Creative Writing Fiction 3 minutes min2024-03-15 12:00

Leeanna Morgan: From Local Librarian to Bestselling Romance Author

Picture of Leeanna Morgan holding one of her books.

We sat down with romance author Leeanna Morgan to learn about her incredible journey from local librarian to full-time author earning over $400,000 a year.

You started writing later in life with no prior experience. What inspired you to write your first book?

I was about 40 years old when I read a poem about an elderly woman filled with regrets about not living life to the fullest. It made me think—I don’t want to be 88 and wish I had tried something new or taken more risks. As a librarian surrounded by books every day, I decided to set a goal to write and publish a book before I turned 50.

What was the process like writing that first book?

I had no idea what I was doing! I sent the first three chapters to some writing competitions in the US and was shocked when they were finalists. That gave me confidence to keep writing. I took about a year to finish the book, letting people read sections and give me input. When my mom finally said “just publish the darn book,” I hit publish in April 2014—without even having an editor read it!

So your first book you edited completely yourself?

Yes! And when I went back and reread it later, I was mortified by the mistakes. That’s when I started having my mom and other readers provide feedback. I was still scared to show an actual editor though—even now I get nervous sharing my early drafts!

When did you start using ProWritingAid and how has it helped you?

I started using ProWritingAid around 2016. It has been invaluable in improving my writing and speeding up the editing process. Since I don’t have a formal background in writing or editing, the suggestions help me express what I want to say more clearly. It keeps the tone of my writing but makes the story stronger. I couldn’t publish four books a year without it!

Walk us through your writing and editing process now.

After writing a first draft, I run it through ProWritingAid to catch overused words, grammar issues, pacing problems, etc. Then my mom reads it for emotional impact and flow. My friend Ellie, a trained editor, does the final edit for sentence structure and other line edits. The ProWritingAid edits make the story much cleaner before I send it to Ellie though.

Picture of Leeanna Morgan beside quote reading

You now earn over $400K a year as an author. Did you ever expect writing to become such a lucrative career?

Not at all! I was shocked after that first year earning $54K. I thought if I wrote more books, I could turn this into a real income. The next year I earned $140K. Now, just eight years after publishing that first book, my income is regularly in the $350–450K range. I still have to pinch myself!

What’s next for you as an author? Any new goals?

I opened a Shopify site recently to sell eBooks, paperbacks, audiobooks, and more direct to readers. My next goal is to hit $1 million in annual earnings. I’m also working on outsourcing more parts of my business so I can focus on writing. I truly love this career and am so grateful to all my readers for making it possible!

Watch Leeanna and others describe how they rely on ProWritingAid in their editing process here.

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