James Bond will return to Random House this year as author Ian Fleming’s estate signs a ten-year deal with the publisher to release the books in print and e-book format.
The spy thrillers are currently published by Penguin, but from April, Random’s Vintage Publishing Imprint will pick up the rights, with new editions scheduled to be in the shops this summer.
Casino Royale, the very first of Fleming’s novels featuring the suave secret agent, was originally published by Vintage’s sister imprint, Jonathan Cape, in 1953 and was an immediate success. All 4,728 copies were sold in the first month.
Global sales now run to more than 100 million copies, with the hit film franchise adding considerable force to the brand. The latest Bond movie, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Naomie Harris, will be released later this year.
Richard Cable, managing director of Vintage, expressed his enthusiasm for the new venture, saying the imprint was “excited to welcome Ian Fleming’s books to the Vintage list for the first time and to reunite him with Jonathan Cape, the original publisher of his work.”
He added: “We are hugely looking forward to working with Ian Fleming Publications Ltd to relaunch the list in 2012, a year which marks the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film, Dr No, and sees a new 007 adventure hit the big screen.”
007 has already gone digital with ebook adventures published by the Ian Fleming estate, which is the family company.