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Amazon will publish the James Bond books in the U.S.

17 April 2012

From Paid Content:

When the Ian Fleming estate gave up the digital rights to the James Bond backlist last month, Random House UK’s Vintage grabbed the English-language print and e-book rights everywhere outside the U.S. and Canada. Well, guess who’s getting those North American digital rights? Amazon.

Amazon announced today that it’s acquired a ten-year license for the North American rights to the print and digital James Bond backlist, as well as James Bond author Ian Fleming’s two nonfiction titles. All of the books will be reissued by Amazon Publishing’s mystery and thriller imprint, Thomas & Mercer, starting this summer.

. . . .

Penguin had held world English print rights to the books, but suggested to The Bookseller that renewing those rights was too expensive.

Link to the rest at Paid Content

Amazon, Big Publishing

15 Comments to “Amazon will publish the James Bond books in the U.S.”

  1. Why do I have this image of a dead penguin with a microscopic ricin dart in its neck (shot from a high-tech fountain pen which doubles as a ninja escape wire)?

  2. brendan stallard

    P.G.

    Anyone buying them is going to be terribly disappointed.

    They were very much products of their time, and they don’t age well.

    brendan

    • You may be right, Brendan. It’s been ages since I’ve picked one up.

    • Some people, yes.

      But there is definitely a good-sized market of people who are already familiar with the books and have been waiting for them to come out in ebook form.

      They’re not going to be best sellers, but they will certainly be be a steady backlist, and they should certainly not be withheld from the market.

    • Hopefully Amazon will at least price them cheaply enough that anyone who doesn’t know what they’re buying won’t be too upset. :)

  3. That’s the end.

    They’ll shuffle along for a while like sad bag ladies wearing moth-eaten furs and rundown shoes, carrying tattered Bergdorf-Goodman bags while staring at the horizon with a dazed look in their eyes, but they just demonstrated they’re not players in the new world.

    • That’s a beautiful description, Barbara, and I couldn’t agree more.

    • I disagree. I don’t think those are going to be huge sellers in the US market, and big publishing is only interested in huge sales in short time frames right now. These are more long-tail mid-list sorts of books. US Big publishing has aptly demonstrated that they aren’t interested in that sales model at this time.

  4. I think the big news out of this is that evil, evil Amazon only “acquired a ten-year license” for the books. Don’t they know that any respectable publishing company would require lifetime rights and then some.

  5. “Doh! We forgot to grab the US rights!”

    Somewhere on the Ross Ice Shelf there are penguins smarter than Penguin. Pick a penguin. Any penguin.

    Brand Ampified, baby. Brand. Amplified.

  6. I wonder how much Amazon paid for the North American rights?

  7. I recommend that everyone run to Amazon (or their local bookstore where they won’t be able to find it) and purchase The Walmart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful COmpany Really Works-And How it’s Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman. We are witnessing precisely the same kinds of relationships and tensions that Walmart has with its suppliers. Walmart wants to get its products as cheaply as possible so they can undersell everyone else, and to do that they often prescribe the way things are built. Companies don’t *have* to sell to Walmart and Fishman describes some that have successfully gone their own way, but they have unique products and access to their own niche market and marketing. To pull away from your most successful retailer without having an alternate plan and retail outlets spells doom.

  8. Lyle Blake Smythers

    Last time I looked at them (admittedly, I read them all in the Sixties), the original Bond books by Ian Fleming were extremely elegant, well-written and satisfying thrillers. The high action scenes work well. Go back and reread the scene in DOCTOR NO when Bond is in bed and feels a centipede crawling up his body (they changed it to a tarantula in the movie). Look again at the fight with Red Grant on the train in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Reread the scene in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN when the train is bearing down on a body tied to the tracks and Bond thinks it is Mary Goodnight. These are not disappointing books.

    The would-be imitators who have come along and been authorized to continue the series have all failed to capture their magic and charm, although Kingsley Amis came close with COLONEL SUN.

    I would encourage people not to be dismissive or condescending about these books.

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