Writer and publisher Bill Rogers was a finalist in the Simply Business 200,000 customers competition, winning us over with his story of a business that stemmed from a passion for writing. We went to visit Bill in his book-lined home to find out more about his unusual retirement, and spoke to him about how technology is shaping his approach to publishing.
When Bill Rogers retired and turned his attention to the thing that he’d always enjoyed most – writing – the initial signs were promising. A crime thriller author, Bill’s first book was shortlisted for a prestigious debut novel award, and he was snapped up by a leading literary agent. But when it came to approaching the big publishers, Bill was repeatedly rebuffed, despite a steady stream of positive feedback. The main issues that he was coming up against seemed to be his age as a writer, and the fact that his books were seen as comfortably ‘mid-list’ rather than overnight best-sellers.
Not one to be easily deterred, Bill set up his own publishing company, Caton Books, and has continued to publish his crime fiction series himself. Having enjoyed a long career as a teacher, Bill now finds himself juggling the management of his publishing company with crafting the adventures of character Tom Caton.
Bill’s series has developed a strong and loyal following, garnering dozens of glittering reviews on Amazon and stocked by high street book store Waterstones. When we spoke to Bill on camera, he told us about the huge impact that dominant modern technologies have had on both marketing and distribution of his fiction: Bill uses social media to help create a community and a buzz around his series, and is also keen to make his novels available on as many e-reading platforms as possible.
When we asked Bill what was coming next for him, his answer was unequivocal: writing and publishing more books. But he'd also like to expand his reach and make sure that his novels are available to as many readers as possible.
We felt privileged to hear Bill’s personal story, and were very glad that Simply Business were able to be a small part of it.
You can buy Bill Roger's books, in both paperback and Kindle
versions, on his Amazon page*.