The new James Bond continuation novel "Devil May Care" has broken Penguin's records for the fastest selling hardback ever...

Devil May Care Breaks Records
4th June 2008

After just 4 days of sales, Devil May Care, the new James Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks, has sold 44,093 copies making it Penguin's fastest selling hardback fiction title ever. Previous Penguin bestsellers by the likes of Tom Clancy and Nick Hornby have sold about 11,500 copies in their first four days, the publisher said.

The novel enters the charts this week at no. 1 in all relevant categories. Waterstone's saw the highest sales selling over 19,000 copies. The Waterstone's special edition of Devil May Care, retailing at £100, had sold out by midday on the 28th May - the day it went on sale. Their flagship store on Piccadilly in London saw queues to buy the book from 4.30pm the previous day.

Above: Cover model Tuuli Shipster and author Sebastian Faulks at the launch event

Rodney Troubridge, Fiction Marketing Planner at Waterstone's said, "In terms of the publicity and our terrific sales this has been our fiction launch of the year and it's unlikely to be superseded."

A special limited edition of Devil May Care, designed by Bentley Motors, sold out in under 2 hours in the UK. Three hundred of the luxury edition were produced, and retailed at £750.

Joel Rickett, the deputy director of The Bookseller magazine, said he was not surprised by the success of Faulks's novel. "Penguin did a great job in turning the release of this book into a major event," he said. "They managed to raise a lot of awareness about the book and create an excitement around it its release. I haven't witness such a buzz since the publication of the Harry Potter books."

Penguin, who own the rights to Ian Fleming's Bond catalogue, but not to the author's literary estate, have also had considerable success with newly designed paperback editions of the original Bond novels. "We are absolutely delighted with the figures so far," said Joanna Prior, Penguin's director of marketing and publicity.

Asked by The Guardian whether Penguin had been in talks with 4th Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins, to capitalise on the success and continue with new Bond/Fleming books, Prior confirmed that there were no plans as yet. "At present, we're all just concentrating on the current success, and on the plans for publishing the paperback next year. "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." But neither 4th Estate nor Penguin have written off the idea of continuing the series, possibly with different literary authors standing in as Fleming.

Above: The cover artwork of the UK edition

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The hardcover print run in Britain and the United States is reported to be 400,000 copies. Devil May Care was published on Wednesday 28th May, the centenary of the birth of Ian Fleming, and went on sale that day for the first time at Waterstone’s Piccadilly (which opened at the earlier time of 8am). More launch events took place at Borders on Saturday 31st May.