Friday, 1 December 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – August and September

It may now have been a fair few months since Oliver Winterbottom's autobiography first hit the shelves, but that doesn't mean that his promotional run has started to wind down. Today's blog post recounts how Oliver spent the end of his summer. Make sure you're all caught up with May, June and July's posts first!


1 August – I visit Ketts Books store, Wymondham, to ask for answer to email. Manager not present so message left. 

3 August – Receive email from Tom Smith (owner of Lotus M90/X100) in Texas. He attaches an article from Challenges, a French publication. I ask John Elwin if he knows this publication. It appears to be "copied" from the book, not a review. Sent copy to Veloce for comment.

Warren King (ex-Lotus Accounts Dept.) called, likes the book, asking if I will give a talk to Lotus East Anglia. Answer yes! Arranged for Monday the 9th of October, Tivittshall Ram, 8pm.
A guy I have known for years (don't know his name) from Larling Angel finds me at Farnham Broom Bell for signing his book. He had tried Hethersett Queens first and was redirected!

4 August – French article appears to be a well written independent story on the M90 – John Elwin's thoughts.

6 August – Find Amazon UK has two reviews online:
5.0 out of 5 Stars
A very interesting book and read for anyone interested in car design of the TVR company when the Tasmin was being designed, Lotus or Jaguar in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s to in the great man himself his life and all the cars he designed. Well written with lots of info on what went on in the three companies. Highly recommend.

5.0 out of 5 Stars
An entertaining and wonderful autobiography, providing an informative insight into the critical role Oliver played in the success of the industry.


16 August – Learnt we have sold 235 books by the end of May 2017. (It was available from Veloce from the 26th of April in the UK. In the USA it was available from the 15th of June.)

17 August – Andrew Walmsly brings book for signature.

29 August – Message from Tom Smith, owner of the Lotus X100 prototype, in Texas, that the car is OK after the mighty storms.

2 September – Finalise arrangements to support Vintage Day (10th of September) in Wymondham.
Present at Ketts Books, have a demo copy, shop have a dropship arrangement. I agree to return two weeks later to sign any, if required.

6 September – Thursday. Visit Ketts Books as arranged, but the two gentlemen running the shop had no idea why I had visited! It was pre-arranged and I left a copy of my book as agreed. I wonder how well Sunday will go!

7 September – Wymondham Vintage Day has my attendance shown on it:



10 September – Arrive in Wymondham Market Square 12 Noon. Vintage Day programme does not advertise book signed, indeed bookshop barely mentioned. Get to Ketts Books, Whartons Court about 1:45pm for 2pm start. Shop says organisers have emailed an apology for lack of info. (I agreed to come and sign books in June.) A few people passed, but the shop is not on the main street. Two more books sold and Dave Cutting (ex-Lotus) came in for a chat. Plenty of classic cars around the town, but a very disappointing day for me.

12 September – Dick Salmon, ex-BRM & Lotus, emails to say he is enjoying my book. He is in his 90s and did a good book on BRM himself (see 21st of September). I travel to Newmarket to meet my sister and her financial advisor. He brings a copy of my book, which I gladly sign, despite him driving a Porsche!

13-19 September – Assist Modern Classic magazine with images for their forthcoming feature on the Lotus M90/X100.

17 September – Vintage Sports Car Club meeting at Snetterton. Go with Jane and Ivor, meet a couple of their friends – two more books sold.

19 September – Complete construction of 25-slide show to use with talks about my book to two Lotus clubs this autumn. Script notes well on the way!

21 September – Amazing coincidence in Veloce monthly newsletter On The Grid: Veloce have re-printed Dick Salmon's book BRM – A mechanic's tale, and a very good book it is too. Crumbs, it is over 40 years since we had pints together in the Wicklewood Cherry Tree.

Delighted to find this 'blog' is published on the Veloce website.

Two of my books arrive so that I can send them to friends in China.

24 September – Long-standing family friend brings a book for signature. It is a birthday present for her son, who had one week of Work Experience in my office over 20 years ago, whilst he was at school.

26 September – Check out Amazon UK website. Only 14 left (more on the way). There are five reviews, ALL FIVE STAR!

30 September – Good news that my presentation slides for a talk on the 9th of October have transferred for projection satisfactorily. All my notes are written, so that's ready to go!

It's great to see that the momentum is still there with the promotional run! And it doesn't stop there, as next month's instalment will see Oliver gearing up for the Christmas push... Buy your copy of A Life in Car Design here