Publishers Bank On a 007 Comeback

Bond franchise hoping new author can leave book sales, fans stirred
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
British novelist Sebastian Faulks at his office in London, Aug. 23, 2007. Sebastian Faulks was awarded the CBE in 2002, he has written many novels including Birdsong, Charlotte Gray and he has become...   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – This year is the centenary of author Ian Fleming's birth, but while Daniel Craig gave the James Bond movie franchise a much-needed recharge, sales of the 007 books haven't caught up. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, the Fleming estate has commissioned respected writer Sebastian Faulks to pen a new Bond novel, Devil May Care, with an ambitious first US printing of 250,000. 

The last Bond books have sold pitifully, and their attempts to make Bond contemporary proved unpalatable. Faulks is returning Bond to the days of the Cold War, and publisher Doubleday has gone all-out with promotion. One Barnes and Noble buyer has high hopes for the title: "The downturn in the economy has prompted a demand for escapist fare," he said.