The Segue

PD Martin introduces guest blogger – Lindy Cameron

Today I’d like to welcome fellow Aussie author Lindy Cameron to Murderati. I met Lindy through the fantastic Victorian chapter of Sisters in Crime. A great woman who’s moved from author to author/publisher I thought it would be interesting to hear her story. Why did she start her own publishing company?  Over to Lindy…


There are many things in the life of this author that try my patience. And the fact that I can actually do that, to myself, is somewhat ridiculous.

I am the Queen of Procrastination. And I say that like I am the only author who can say that, which is also ridiculous, because all writers mainline Avoidance like it’s a drug.

In fact, if you don’t find everything else to do but write, then you’re not really a writer.

Got a book deadline? Time to try out a new laksa recipe. Hmm, might have to wait until the zucchinis finish growing. Write another chapter while the stock is doing its thing – done. Oh look – the dog wants to go out; come back in; go out; eat the kitty litter. Finish chapter 10. Clean up the shredded six-pack of toilet paper. Start Chapter 11. Do a load of washing. Rewrite Chapter 11. Research just how that particular bullet will react with that metal after it’s gone through Bad Guy No 4.  Oh look – that Facebook meme about how to write is hilarious. No I really, really don’t want to change my power company, young man. Just because I answered the front door because, yes, I am AT home doesn’t mean I’m not working AT home. I’m a writer – damn it!

It is totally beyond me how I’ve managed to write five crime novels and co-write two true crime books, plus blah-blah-blah, in the last decade or so. And that always seems like a lot, until I realise I know some authors – like actually know them – who write one or two (egad!) crime novels a year.

And then I remember my biggest, weirdest and – as many people (including my partner and me) have suggested – craziest avoidance technique of all.

I started a publishing company.

I did this (in 2010) for a number of reasons. Mostly because I realised I had all the necessary skills to do something so utterly wackadoo – and in the middle of what everyone else was calling the GFC (whatever the hell that was).

I did it because I discovered there were two or 20 authors out there – apart from me – who were a little dissatisfied (understatement much?) with the Way of Big Publishers.

I also did it because I was lucky enough to snaffle some of those very same authors. Yes, I talked them into my fold, enticed them into my web, convinced them I wasn’t a complete loon, and welcomed them into my Clan.

I managed this, in some cases, because I wanted to publish certain books – by those established authors, I mean – that their existing Big Publisher didn’t want to touch because they might confuse the author’s existing readership.

[Ooh, can’t possibly ruin our crime writer’s rep by letting them go all paranormal, or write a historical novel, or something with a pirate in it!]

As an Independent Publisher, I also set about finding new Australian crime and thriller writers; publishing the back lists of existing thriller writers; republishing out-of-print crime and historical fiction; mentoring debut authors; and seeking out sf, f, duf, h, c, tc, and all the other fabulous letters that go with being a ‘capital G’ Genre publisher.

Crime and thrillers are my first love – they are what I write, after all; when I do write, I mean; you know, when I’m not publishing; really, you need to go out again? Get off the cat! What?…

But in the third year of my little company, Clan Destine Press, I’ve also discovered I needed to add r, rr & e (romance, rural romance & erotica) to the list. 


Because I can!

And there are also ‘trends’ which, as a publisher, one needs to be aware of.

One of the joys of being an Independent Publisher in the 21st Century is that we are not confined to paper.

Most of our books are paperbacks; but they are also eBooks.

And this year, more and more of our books will be eBooks first – to test the waters, to launch new careers, to get more voices out there sooner, to bring the world more fantasy, spec fic, science fiction, erotic adventures, historical fiction, and best of all: more crime and thrillers and thrilling crime and…

Now Chapter 12, where was I?


Phillipa (PD) here again…if you’ve got any questions or comments for Lindy, go for it! Lindy and I will be dropping by!

8 thoughts on “The Segue

  1. Jake Nantz

    Bravo! I think it's wonderful that you saw a hole in fabric of the publishing industry and stepped in to fix it. I'd think new writers would love to work with someone more forward thinking like that. My question is, being a writer first, how did you adapt/change the traditional boilerplate that so many of the "new" breed of writers re rebelling against (and thus are making their own way in the ebook revolution)?

  2. Allison Davis

    Lindy, what was your biggest hurdle to overcome to get going? I recently produced a CD of a young song writer — because I wanted to (it also put off finishing the editing of my latest manuscript) and besides the money all kinds of other things came up. I assumed you found some money to start with — after that, what was the path like? (PD: nice blog, Lindy has many talents including making us laugh). thanks.

  3. Lindy

    Thank you for the welcome everyone.
    Jake – the funny thing about writers is that, while there are so many options for self-publishing these day, most would still rather be published by a Publishing House. It doesn't seem to matter that their book starts (or even stays) as an eBook (yes, something they could've done themselves) but simply being associated with a publishing house – and therefore with other authors as well – is the important thing.
    And there are so many benefits to 'belonging' like a) being professionally edited; b) have fabulous cover designs; c) ensuring the book is available in as many outlets as possible; d) market and pr – which so often works better when done in conjunction with other similar books.
    I didn't have to adapt anything at all really – I just had to say: I love your book, this is what we can do for you; do you want to come play with us?

  4. Lindy

    Alison – Yes I had some seed money. Can't do anything without that. The rest of it went surprisingly smoothly. Having been a book editor/typesetter (typesetter is such an old-fashioned word for what we do these days) for a long time – getting the first three books out was easy.
    Everything I had to do for the process of turning a ms into a book I already knew, and had done before.
    All the other stuff – like sourcing a Printer, and a Distributor, like learning the basics of marketing and all the awful stuff I hadn't given ANY thought to before I started like 'accounting (did you know that involves numbers? No words – just numbers) – I learnt as I went along. I also have so many contacts in the Publishing world that I have no end of people to corner and say: why the hell did I do this? How do I do this particular thing? and Isn't this FUN!
    The second best thing is still getting the first books back from the Printer. It's NEARLY as good as getting my own first copy of something I wrote. The best thing, for the Publisher in me, is to hand those first copies to my authors.

    Alexandra – thanks for welcome

  5. Reine

    Phillipa. Lindy. I'm so late. I was unteaching my assistance dog how to use the electronic controller on my wheelchair. Oh no. Gotta go. The message screen on the controller is flashing a warning sign: Attendant is Missing or Defected! I really gotta go. Nice meeting you Lindy! Bye Phillipa! xoxo

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