Even though I was using Xp boosters, I found the grind to be very light from 1~30.
My first toon made it all the way to 20 before I even noticed the free ap. And i got there in about 12 hours or so.
I recommend, for max xp gain and coin gain, doing all the quest.
Once you finish a region, move on to another. There are always 3 regions within your level range that will have quest for you.
The quill merchant sells book, each book gives you more quest and is also a good way to earn coin.