How marketing of 007 novels evolved over a decade

007 continuation novel authors William Boyd and Sebastian Faulks and friend, 2013.

It seems that Ian Fleming Publications has altered how it markets James Bond continuation novels over the past decade.

In 2008, in time for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming, IFP brought out Devil May Care with Sebastian Faulks “writing as Ian Fleming.”

You got the feeling that this was a bit of a lark for Faulks.

A decade ago, the author gave an interview to The Financial Times.

“Fleming’s guiding principle was to write without pausing to reflect or edit,” wrote Rosie Blau of the FT. “By contrast, Human Traces took Faulks five years. But for Devil May Care he followed Fleming’s lead and gave himself six weeks: ‘You don’t have those long moments where you ponder for about an hour: ‘What is he thinking now?’”

The thing is, Fleming did a lot of revisions once his draft was done and he headed home after his annual winter trips to Jamaica. If you’ve ever visited Indiana University’s Lilly Library where many Fleming manuscripts are stored, you can view how 007 creator’s marked them up extensively.

In other words, Fleming didn’t spend six weeks and shove out a novel. But you wouldn’t have gotten that impression from the 2008 FT interview.

After Faulks, IFP had a series of Bond one-offs by other “name” writers, including Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd.

Anthony Horowitz, author of Trigger Mortis and the upcoming Forever and a Day

Trigger Mortis, published in 2015, appeared to follow that pattern. Another “name” author, Anthony Horowitz, came up with a story that took place immediately after the events of Fleming’s Goldfinger novel.

For the 110th anniversary of Fleming’s birth, Horowitz has returned. His story again relates to the timeline of Fleming’s originals. This time, Forever and a Day is billed as a prequel to Casino Royale, Fleming’s first 007 novel.

The “writing as Ian Fleming” gimmick is long gone. Faulks was the only one of the recent continuation novel authors who tried it.

At the same time, Forever and a Day, isn’t getting the big launch that Devil May Care received a decade ago.

In 2008, the literary Bond could be found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean pretty quickly. This time out, Forever and a Day will be published in the U.S. more than five months after it debuts in the U.K.

Intense U.S. fans of the literary fans, of course, can arrange to buy a U.K. copy and have it shipped over. But it’s still not the event Devil May Care was in 2008.

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