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 A Book I'd like to Get Published

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toomanycars



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PostSubject: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:19 am

I've got an idea about a book. With the crash of the auto market, this might be more of a history book, but I'm putting together a book on who owns who in the automotive world. We know some of the simple ones, Ford owns Volvo and part of Mazda. My book would tell you how much Ford owns of Mazda (and Volvo trucks has nothing to do with Volvo cars.)

What do you guys think? Would you be interested in a book showing you diagrams on how the different automakers are connected and by how much?
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Gyro



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:34 am

Hi,
Personally I wouldn't purchase a book on the basic ownership subject because most of this information is available in the public domain.
However, if you changed angles starting with the shareholders of main the main companies such as Daimler, Porsche, VW, Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Opel, Vauxhall etc, providing historical background on each shareholder and then spread out to the companies that each of these entities is a shareholder in, you might have a better formula. sunny
A successful book has to have an angle that appeals to a wider audience. Some of the major car companies have very complex and extremely interesting structures, but are somewhat secretive. You will also need to provide at least the national company regulations for the countries of origin; example: The functions of the supervisory and executive boards of the German auto companies versus the more traditional company board of directors of say the English and Americans. Remember what's illegal in the UK and USA may not be illegal in Germany, like misleading the market and being liberal with the truth.
You have highlighted a misconception about Volvo cars and trucks. SAAB and Rolls Royce are other examples where the same name is used for different product lines and once were the same company, but no longer.
Porsche AG has changed it's name and is now a major shareholder in the MAN truck company. How does this work? Porsche SE have the largest single shareholding in VW, but does it control VW?
VW owns 99% of the stock in Audi, but does Porsche SE have any control over Audi?
Do the same shareholders control Ferrari the manufacturer and the Ferrari F1 team?
This is going to be a lot of work and accuracy is critical. The other downside is that almost as soon as such a book is written it will be out of date and you must not leave any company out and don't forget to look to China, Mexico and Brazil and all the former eastern bloc countries to see who owns what.
On the positive side, being able to combine all the car companies under one roof (your book) will appeal to a very wide audience if you can include pictures of the cars that people want to look at. Very Happy
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toomanycars



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:01 pm

^ Interesting... This might be the focus I was looking for. I've already got detail drawings ready (well, as of about two months ago).

Here's an example of what I've got for BMW.

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Gyro



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:46 am

Hi,
I have seen a diagram very similar to this on the internet and such a diagram tells me nothing interesting. Who owns BMW? What is the actual relationship between BMW and all the other companies? Are these companies 100% wholly owned subsidiaries or are there other shareholders? Who are they? What's the history of how BMW came to own or to purchase shares in these companies? What's behind the co-operation programs with other companies?
I don't think a book of basic diagrams would be something I would purchase. I need to read a story, I need to discover things I didn't already know. In the publicity blurb for any new book it's always helpful to be able to say things like:
"Never before published details behind BMW's acquisition of Rolls Royce."
"Never before published photographs of the meetings between officials from BMW and Toyota discussing their co-operation."
The automotive industry book genre is extremely competitive and to sell large numbers of your book, it must offer content not found in others.
The devil is always in the details. How many people know that Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche initiated joint partnership talks with Mercedes back in 1996 with the aim to produce a SUV in the USA for the American market only? Many people say that Ferry would be spinning in his grave when he heard about the Cayenne SUV. Not true it was his idea. What was the relationship between Porsche and Opel? Answer, Porsche designed a minivan for Opel.
Who designed the engine in the original Seat Ibiza? Answer: Porsche AG (now Porsche SE).
Where did the original Porsche 993 Carrera 4 and Twin Turbo series AWD viscous coupling come from? Answer, Subaru. What did Subaru get out of the deal? Answer: A nicely tuned Impreza.
What other model cars did Porsche produce (assemble) at it's Zuffenhausen factory in the early 1990s? Answer, the Audi RS2 and the Mercedes 500E.
What was the relationship between Porsche AG and Airbus Industries?
There are literally hundreds of these kinds of stories out there linking the major car manufacturers in various deals. As you dig them up and add them to your story, it becomes more interesting.
Using your basic diagram shown in your post it might need expanding somewhat. Companies that I know BMW either own or are in co-operation with are not shown. Where's Steyr? Where are all of BMW's diesel engines built?
study study
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toomanycars



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:18 am

^ Sorry for just now replying back...but yes!!! This is the focus I was talking about. I've got the diagrams built, I've just been trying to find the story to put with them and I think your idea is exactly what I'm looking for!!

