Indie crime best-seller publishes guidebook to the city of his novels

A best-selling self-published crime author has produced a book of guided walks based on the cases of his series detective.

Caton’s Manchester by Bill Rogers is a book of eight short walks which cover the ground featured in Rogers’ Manchester Murder Mysteries starring DCI Tom Caton.

Rogers started writing the Caton books after he retired from education but he came up against age discrimination when he tried to get the work published, with agents telling him they couldn’t take on anyone over 55, so he turned to the then new platform of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Now 70, he has been writing a book every six months and his 10th Caton novel, Angel Meadow, will be published in September.

The books are self-published under the imprint of Caton Books and are exclusive to Amazon as Rogers enrols them into the KDP Select scheme. They are professionally produced and have striking covers in a series design.

Books showing the places covered in a series have become familiar in the crime genre, with titles such as Rebus’s Scotland by Ian Rankin, and my personal favourite, Hillerman Country, A Journey through the South-West by the great Tony Hillerman.

I think Caton’s Manchester is particularly enterprising as Rogers is, despite his best-selling success over several years, still independent and self-publishing.

Rogers was born in London but moved North 40 years ago and obviously loves Manchester. He does meticulous research for each of his novels, going to a setting with a camera and voice recorder to note down the details of how it looks, feels and smells.

He is featured in a recent Amazon promotion and his advice on the thorny problem of discoverability is simple: ‘It’s never too late – if your book is good enough, it will find its readers and if it does, write another one quickly: you won’t regret it.’