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NaNoWriMo publishing program filled with advice for authors

Photo of Logan Judy signing books after the program at the library.

Tuesday night's program by Jasper County author Logan Judy was a fantastic way to start off National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and a great guide for those thinking about publishing their own writing.

Judy, a student at Purdue, has been writing since he was about 12, and has been through the ups and downs familiar to hobby novelists. But as an adult, he decided he wanted to take his hobby one step further and try to make a career out of it.

"What the research is telling us, is self publishing is just as viable as any other form of publishing, perhaps more so," he told the group of about 15 at the Rensselaer Library Nov. 4, 2014.

Based on research he conducted when looking to publish his first novel, he discovered "more daily revenue goes to indie authors than those in the big five" publishing houses.

Because independently published "indie" authors can set their own book and ebook prices, and retain profits that would otherwise go to the publishing houses and to agents, the royalty prices derived from books can sustain an indie author longer than the one-time advance that most traditionally published authors receive, he said.

"Seventy percent of books never earn anything past the first advance, so that payment is like winning the lottery."

Speaking online with other indie authors, including icons such as J.A. Konrath, who had once been a big five author but had chosen to go independent, Judy got tips on how to find cover art and freelance editing and reader services, plus market his book using promotional giveaways and social media.

Since March, Judy's book, Finding Sage, has sold enough print and ebook copies to allow him to finance his second novel, the second part of a planned trilogy, and that is part of what he calls the key to effective marketing: always be writing.

"Lots of successful indie publishers will tell you best form of marketing is to release new books."

The tips were plentiful and grounded in real experience, such as his recent decision to branch out from Amazon and their print-on-demand publishing platform Createspace into other platforms such as Smashwords and the NOOK store, or the marketing lessons learned by publishers who did not address their talks or advertising to the correct markets for their genre, or who made mistakes in addressing their social media followers.

“Don’t tweet like a politician,” he said.

There were also plenty of positive notes as well, from the huge response he has gotten on twitter, the discipline he has learned by setting and meeting daily writing goals, or the annual boost he gets from NaNoWriMo, a program designed to encourage the budding novelist in anyone.

"This is an event focused on community, so you realize it’s not just you, in a cave, writing by yourself."

Judy said one of the most important thing writers can do is to read.

“Read all the time. This is something that is often overlooked, but it is practical and a good principle. I believe people producing art should consume it, but there a lot of good reasons to love reading. It helps you get your brain working, makes you more intelligent.

“I liken (writing) to playing an instrument. In order to be good you have to be bad for a long time.”

Judy cautioned that even with hard work, most writers will remain part-time writers their whole careers.

“This is not a great bubbling business opportunity. Even J.K. Rowling and Stephen King got rejected time and time again.”

But Judy said for those who have been afraid of the process, taking the step from being a writer to being a published writer is worth the effort.

"I want to make money, but I just love being a writer. If you have that, then at the end of the day you're just going to love having your book out there."

Judy can be found online at his website:, or on facebook at, or on twitter @loganrjudy.

He has been invited to be part of a symposium of local authors at the Tippecanoe County Public Library in Lafayette sometime in the spring of 2015.

Photo: Logan Judy, left, signs books for those attending the program.