Just to start digging.... bounce
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Gyro



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:08 pm

Digging is half the fun and don't forget what usually gets forgotten; the financial, IT, engineering, tuning and many parts suppliers that the big boys and sometimes, the not so big boys own.
santa

PS: Don't forget if you go the extra mile and strive for detailed accuracy a whole new market could open itself up to you in book sales. Motoring and economic journalists around the world need a decent car company reference, and this could be it.
Laughing
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VelocePublisher



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PostSubject: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:50 am

This might be a viable book subject, but such a book would not be current for long and so might have to work as an annual. However, given current volatility, I wouldn't consider publishing such a book until things stabilise (and when will that be?)
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Gyro



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:17 am

VelocePublisher wrote:
This might be a viable book subject, but such a book would not be current for long and so might have to work as an annual. However, given current volatility, I wouldn't consider publishing such a book until things stabilise (and when will that be?)

Hi,
I thought the idea behind this forum was to generate discussion and allow the free flow of ideas.
Surely the decision on whether to publish is a private affair between author and publisher, to be discussed when there's a manuscript to be is submitted?
A publisher telling somebody with an idea on a public discussion forum that they are wasting their time, may put people off from even putting their ideas forward. Getting a slap down like this is not IMHO necessary.
I hope the original poster goes ahead with this project. It will likely morph as time goes on and who knows where it will end up? But do it anyway, because one publisher's meat is another's poison.

tongue
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toomanycars



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:57 am

Gyro wrote:
VelocePublisher wrote:
This might be a viable book subject, but such a book would not be current for long and so might have to work as an annual. However, given current volatility, I wouldn't consider publishing such a book until things stabilise (and when will that be?)

Hi,
I thought the idea behind this forum was to generate discussion and allow the free flow of ideas.
Surely the decision on whether to publish is a private affair between author and publisher, to be discussed when there's a manuscript to be is submitted?
A publisher telling somebody with an idea on a public discussion forum that they are wasting their time, may put people off from even putting their ideas forward. Getting a slap down like this is not IMHO necessary.
I hope the original poster goes ahead with this project. It will likely morph as time goes on and who knows where it will end up? But do it anyway, because one publisher's meat is another's poison.

tongue

Thanks Gyro for sticking up for me!!! But the man has spoken and gave his opinion. However, it's made it more driven to do it and prove him wrong! Cool

My opinion is that he's wrong, it doesn't need to be annual. The current book on Corvette is out of print as soon as Chevy comes up with a new model. Same can be said about a book on the new Mustangs. What's the difference?

How much interest is there? I've got the diagrams on my website, http://www.toomanycars.info/CarRelationship/Car_Rel-Image2.html . I've got over 38,000 hits a year! Yeah, I know the pretty pictures are free, but I'd still be willing to bet people would pay for the complete story. IMHO...
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Gyro



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:32 pm

There's nothing more motivating then somebody telling you that you can't do something or it won't get published. Believe me it works. Twisted Evil
I never write any books on cars that are on models currently in production for the reason you mention. However, its not hard to split them up and write about the model that just went out of production. In fact it can keep the book alive because it can be updated.
Good luck on your project because if you dig deep enough and find all the details I believe such a book will be of great value to a wide "business" audience, but not the general public though except the book collectors and anoraks and there's a few of them. Just don't make it too dry.
lol!
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GG



