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Kate Stead is an indie author and publisher. She is passionate about helping indie authors first set and then achieve their self-publishing goals.


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Kate founded Old Mate Media, a boutique publishing company, in Sydney Australia, with her husband, award-winning author and editor Chris Stead. Focusing on creating beautiful and professional children’s and non-fiction books, she guides authors through the confusing landscape of the self-publishing industry. Kate’s career spans many industries, including molecular biology, events planning, corporate marketing and project management. She brings this diverse experience to publishing and is passionate about helping indie authors first set and then achieve their publishing goals.

How did you get into self-publishing?

Chris, my husband has worked in magazine and digital publishing for many years. With the arrival of our kids, he started writing stories to entertain them, going back to his roots of creative writing. After he created his own digital games magazine in 2013, he realised he could transfer these skills to bring his childrens stories to life as books. With his background, he didn’t even consider traditional publishing. It made more sense for him to retain control and publish himself.

As he created more books and we learned more about the indie industry, we expanded from interactive books on the iPad, to kindle, paperbacks, hardbacks, audio and even app editions. There are so many options now to publish, it’s amazing what’s possible.


And you joined your husband a few years later?

Yes, I joined Old Mate Media in 2016 and that’s when the business really became a business. It was a big shift for me from corporate to small business. It was one of those things where I thought it would be a walk in the park and had no idea what I was getting myself into. It’s amazing how differently you budget when it’s your own money.

I was really glad to find The Elevatory (back then it was Business School for Mums). The detailed step by step lessons and hands on help were just what I needed to make this business a success.

Four years later, I’m still learning with The Elevatory. Always learning, but now I feel like I have a very good understanding of the principles of small business.




Is working with your husband a good or a bad thing?

Chris started the business and always wanted me to come on board to work with him. Once we had three kids and full-time work on the other side of Sydney was not really viable, that was the perfect time for me to make the leap. He is very much the creative/design side of the business and I am marketing/operations. This separation in skillset is one of the advantages for us, we work together but on separate areas.

Of course, this does create some challenges, when each of us tells the other how to do their job. We might clash on how best to design some of the sales pages as I am focused on conversion and he thinks first about aesthetics. The end result is better for a client as we have that well rounded combination of skills. They may not see the “discussions” we have about their books, but they will get a better product at the end.


One of the must-dos when you start a business is identifying the problems your target market has and go about providing solutions for those problems. Where do your clients most need your help?

Most of our clients have a great idea for a book or have even started preparing their book but need help with creating a professional amazing book and getting it all the way through to publication.

Publishing a book is easy to do, but difficult to do well. There are many little quirks and tweaks that can turn your book from an amateur effort to one that sits happily next to the latest Harper Collins release.

There is a wealth of conflicting information on the web about the best way to publish and our authors are often confused and overwhelmed by the choices and the fear of going down the wrong path.

We give them confidence by providing the professional service they need combined with personal support on their publishing journey.


What can prospective clients expect from you?

We work one on one with each of our authors to provide a tailored publishing service for them. Our company is called Old Mate Media and the genesis of this was the idea that we would be the “old mate” that you can always rely on to get things done properly. And that is what we do for our clients.

We don’t offer pre-set packages as we’re not about signing people up for needless services. Instead we provide a helping hand that steps in to assist and guide our authors through their publishing journey.

We primarily work with children’s authors and non-fiction authors. Our children’s authors often need help with editing, illustration management, design, and creation of digital books.

Our non-fiction authors also look for formatting and design. They work with us on the marketing component as well. Generally, their books operate as a business card for their business and we help them position their title, so it works to achieve their business goals.



What's the best part of your job?

Publishing a book is usually a lifetime dream for our authors. Being the person that helps someone realise a lifetime dream is incredibly magical.

Our authors are so creative with their stories and the stories behind the story are really interesting. For me, I also love when I talk to them about these concepts and present them with unique marketing ideas, different ways to reach potential audiences. Marketing creatively is so fun and creates many 'a-ha' moments for our authors.


What exciting things are coming up?

We have many new book releases on the horizon that I am really excited to bring to market including four more books in our Wild Imagination of Willy Nilly series.

Then we have some new courses in the works for authors including “How To Create An Author Media Kit”. Many authors struggle to work effectively with media, and done well, it can make a big difference to marketing and sales.

I love to chat to people about their book projects, so please do get in touch even if you just need a sounding board.

You can get in touch with Kate via their website or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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