Ian Fleming’s super spy, James Bond, is one of the most bankable literary creations in history. The films adaptations understandably receive much of the attention, but the novels featuring “007” account for more than half a billion dollars in sales revenue. Fleming’s books operate on the simple theme of “good versus evil”, with the suave hero always overcoming the despicable villain and ultimately “getting the girl”. Fleming’s own time with the British Secret Service helped him to add more depth to these simple plots with technical detail and sub-plots of “the traitor within” and Anglo-American relationships.
The books are clearly products of their own time - the Cold War is long since over - but fans of Fleming continue to purchase his original stories. Prices achieved at auction for first editions can be impressive while publishers continue to reprint the novels.
It was in Casino Royale that Bond was introduced to the world in 1953. Published by Cape of London, first editions have fetched $30,000 dollars. A signed first edition of Moonraker, Bond’s third outing in 1955, realized over $50,000. Even his later works can fetch five figure prices with, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, achieving $12,000.
More usually, first editions of the Bond novels fetch prices in the $1,000 to $5,000 bracket. But if you want to own a copy of one of Fleming’s occasional departures from Bond,considerChitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang from 1964 that can be found at auction for less than $500.
By buying a Bond novel, collectors can own a literary connection to one of the most enduring fictional characters ever created.
Kemsley, Viscount. The Kemsley Manual of Journalism. Cassell and Co Ltd, London (1950). Illustrated with black and white photographs and drawings; Contains Ian Fleming’s first appearance in a book, an article on Foreign News
Fleming, Ian. The Book Collector. Queen Anne Press, London (1952). John HAYWARD and P.H. MUIR (editors); Volume 1 Number 1 (Spring 1952) to Volume 42 Number 4 (Winter 1993). Ian Fleming was on the editorial board of the journal, from the first issue in 1952 until his death in August 1964; the Autumn 1964 issue is the last in which his name appears on the editorial board.
Fleming, Ian. Casino Royale. Jonathan Cape, London (1953). first issue dustjacket without the overprinted reviews; 4728 copies.
Fleming, Ian. Casino Royale. The Macmillan Company, New York (1954). Dust Jacket design by Leo Manso; First American Edition with First Printing on the copyright page with the date of 1953; With the Paul Gallico blurb in red at the bottom of the front flap: Paul Gallico calls Casino Royale
Fleming, Ian. Live And Let Die. The Macmillan Company, New York (1954). Complete with the original and correct FIRST ISSUE dustwrapper without the two line Kenneth Lewis credit on the front flap; Stated First (U.S.) edition and with Copyright, 1954; In Leo Manseo illustrated dust jacket depicting gold coins, a diver and an octopus
Fleming, Ian. Live and Let Die. Macmillan, New York (1955). First Edition With First Printing and Copyright, 1954 on the copyright page; A Cock Robin Thriller in a dustjacket designed by Leo Manso.
Ian Fleming. Moonraker. Jonathan Cape, London (1955). With the shoo misprinting for shoot on page 10; 10,500 copies.
Fleming, Ian. You Asked For It. Popular Library (1955). (Casino Royale).Published in April, 1955 stated on copyright page, which indicates First Edition
Fleming, Ian. Diamonds are forever. Jonathan Cape, London (1956). First Published 1956 stated on copyright page, indicating First Edition
Fleming, Ian. Moonraker. Pan Books, London (1956). cover art by Josh Kirby
Fleming, Ian. TOO HOT TO HANDLE. Perma Books, New York (1956). (MOONRAKER); cover art by Lou Marchetti, first US paperback edition.
Fleming, Ian. From Russia, With Love. Jonathan Cape, London (1957). Book states First Printing. Five dots less than a pin head on top edge and three same size dots on bottom edge; dust jacket has black and white photo of Fleming taken by Douglas Glass
Fleming, Ian. LIVE AND LET DIE. Pan, London (1957). Cover art by Rex Archer. First UK paperback edition.
Fleming, Ian. The Diamond Smugglers. Jonathan Cape, London (1957). frontis and 31 illustrations, 3 maps; With an Introduction by John Blaize .
Fleming, Ian. Doctor No. Macmillan, New York (1958). Dustjacket design by H. Lawrence Hoffman; Stated first printing; price $3.50
Fleming, Ian. Dr. No. Jonathan Cape, London (1958). First UK edition.
Fleming, Ian. Goldfinger. Jonathan Cape, London (1959). Price of 15s.net present on front flap; Dust jacket design by Richard Chopping.
Fleming, Ian. For Your Eyes Only. VIking, New York (1960). Five Secret Exploits of James Bond ;Contains From a View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only and 3 other stories.
Fleming, Ian. Thunderball. Viking, New York (1961). design by Richard Chopping
Fleming, Ian. Dr No. Jonathan Cape, London (1963). The sixth Bond novel and the last with a jacket design by Pat Marriott
Fleming, Ian. Live and Let Die. Jonathan Cape, London (1963). This reprinted edition with the same dust-jacket designed by the author and drawn by Kenneth Lewis.
Fleming, Ian. On Her Majestys Secret Service. Jonathan Cape, London (1963). 250 copies; Frontispiece illustration of Fleming by Amhurst Villiers not included in the trade edition.
Fleming, Ian. Address Given at the Memorial Service for Ian Fleming. Privately Printed at the Westerham Press, London (1964). PLOMER, William; St Bartholomew the Great; 50 copies.
Fleming, Ian. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Jonathan Cape, London (1964). The Magical Car; Adventures Number 1, 2 and 3; Illustrated throughout in both black and white and color by John Burningham.
Fleming, Ian. On Her Majestys Secret Service. Pan, London (1964). the ‘true’ UK paperback first edition without the 60 cents on the front cover
Fleming, Ian. You Only Live Twice. Jonathan Cape, London (1964). Jacket illustration by Richard Chopping; First Printing of the First Edition (stating First Published 1964 versus the second state March 1964).
Fleming, Ian. Man with the Golden Gun. Jonathan Cape, London (1965). First state contains 150 copies only
Fleming, Ian. The Man with The Golden Gun. Jonathan Cape, London (1965). 1st Printing , with the golden gun stamped on the front board; only about 150 first state were printed before realising the golden gun on the front was unstable; Colour pictorial dust-wrapper designed by Richard Chopping.
Fleming, Ian. Octopussy. Jonathan Cape, London (1966). First State dust-wrapper with original printed price of 10s 6d;
Fleming, Ian. THE BOND AFFAIR. Macdonald, London (1966). An examination of the Bond phenomenon in an international context by eight prominent Italian writers.
FLEMING, Ian. THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. United Artists, Los Angeles (1977). Original screenplay.
Fleming, Ian. Diamonds are Forever. First Edition Library, Shelton (1984). Illustrated by Richard Chopping.
Fleming, Ian. THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. The First Edition Library, Shelton (1990). Illustrated by Richard Chopping. Facsimile of first edition of 1962.
Fleming, Ian. On Her Majestys Secret Service. The First Edition Library, Shelton (1991). Facsimile of first edition of 1963.
Fleming, Ian. Quantum of Solace. London, Penguin (2008). Contains all of Flemings nine original James Bond short stories and novellas, previously issued in hardback as For Your Eyes Only (1960, five stories) and Octopussy (1966, two stories).