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:58 am

Reference Gyro's comments about a possible motor industry book it has a certain merit but as Veloce replied it is very much a specialist book. I have had considerable experience over the past forty years writing books and having them published to know that certain books are not "commercial" for a regular publisher to contemplate.The Gyro book, if written properly and with the kind of detail that Gyro touches on, would have to be exhaustively researched by an author who would know where to find out the information. Like Nick Georgano's two major books they would probably take about four years to research and write, end up at about 200,000 words. When it came to publishing and selling it would have to have a heavy cover price in order to even cover the print costs as it would not be the kind of book to fly off the shelves and would be a long term affair.
I was faced with this problem with one of my books but in the end I published it myself with the financial help of some friends who wanted to see it published for the sake of history = in other words exactly what Gyro means. It was published two years ago, was 153,000 words with lots of pictures and sold at £40. We are now close to covering solely the cost of printing the book. I have not been able to take a penny for spending many years researching and writing the book and as most of the photos were mine I have not had to worry about paying photographers for pictures which is a major cost these days.
We have around 1,000 copies stored away and are selling perhaps five or six copies a month so you can see that Gyros book would be very welcome as a historical tome for future generations but it is totally uneconomic for the writer, the publisher or anyone else involved so don't be too cynical about publishers they have staff etc to pay for and so they need to publish books that will sell in very reasonable numbers in a relatively short time as there is a glut of motoring books on the market and if you publish a new book in January everyone has probably forgotten about it come December when people want to buy Christmas presents.
So that I am not seen to be giving a biased view on this forum I would point out that out of 13 books I have had published only two have been published by Veloce.
So, Gyro, get down and write it and get the subject off your chest I agree, it would be fascinating, but don't be surprised if you end up in the writing equivalent of the Hampton Court maze !!!
Good luck.
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Gyro



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:06 am

Shocked
Hi GG,
You are talking to the wrong person. I am not writing this book. I just provided some advice on what I know and what I would do. I have a little bit of experience in this writing malarky, nine in the can (excluding foreign language versions) and two more in work.
Laughing
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PeteDavies



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PostSubject: Book   Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:39 am

There are 2 that spring to mind for me, one should be on the various other make scooters (by that I mean other than Vespa or Lambretta) abd I know that Mike Dan has written about these. What would be good is if Mortons the publishers allowed Mike access to their archives which contain many unseen (well unseen for many years now) pics of other make scooters. Also, how about a Vespa Bible? There is also a wealth of material contained within the Mortons archive that covers these scooters as well.
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Gyro



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PostSubject: Re: A Book I'd like to Get Published   Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:13 am

PeteDavies wrote:
There are 2 that spring to mind for me, one should be on the various other make scooters (by that I mean other than Vespa or Lambretta) abd I know that Mike Dan has written about these. What would be good is if Mortons the publishers allowed Mike access to their archives which contain many unseen (well unseen for many years now) pics of other make scooters. Also, how about a Vespa Bible? There is also a wealth of material contained within the Mortons archive that covers these scooters as well.

Hi,
One of the ever increasing problems faced by authors is obtaining photographs. There's a growing trend of people locking up and even claiming copyright over photographs they never took in "photographic libraries." Not only do these organisations charge for the images they also claim copyright ownership and charge licence fees. Evil or Very Mad
For an author whose sole income from a book is via royalties on sales sometimes it's just not worth the hassle and financial expenditure.
You would be surprised with who and what comes out of the woodwork in some cases. I have had personal experience with this. I obtained some pictures from a still living racing car driver who commissioned pictures of himself (he had the receipts to prove it) to be taken in various races. Unknown to me the photographer had died many years ago and somebody else had purchased his photographic collection including the negatives at a deceased estate auction. The purchaser then decided that because he had the negatives in his possession, he was now the rightful copyright owner, which is completely wrong. No
Cutting a long story short, this person tried to obtain a £400 licence fee from me for using the images given to me by the racing car driver. He was told to go away extremely politely. No
However, this experience and what I have seen since has certainly put me off doing some projects that I would have liked to have done.
I only mention this "issue" because anyone contemplating doing anything historical needs to follow three important words: preparation, preparation and preparation, before committing themselves to something that could become extremely expensive.
Oh yes and learn the copyright laws of the country you live in and those in which the book may be marketed to, as the laws are not always standardised.
lol!
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