James Bond fans have lapped up the return of Ian Fleming’s legendary spy, reports guardian.co.uk. Released last week, Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks has become Penguin’s fastest selling hardback fiction title of all time.
The site reports that 44,093 copies were sold in the first four days of the book’s release. Waterstone’s alone sold over 19,000 copies, with the chain’s exclusive £100 special edition selling out on the morning of its release. Fans queued outside the chain’s Piccadilly branch from 4:30pm the day beforehand.
The book continues to sit comfortably at #1 on Amazon.co.uk.
Furthermore, the Bentley Special Edition sold out within two hours – no mean feat for a £750 book.
“We are absolutely delighted with the figures so far,” said Joanna Prior, Penguin’s director of marketing and publicity.
Prior revealed Devil May Care will be released in a paperback edition next year.
The figures come in after an epic marketing campaign from Penguin timed to coincide with the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth.
The Bookseller’s Joel Rickett said that while some of the novel’s success can be attributed to the hit film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, Devil May Care was still the subject of a one-of-a-kind marketing push.
“[The success of Casino Royale] doesn’t discount from what has been an absolutely brilliant piece of publishing in terms of awareness and agitation. Sebastian Faulks was clearly an inspired choice, as someone possessed of the requisite dryness, humour and narrative drive, but who wouldn’t take the task too seriously.”
guardian.co.uk notes that only publishing phenomena (such as JK Rowling) and genre authors with large, loyal fanbases (such as Terry Pratchett and Martina Cole) come close to such figures. For a literary author like Faulks, they’re unheard of; sales of Faulks’ non-Bond title Engleby are also said to have risen.
The success of Devil May Care augers well for the series continuing, although not with Faulks. Prior says, “Sebastian Faulks made it clear that this would be a one-off project, and our current agreement with 4th Estate was for this project only.”
A continuation of the James Bond series by another author has not been ruled out.
Keep watching CommanderBond.net for all the latest Devil May Care news – including a wrap-up of the critical reaction to the novel.