James Bond returns Home: Vintage Publishing Acquires Bond Backlist

Ian Fleming Publications has issued a press release this morning announcing that Ian Fleming’s 12 novels and two books of short stories will be switching publisher this year. Vintage Publishing has picked up a ten year licence for both print and ebooks, something that was contentious between IFP and Penguin.

The move to Random House marks a return home of sorts, since Vintage is a sister imprint of the original James Bond publisher, Jonathan Cape. Vintage takes over from Penguin in April and publish the books in the summer and so should benefit from the massive publicity that will surround Skyfall, released at the end of October.

You can read the full press release below:

The Random House Group and Ian Fleming Publications Ltd today announce that Vintage Publishing, a division of Random House, has acquired through Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown the ten-year licence for Ian Fleming’s entire James Bond backlist in print and ebook format, along with Fleming’s two non-fiction titles.

Vintage Books is the sister imprint of Jonathan Cape, who were the original publishers of Ian Fleming’s Bond fiction and published Casino Royale, the first in the series of fourteen Bond books in 1953. The novels have now gone on to sell over 100 million copies worldwide and have been the inspiration behind the world’s longest-running film franchise. Jonathan Cape was also the publisher of the first ever official Bond novel written following Fleming’s death in 1964. Kingsley Amis took up the mantle in 1968 writing Colonel Sun as Robert Markham. Bond novels have since been written by John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver.

Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd comments: ‘We are delighted to be reuniting James Bond with his original publisher. This new deal, incorporating both print and ebook formats, represents a significant step-change for Ian Fleming and his work.’

Richard Cable, Managing Director, Vintage Publishing, acquired exclusive rights to the Bond novels in the English language worldwide exc USA/Canada. Cable commented: ‘Bond, James Bond. Ian Fleming’s famous Secret Service agent 007 remains one of the most iconic of all literary creations, and continues to thrill new and existing readers alike. We are 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. We are hugely looking forward to working with IFPL 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.’

Vintage Publishing Sales Director Tom Drake-Lee, a lifelong fan of the Bond novels, will head up the publishing team across all publications as Ian Fleming Brand Manager. Two series styles will be created for the fourteen books: one under the Vintage paperback imprint and one in Vintage Classics. This is the first time that an author’s entire fiction backlist has been published under both imprints. The publishing programme will be underpinned by consumer insight to bring a new generation of readers to Ian Fleming’s work and engage people who have recently discovered the Bond brand through the films and computer games.

Jonny Geller, Managing Director, Curtis Brown comments: ‘2012 is the year of Bond – a new movie and a new home for Ian Fleming’s backlist. James Bond never sleeps and we promise an exciting programme of innovative publishing ventures aimed at the next generation of readers for Ian Fleming’s greatest creation.’

Random House will take over from Penguin as publishers of the James Bond novels in April and will publish the Bond backlist in ebook and print format in summer 2012.

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