sell at least enough that we will get this money back”. Essentially, the traditional publisher is your business partner. Once you sell your advance numbers, you start to get royalties (10%-40%) and so on and so forth.

However, if you self-publish, you get a massive royalty, but you don’t get any money “up front”. Rachel spoke to the fact that self-publishing often gets looked down upon, but it truly is a great option if you are smart, social media savvy, and ready to put the work in promoting it. Also, publishing takes a really long time when you go the traditional route, but it’s almost instant with self-publishing. All in all, Rachel breaks it down in such an easy to understand way (to find out what website Rachel recommends to self-publish, tune in!)


Okay, okay, you get it. Do your homework, choose the publishing route right for you… But how do you write it?! Rachel says you have to “immerse yourself in the culture.” Go to conferences, brainstorm, get out in nature, allow rest, write down any and every idea that pops into your mind.

Rachel said, “I always get the idea for the next book when I’m writing the current one”. You will get tempted to quit writing and move on to the next best thing, “It feels impossible to get through, the process is tedious, but you have to finish.” She also spoke to the fact that ideas are just kind of floating around, waiting. And that the things you are marinating on, fixating on, keep track of them because “Every idea you have is worth something”

If you have ever asked, how to write a book , “how to self-publish a book” or “how to get a book published” Rachel walks through each option with tangible advice. From creativity to finances, we are talking about it ALL! If writing has always been on your bucket list, but you don’t even know where to start, you are in the right place!

Click Here For Rachel’s “How To Write A Book” Blog!


Loved What You Heard About Slack? Find Out More HERE!

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  1. Jenna – Where have you been all my life? I’m so thankful that you “went viral” in recent weeks and that I discovered you. I am a psychologist, life coach, and entrepreneur, and have been working on some exciting yet scary new projects and I am so grateful you have come into my life at this time. I’m thoroughly enjoying a daily dose of you on Instagram and making my way through all your podcasts and blog posts. And now you’ve introduced me to Rachel Hollis – wow, what an incredibly gracious and generous woman. I loved this podcast and all that Rachel had to share. You both are such amazing “Tribe Leaders.” I’m feeling so strong and inspired, and ready to dive into my next scary adventure. Thanks so much!

  2. Love Rachel!! Can you remind me what podcast she mentioned at the very beginning that we should all be listening to?

  3. Sara Dunn says:

    Love love loved this episode! I am a new Rachel Hollis fan. I so appreciate how real and honest she was in this conversation… I feel a little scared to write a book now, but also encouraged.

  4. Tedra says:

    Rachel mentioned everyone should read Seth Godin’s book. Which one??? He has a bunch.
    Thanks!!! XO

  5. Why "Girl, Wash Your Face" Isn't A Cupcake ⋆ Fireworks & Leftovers says:

    […] learned about Rachel Hollis when she was a guest on Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast (episode #146). Hearing the vulnerability, realness, humor and pure desire to do good in the world was enough to […]

  6. Kristin says:

    This was a great episode! Thank you for sharing so openly.

  7. Radhika says:

    Just listened to this! Awesome episode of the podcast. So glad you and Rachel got together for this.


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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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