8 min 19 sec

Electrical Engineer Becomes Romance Novel Cover Model

Turn up the heat! An electrical engineer becomes the cover model for an indie romance series. This leads to a side gig that pays an additional $20-50,000 a year.
Acting Arts & Crafts Modeling Service Unique Ideas

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What It's About

An aspiring actor turns a page and finds opportunity in a steamy romance series.

Business Model
Arts & Crafts
Skills Required
Resourcefulness & Marketing
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Whether you're breaking into modeling for romance authors or starting any other side hustle one thing remains the same—there is no straight path to success. Instead, there are an infinite number of paths, which means you never know what door will open. Keep an open mind and try lots of things out.

Fun Fact

Devon has had some pretty interesting requests over the years. An avid fan of the Pierce Securities Series once asked if he could sign his real name, the character's name, and include a lock of his hair inside the book!

Notes from Chris

Episode 396

Devon Ryan was a dedicated electrical engineering student at the University of Texas. The engineering program took up much of his time, but despite how incredibly “left-brained” such a field was, he had a secret creative desire—to pursue acting.

But unfortunately, he’d never taken an acting or drama class. With a course load full of challenging mathematical and science prerequisites for his engineering degree, his desires to see himself on the silver screen ended up taking the backseat to his “more practical” degree.

Devon graduated with that degree and jumped right into the workforce, taking a job for the federal government. It was a good, stable job, and he felt like he was being challenged. But, as is typical of bureaucracy with lots of red tape to cross, the pace of the work was slower than he preferred, and he found himself with more spare time than expected. The increase in time and resources provided him with a unique opportunity to pursue new projects on his own.

That’s when he decided that it might be time to revisit his interest in acting… but little did he know where he’d end up.

Devon said that that first class was the acting equivalent of falling flat on his face in front of a large group of people. But not being one to throw in the towel easily, Devon kept going to class, and over time, he saw real improvement.

So much so in fact that his acting teacher told him that since he was no longer terrible, he should really consider getting some headshots.

He took the advice, scheduling an appointment with a photographer, and paid about $400 to get a round of traditional headshots taken. Here’s an important detail: Devon had been working out. He was proud of his abs. He threw in an extra $50 and asked the photographer to do some shots of him posing with his shirt off.

Not long after uploading his model shots to Model Mayhem, Devon had a number of photographers reaching out to book him for modeling gigs.

But his biggest break came about from a local Texas romance author named Anne Conley who swore in her first message to him that he was essentially the physical manifestation of the main character in her book series Pierce Securities, featuring attention-grabbing titles such as Bond, Wire, Grab, Hitch, and Murmur.

It opened the door to so many new opportunities for Devon, and these days you can find him on any given day jetting off to Australia for a quick swimsuit shoot or acting in major primetime commercials.

And he’s not just doing it to maintain his washboard abs. This unique side hustle brings him in an additional $20,000-50,000 a year depending on the volatility of the industry. And it all came from being featured on the cover of a romance series.

Here are some of my top romance novel picks:

1. Reckless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell

2. Fried Chicken and Gravy: A Christian Romance by Sherri Schoenborn Murray

3. Time Anomaly: A Time Travel Romance by Lindsey Fairleigh

4. Beauty and the Mustache: A Philosophical Romance by Penny Reid

5. Bridesmaid for Hire: A Valentine's Day Romance by Chance Carter



Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,




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Quote of the Day
"Think big, take baby steps, and test all assumptions."
—Devon Ryan #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau