The impending release of a new James Bond movies always creates new interest in first edition James Bond books written by Ian Fleming, because it causes a significant raise in value. With the coming release of the 24th new James Bond film, Spectre, soon to be seen in theaters, rare book collectors are enthusiastic for these books once again. It isn’t just the books that collectors are interested in investing in; it’s also James Bond memorabilia that are linked to the first edition Ian Fleming books and the movies that have been spawned from them. According to rare book sellers, Ian Fleming books have been routinely powerful sellers for the past 50 years, but are more coveted and valuable when new films are released. Ian Fleming wrote 14 James Bond books between 1953 and his death in 1964. The last 2 books, The Man With The Golden Gun (published in 1965) and Octopussy (published in 1966), were published posthumously. Octopussy is actually a short story from Ian Fleming’s 1966 short story collection called Octopussy and The Living Daylights. The Fleming short story, The Property of a Lady is the story the movie Octopussy is based on. It is included in the 1967 edition and later editions of Octopussy and The Living Daylights.
To invest in Ian Fleming’s James Bond first edition novels, is a momentous undertaking and isn’t something that is taken lightly, and should be done by serious investors only because of the high value of these books. For example, Casino Royale displayed a consistent raising in value since 2002, possibly it’s correlated to the starting of very early pre-production of the movie, of the same name, released in 2006. One pristine copy was used to show how the value increased from 2002 to 2013. It was sold four times. In 2002, it sold for £22,000. In 2006, it sold for £26,000. In 2008, it sold for £30,000 . Finally, in 2013, it sold for £50,000. But it’s not just the hard covers that are worth a lot of money. Even the first edition paperbacks are worth some money at £7,500.
To determine whether copies of Ian Fleming books are first editions, some conditions apply. All 14 books were published by Jonathan Cape in London, England. The publishing company name, Jonathan Cape, should appear on the title page, and it will include the first published date, with the actual year on the other sided of the title page. The book should also have the original dust jacket on it. An indication that it is the original dust jacket is there will be no quotations from critics or other authors. It should also be in good condition. Some books have other features that contribute to a higher value that is unique to that title, for example, The Man With The Golden Gun had a small amount of books first published with a gold embossed gun on the cover. Because this cover decoration was too expensive for printing, it wasn’t done for very long, so there are very few copies with this trait on the cover, so the covers with the golden gun on it are rare, hence, are more valuable.
Another thing that makes one of the Ian Fleming books uniquely more valuable is that there was a limited edition of this Fleming James Bond novel and that was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. What made it a limited edition was that there were only 250 copies that were numbered, signed, and included an illustrated portrait of Ian Fleming. So all those added things that were contributed personally and favorably by Ian Fleming, made those particular books very rare, very valuable and very sought after. Speaking of fewer copies, rarity is also another contributor to the higher value of these books in the fewer amount of copies that were printed. Casino Royale, Moonraker, Live and Let Die were published with fewer copies. Octopussy, on the other hand, had more printed copies. Casino Royale is the most collectible title, at 4,728 first edition hardback copies that were printed. It is compared to the 7,500 copies of Live and Let Die published in 1954 and the 9,900 copies of Moonraker published in 1955. Fleming’s last complete Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun, had a first edition, first issue print run of 82,000. Because there were more printed copies, even though it was Fleming’s last book written, they aren’t as valuable. Another important aspect that determines worth is the kind of condition these books are in, which can have a huge affect on how much money they can be sold for.
But Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels aren’t the only Bond books to be valuable and gaining value, as time goes on and new James Bond movies are being released. The Bond books by the other authors, are also increasing in worth, such as the 15 James Bond books that were written by John Gardner. The most collectible of Gardner’s books, presently, is GoldenEye. First edition copies in excellent condition are being appraised at £1,500. Chances are the other authors of James Bond books will also see an increase in the value of the books, as well, with the coming of new James Bond movies. It’s the authors of these new James Bond books, that make more James Bond movies possible, and with more James Bond movies being released, comes increased value in all the James Bond books that are written.