Publishers see bestseller in new James Bond book

May 8th, 2008 - 9:10 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Daniel Craig

New York, May 8 (IANS) With a new release round the corner, publishers are again betting heavy on the James Bond books, which have seen dwindling sales since 007 creator Ian Fleming died 44 years ago, though the Bond movie franchise has flourished. The new Bond novel, titled “Devil May Care”, is one of the most ambitious post-Fleming works. Doubleday is releasing it later this month with an initial print run of 250,000, backed by a big marketing campaign. Penguin plans a print run of another 100,000 in Britain and has earmarked a big budget to promote the title, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The book is written by a well-regarded literary author, Sebastian Faulks. Based in London, he is best known as a writer of historical fiction and his “Birdsong” (1993) sold three million copies worldwide.

“Devil May Care” coincides with Fleming’s 100th birth anniversary, for which many events are planned in Britain.

The novel will also benefit from the box office success of the last Bond flick, “Casino Royale” (2006), with which Daniel Craig made his screen debut as Bond and did a metrosexual turn on the debonair superspy. Craig returns as Bond in “Quantum of Solace” later this year.

In comparison, the last Bond novel, “The Man With the Red Tattoo,” published six years ago, fared poorly. It sold only a few thousand copies in the US and Britain.

That and other James Bond novels of the 1980s and 1990s tried to make their stories contemporary, which critics said was jarring to fans.

“Devil May Care” takes the story line back to the Cold War, the era in which Fleming himself set his novels.

Barnes & Noble, the biggest book chain in the US, says it is ordering a large number of “Devil May Care” copies and expects it to become a blockbuster, reports the Journal.

Faulks only reluctantly agreed to become the Bond writer-for-hire. But he is not the first famous author to do so. The first book after Fleming’s death, “Colonel Sun”, was written by Kingsley Amis under a pseudonym.

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