May 7, 2008

Devil May Care Excerpts To Appear In Vanity Fair

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating story today (via CommanderBond.Net) about the gamble Penguin (in the UK) and Doubleday (in the US) are taking with Sebastian Faulks' new James Bond continuation novel, Devil May Care. They reveal that first edition print runs are a whopping 100,000 units in England and 250,000 in the US. To put that in perspective, the article reports that the last new straightforward Bond continuation novel (not counting spinoffs Young Bond or The Moneypenny Diaries--which, personally, I would count), Raymond Benson's The Man With the Red Tattoo, sold only 5,000 hardcover copies in Britain and 13,000 in the US. (It should be noted that Benson's books, rather unfairly, received almost no marketing support from the publisher, whereas Devil May Care will enjoy, according to the article, "the largest marketing budget of any Penguin fiction title published in the U.K. this year.")

Most intriguingly for collectors of the literary Bond, however, is the revelation that as part of its massive marketing campaign, Devil May Care will be excerpted in the July issue of Vanity Fair! There is a long tradition of James Bond novels and short stories appearing or being serialized in magazines, so this makes sense. In Fleming's day (as well as Benson's), it was usually Playboy, but I guess Vanity Fair is a better choice in terms of reaching the widest possible audience.

In other Devil May Care news, check out CBN for scintillating details on a limited edition (designed by Bentley, no less) sure to become the most collectible Bond book since the limited version of Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service--but, infuriatingly, prohibitively expensive for most ordinary Bond fans!

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