Earning a Living as a Writer

Many people dream of becoming writers one day. The possibility of making money selling books filled with their creative writing, stories, or solutions is exciting. However, many don’t know what it takes to get their books traditionally or self-published or how much money they can make as writers. In this episode, long-time MILMO Show listener Randy Surles gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to write, edit, and publish a book that will have commercial success, whether traditionally or self-published. SGM Randall Surles (Ret.) served for nearly 32 years in the Army as an infantryman in the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he parachuted into Panama during Operation Just Cause. He then served over 20 years as a Green Beret in various positions, specializing in medicine, weapons, tactics, and intelligence. While still serving on active duty, Randy completed his BA in U.S. History from Campbell University and his MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Texas at El Paso. After retiring, Randall Surles trained under editor Shawn Coyne to become one of a handful of Story Grid Certified Editors. He currently works as a Podcaster, Developmental Editor, Book Coach, Ghost Writer, and Author. He specializes in editing military fiction and non-fiction books, but also enjoys editing/ writing Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Thrillers. Additionally, Randy was the co-host of two podcasts. The Story Grid Showrunners podcast Selling Girls in America is a podcast sponsored by Guardian Group about human trafficking in the United States.

Earning a Living as a Writer Episode Details

This episode provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the writing and publishing world from someone with direct military and professional experience in the industry.
  • Randy shares his journey from the military to becoming a writer and editor, including getting his MFA and training to become a StoryGrid-certified editor
  • Insights into the traditional publishing world vs. self-publishing as a writer, including advances, royalties, and marketing
  • The reality of how much money writers can actually make and what it takes to earn a full-time living as a writer
  • Randy’s tips for building an author platform, marketing books on Amazon, and the importance of finding your niche as a writer/editor
  • Details on Randy’s Skillbridge internship program to train transitioning service members to become editors and writers
  • Game Time tests Randy’s knowledge of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage that he completed in Spain

Earning a Living as a Writer Resources

Related: Make Money as a Virtual Assistant

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