Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – December, January and February

It's been quite a while since we last heard from Oliver, author of, A Life in Car Design. However, Oliver has still been vigilant in keeping track of all he does, so let's catch up with him ... 


2 December – Find speedreaders.info (USA) online review, which is very positive.

4 December – The Jaguar ex-Apprentice newsletter arrives. They have done me proud under 'Things to put on your Christmas list.' Many thanks Mr Benton.

5 December – Travel to Old Sudbury, Gloucestershire and give a talk on the book to Club Lotus Avon at The Bull, in Hinton. The venue was full to capacity, plus a couple of standing audience. Sign at least six books, and a very good pub! My thanks to Rob Ford for organising it.



11 December – Doug Weal of North Yorkshire Lotus Owners Club contacts me regarding giving a talk for them next March or April. He says there would be a wide-based audience, so I suggest adding a TVR slide to the presentation.

Meet Andrew Walmsley at Barnham Broom Bell and sign a book – the second he has done – for a Christmas gift. 

13 December – Brian Llewellyn email RE:contact.
'Hello Oliver, I forwarded your letter to a friend of mine ... Shaun Beadsworth. He emailed back saying "You never told me you're a friend of Oliver Winterbottom?!" I remember visiting Hethel with my Dad when he had a job there, not long after Colin Chapman had passed away. I would be very pleased if you could organise a book ... ' 
I explained how to buy from the publisher. 

14 December – Travel to Bourne, Lincolnshire for the Bourne Motor Racing Club BRM Evening. I manage to distribute a number of book leaflets. John Sismey, ex-BRM engineer tells me he enjoyed reading my book. My old buddy Dick Salmon (ex-BRM and Lotus) was busy singing his re-printed book. I had a very good dinner at the Nags Head (owned by my great, great, grandparents in the 1890s) and stayed at The Angel. 

24 December – While enjoying a pint of Tiger at the Heathcote Arms, Croft, Leicestershire with a gentleman who organises the Hinckley Concours each summer, he wished to buy the book there and then! Sadly, I had none with me, so here's hoping he can get one elsewhere.

31 December – I need to start thinking about how to increase promoting this wonderful book in 2018! Wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2018


4 January – Kevin Atkins of Veloce sends a trial 'book flyer' design. I approve the second option, and ask for a minor change on the right hand side in order to increase the impact of the book cover. Result below:



5 January – Sign a book for Jonathan who will be moving into the old Team Lotus race workshops at Kettering Hall in February. They have been converted into modern offices. I also take some history of the Team at the Hall, which he may use to decorate it. 

8 January – Print Veloce flyer – looks good to me! Barnham Broom Bell put one on display. 

9 January – Amazon Germany customer review (Google translated): 
A life for the automobile led Oliver Winterbottom in many different companies and countries of the world. It was the wish of the young Oliver reality to take care of the design of automobiles. From time to time some of the side war scenes also played a role, which he filled with just as much devotion. The biography is a great and interesting journey through the history of the automobile, especially English, of course. Most of the lines are very entertaining and you almost feel like talking directly to Winterbottom. In addition, some barely published drawings and pictures are shown, which underline the work with emphasis. Again and again, the people around him are presented and the financial situation is assessed.
For the equivalent of just over 40 euros, the reader can travel through the past with Winterbottom and clearly understand his way of doing business. The working life of the automotive designer provides a great template for a book and is very worth reading, especially since it is always first-hand information, which makes it all the more valuable. 

Deliver two Veloce flyers to Hethersett Queens Head. Eye-catching display with one in the entrance lobby. 

11 January – Friend and ex-Lotus colleague John Elwin has a possible contact with Club Team Lotus Belgium for the book. 

Jonathan, a friend in Barnham Broom Bell, reading my book tells me he particularly liked my design for the Jaguar E Type 2+2. It dates from 1968, so I have nearly forgotten it!

15 January – Richard Bond (Hethersett Queens Head) reports the copy of my book he gifted in November was enjoyed immensely. 

17 January – Doug Weal of North Yorkshire Lotus Owners Club contacts to say likely time for me to give a talk would be late this year. I send my diary for September and October, as it currently stands.

18 January – John Elwin, ex-Lotus, Team Lotus, and now a journalist living in France, enters my book on the Ten Tenths Motorsport website. Post generates a fair bit of interest!:
Anyone interested in Britain's sports car industry will find Oliver Winterbottom's biography A Life in Car Design a fascinating read. Oliver's career began as a Jaguar apprentice in the 1960s, where he graduated to the drawing office. From there he moved to Lotus, where he was responsible for design of the Elite/Eclat range. He was to return to Lotus (more than once!) but after that he was responsible for the wedge-era TVR's, followed by spells in the US and China. 

