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Who we are

There are plenty of other guidebook companies - why City Trail?
Few other guidebook publishing companies can afford the time, effort and dedication that we lavish upon all our titles. This is why we firmly believe that each of our guidebooks is the very best that you can find about any particular destination.

It takes a minimum of three years to write a City Trail guidebook. Not only that, but writing one of sufficient quality requires that the authors be based in the country, not just passing through. Each of our authors spends years living and breathing the country before they even start to put pen to paper.

Our guidebooks also seek to take the path less trodden. As well as covering the obvious tourist hotspots, we make a special effort to seek out those parts of a country that are less talked about in other guidebooks.

Because we are an independent and lightweight publishing company, we can write in the way that we want. Our guidebooks speak with their own voices - we are not stifled by the need to conform to some corporate stricture. This means that each guidebook can be written in the way that is best suited to a particular destination.

But what about all the free stuff that is already out there on the internet - do I really need a guidebook?
There are millions of arguments against relying on free internet sites for planning your trip. Here are just a few of them.

One of the main reasons is that many of the reviews you will read on such free sites are fake. Not long ago, one prominent provider of free reviews was sued in Italy for €500 million for not doing enough to stamp out bogus users - look it up: this is a genuine story!

Whilst providers of such sites claim that they have now put in measures to weed out fraudulent reviews, not enough is being done and fake comments continue to crop up all the time.

Then there is the sheer time taken to plan a trip purely based on a mish-mash of unedited free information. With our guides you get everything you need to get to grips with a new place without having to hunt around - so why not start on enjoying your trip rather than fretting about the planning?

Why do you only publish a few titles?
Our belief is that it is the quality of our guidebooks - and not how many we publish - that distinguishes us from our competitors.

This means that we spend a large amount of time working on only a few guidebooks. If we publish just one or two a year then we are happy.

You may therefore not find titles to all the destinations that you might like, but you can be sure that the ones you do find will serve you well.

Why the name: City Trail Publishing?
We decided on the name of our company once we had written our first guidebook: "The City Trail Guide to Khartoum and the Best of Sudan".

We realised that people who are moving to a new country look for two things. First of all they want to have a good understanding of where they will end up living (which is very often the capital city). Secondly they want to know what is worth seeing further afield - and how to plan trips on their days off.

Our founding philsophy was to stuff our guidebooks full of practical and detailed information about the main areas where most expats find themselves and then spiral out to encompass the rest of the country. Hence the name: City and Trail.

How do you choose what to include in your guidebooks?
Guidebook writing is by necessity subjective. It is quite simply impossible to include everything that we might want to about a particular destination, so we have to make some pretty tough decisions.

Choosing what to include in terms of sightseeing is easy. We know what people want to see in a particular country - and then we make sure to go out of our way to find those hidden attractions not usually covered by other guides. Of course, just because we decide to include something in our sightseeing section doesn't mean that it automatically gets a favourable review!

Things like restaurants and hotels are slightly harder. We receive countless recommendations and suggestions of places to review, and choosing what makes it in to the guide can sometimes be quite a tough decision.

We visit every place that we decide to include, often more than once, and make sure that the quality of the place is up to our standards (and consistent!).

We never pull punches - if we decide to include a place in our guidebook because it is excellent in one area, we will highlight other areas where it fall shorts.

When reviewing restaurants, we never announce our arrival beforehand - and we never accept any form of payment for editorial coverage.

We are as independent as they get.

Is an e-book for me?
E-books come with one advantage over printed books - they are regularly updated. We constantly update our ebooks with any changes that we spot, repackage them up and online them for you to download. Thus, you can be sure that, with our ebooks, you are getting the very latest information that is available.

Why not combine the best of both worlds and opt for the special rates available on our e-book + paperback package?

Why don't you have a 'Kindle' version of your ebook?
Quite simply, the complex layout involved in our guidebooks doesn't translate very well into the Kindle format. Kindle is good for novels, but not for other types of publications. We tried it - it didn't work. However, we do sell e-book versions in PDF format direct from our website.

What are your future plans?
We have many, but we obviously can't give too much away.

Continuing to expand the number of destinations - whilst maintaining quality - is obviously a key aim. We're also working on a series of guidebooks specially aimed at those with kids. And look out for our e-book collection for the business traveller coming soon, too!