The publication of Solo last week managed to get plenty of press coverage, but figures released by trade publication The Bookseller show that the 8,692 copies of Solo sold in its first week were 48 percent down on the previous Bond novel, Jeffrey Deaver’s Carte Blanche (2011). However, that is still a personal best for William Boyd.
On the other hand, Sebastian Faulks’ 2008 novel written in the style of Ian Fleming and released to coincide with the centenary of Bond’s creator, Devil May Care, sold 44,094 copies in just four days.
The news prompted some discussion on Twitter:
@007dossier Just wondering out loud — is there really that much of a market anymore for a literary 007?
— The HMSS Weblog (@HMSSweblog) October 2, 2013
However, there appears to be soomething missing from the reported data; the figures appear to be for hardback copies only, with no indication of how many Kindle and other ebook format copies were sold. The number of Kindle ebooks in particular should have made a dramatic impact on the figure compared with 2011.
Devil May Care almost certainly benefitted from the Fleming centenary as well as coinciding with the release of a Bond film – Quantum of Solace – later that year, but big book launches like this are expensive and it remains to be seen whether they really benefit Ian Fleming Publications, or whether they should face the reality that long gone are the days that 007 was a literary phenomenon.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.
Source: The Independent