Contact Club Team Lotus Belgium and offer to give a presentation on my career and book if they would like me to. 

19 January – Contacted by Only Motors TV with regards to potentially do a profile on me for their show, #Petrolheads.
"#Petrolheads is one of our most views programmes, with an average viewership of 1 million per month, it is a half an hour show on an individual with a personal history and interesting story around their love and use of motors and would stream on our Only Motors TV site." 

22 January – Only Motors TV confirm they expect to contact with dates around the end of February. 

24 January – Sign a copy of my book for Stuart at The Heathcote Arms, Croft, Leicestershire. Stuart Elliot is a leading organiser of the Hinckley annual Classic Car Show which now fills the town with interesting vehicles. This years event is on Sunday 16 September.

26 January – Tom Willis (Barnham Broom Bell) says he will bring a copy of the book for signature. He has connections with Mick McIsaac who features in the book as a superb pattern and model maker. 

27 January – Surprise, surprise – Amazon advertise the book for its published price of £37.50 with 14 in stock and (more on the way) – That may be a "First"!

29 January – Tom Willis brings book for signature which he will gift to Mick McIsaac.

30 January – Amazon email me offering my book to myself. Full published price but now only 13 in stock (more on the way). So thats another one gone!

2 February – Find a site on Google offering a download of my book. As I am concerned this may be breaching copyright, I contact Veloce who respond quickly: The explain that this is a very common scam of the 'phishing' variety – an attempt to gain personal details. Sometimes it's only to gain an email (for spamming), but such sites require that you 'sign up' or login (as this one does), and will then usually ask for credit or payment details for 'security.' This is usually what the scammer is ultimately after ... Fortunately for us, the site is hosted by Google, using it's 'Sites' features. Google Sites gives companies a quick and easy way to create a web presence – and a quick way for scammers to try and fool people. However, because it's a Google Site, the options for reporting and flagging issues are top notch, so I've filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint, directly with Google. 

The whole business reinforces my view that the internet is a totally uncontrolled system. No one knows who says what/where/when! Half of the information available is fictitious and unsubstantiated. That's what I think!

3 February – The Google site offering a download on the book has been removed from the internet by 11am this morning. 

4 February – Although Google have removed the "download" facility, they still are on the internet with a "box" advert and a website offering a preview of my book. I am not very happy and have sent my thoughts to Veloce for comment. My thoughts are: In my opinion the preview is excessive. To show the first three chapters absolutely complete with illustrations is way beyond what I would call a preview. Veloce have responded that this is not unusual and indeed, in a bookshop one can browse the whole book. In addition, the Google website has a number of incorrect items of information. Veloce explained that this is not unusual and doubt it would do any harm. I will therefore accept the position. 

6 February – Get a nice email from Amazon offering me my book at £24.37. Seems to have been reduced again since 27 January!

7 February – So a Tesla electric sports car is launched into space. By my reckoning, that really makes Lotus the first car in space, as the Tesla was based on the Elise and built by Lotus. Where will my old projects end up? Mars?

9 February – Amazon email me to offer the book at £21.91 with free delivery. Such a nice world the internet has brought. 

10 February – Yet another website offering free download of the book. Forwarded to Veloce (again!)

12 February – Reply: Once Google have been informed of one infringement, its algorithms will remember the 'issue' and keep an eye open for similar scams, alerting Google's operatives (yes, they still have actual people working for them) to check them. This is usually all that's needed, and whilst Google isn't the only search provider, it is the biggest, and many others follow its lead in malware and intellectual rights issues. If you visit the URL you last sent, for example, you'll see that it's already gone ... 

So now I need to keep calm!

13 February – Amazon email me again offering my book to me for £21.91.

A search on the internet shows Amazon Japan offering the book for 3459 Yen, Amazon Italy and Amazon Brazil also advertising it. Hopefully this will sell a few.         

16 February – Amazon obviously upset that I haven't bought my book from them. Emailed me again today with the price £21.91.

23 February – Phil Clarke (Barnham Broom Bell customer) who restores old caravans has bought my book and will bring it for a signature in the evening. 

Visit my podiatrist who was aware of my local radio show last year and knows some people at Lotus. Suggested she and as many others should get a copy of my book, and I will sign at my next appointment. 

25 February – Enjoying a pint of Tiger in my sister's local pub and discuss with Stuart Elliot the possibility attending the Hinckley Classic Car Show (Sunday 16 September) with a book signing. Will definitely consider this. 

26 February – Staying with my sister who has friends for dinner. I sign two copies of my book.

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to check back on the Veloce blog for the next instalment!