Monday, November 28, 2011

U.S. JAMES BOND movie tie-in editions

Okay, here's one I know many have been waiting for -- the U.S. movie tie-in editions and novelizations. It's a Bond literary tradition that goes back to the start of the film series in 1962 that the corresponding Fleming novels would be reissued in new editions that feature the film on the cover in some way. While various publishers took over tie-in duties, I'm treating these as their own "set". They start off straight forward enough, but things start to get tricky as the filmmakers started using short story and original titles. But before I get into the details, here are the paperbacks laid out in all their cinematic splendor.

Signet, who published all the Bond novels in paperback in the U.S., created movie tie-in editions for eight films total. A standout among the Signet tie-in's is You Only Live Twice (1967). For some reason, Signet did not create new cover art with poster imagery, but instead simply added a pink sticker to the cover of their standard paperback edition. Interestingly, you can also find copies of Signet's series Casino Royale with a tie-in sticker, even though they also did a proper tie-in cover with the '67 film.

Bantam, who took over paperback publishing duties from Signet in the '70s, released Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Live and Let Die (1973) in nice paperback tie-in editions. A hardcover book club edition of Diamonds was also released with this movie cover. Because Signet had retained the rights to the last four Fleming books, they returned to do the official tie-in for The Man With The Golden Gun in 1974 (I believe this cover was the first image I ever saw of the flesh and blood James Bond 007).

Ian Fleming did not want his 10th book, The Spy Who Loved Me, adapted into a film apart from the title, so likewise no tie-in was done. Instead screenwriter Christopher Wood wrote the first "novelization" of a Bond film under the title, James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me. It was released by one-time Bond publisher Warner Books. The novelization idea appears to have caught on and Wood returned to write a novelization of the next Bond film MOONRAKER (1979). This book was the first to be published by the new Bond publisher, Jove Books, under the title, James Bond and Moonraker.

Tie-in’s returned with 1981's "back to basics" Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. Jove Books released this collection of Fleming short stories as the last book in their paperback series with a banner touting the Roger Moore movie. Marvel also released a mass market paperback of their comic book adaptation. Signet did not do a tie-in for Octopussy (1983), the 13th Bond film. Unsurprisingly, no one went near the legal quagmire that was the unofficial Thunderball remake, Never Say Never Again (1983) with Sean Connery.

New paperback publisher Berkeley would reissue a copy of their colorful For Your Eyes Only series paperback in 1985 with a banner announcing the last Roger Moore Bond film, A View To A Kill -- although some might consider Ballantine's four Fine Your Fate paperbacks as the true tie-ins for that particular film. AVTAK was also novelized, in a fashion, by Judy Alexandrer as The James Bond Storybook of the Movie A View To A Kill (right). The kid friendly book was published by Grosset & Dunlap and the copyrighted page does list Glidrose Publications, so...

When the ball came back to Signet, they again passed on doing any kind of a tie-in for Timothy Dalton's 1987 debut Bond film, The Living Daylights (a title that's part of the Octopussy collection). This is a great shame because a look at a German tie-in edition shows us what could have been.

Novelizations returned with a vengeance for 1989s Licence To Kill (see what I did there?), the first Bond film to carry a non-Fleming title. Official continuation author John Gardner penned the book, which was published by Charter using a combination of movie artwork and the paperback series art that included the somewhat odd cover blurb: "Now a Major Motion Picture" (as if it had ever been anything else?). Licence To Kill would be the only novelization to be published in hardcover in the U.S. Not only is there a hardcover book club edition, but The Mysterious Press in New York published three different hardback editions (four if you include the special 26 "lettered" editions of the maroon cover), although their dust-jacketed edition was created primarily for sale in the UK.

The Mysterious Press Licence To Kill hardcovers

John Gardner came back to novelize Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film, GoldenEye (1995). Raymond Benson, who took over continuation novel duties in 1997, provided novelizations for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Die Another Day (2002). All the Brosnan Bond novelizations where published by Boulevard Books.

Daniel Craig's debut Bond film Casino Royale (2006) marked a return to Fleming titles, and also marked the return of the traditional tie-in. Penguin, which had released all the Fleming books as trade editions in 2002 with attractive retro covers, released a new mass market edition of Casino Royale with a cover blurb saying, "Now A Major Motion Picture". For Quantum of Solace (2008), IFP took the unique step of creating a new collection of Ian Fleming short stories under this title. This can be thought of as the ultimate tie-in, although the U.S. edition by Penguin doesn't actually refer to the film at all.

Finally, there are several curious "hybrid" editions that are worth seeking out. As you can see by the photos below, these hybrids features the movie art, but all text referencing the films is stripped away. So far I've seen hybrid editions of Signet's Doctor No, Thunderball, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Signet hybrids

So what might IFP and Eon have planned for Skyfall next year? That's open for speculation.

Click here to see the UK James Bond tie-in editions.


  1. The hybrid of OHMSS (last photo) was the one I grew up with. Nice piece!

  2. Nice work. I believe the DAF was also available in hardcover - a book club edition I think.$(KGrHqUOKpgE1q86wdvnBNgQGJ4j9w~~_3.JPG

  3. Oh, I completely forgot about that! Thanks Charles. I'll add that.

  4. Now onto the UK film tie-ins I think. The Doctor No one being the first Bond book I ever read. I was nine and it was owned by my best friends Father. Given to me because I was mad on Bond and it had photos from the film on the cover. My Mum was horrified when I brought it home saying I was going to read it. "But your only nine!" she exclaimed. The second book I owned and the first I bought was the OHMSS movie tie-in which had just come out. Ah such memories.

  5. Yep, I'll get the UK ones soon. There's more of those. A lot of scanning to do. :)

  6. Are the novelizations from the continuation authors part of that author's continuity? i.e. are Licence to Kill and Goldeneye novelizations in the same continuity as the rest of John Gardner's books?

  7. My copy of OHMSS is the hybrid one.

  8. DDD -- The Christopher Wood books and Gardner's LTK do attempt to fit into the Fleming continuity. But from GoldenEye on, the authors treated them as their own universe. Although I think maybe Benson mentions ZMT in his TND novelization... Not sure.

  9. John,

    great article, as always! When I first got into the books as a young lad about 20 years ago, my local library packed a mix of the different paperback editions. It's great to go through these photos and fondly recall which versions provided my first foray into Bond literature. So keep these articles rolling!!

    As for the ZMT reference in TND, I seem to recall it was one line while Bond is meeting with M. As he guesses where he may be going off to, he asks, "Hong Kong again?" I haven't read the book since 1997, so correct me if I'm wrong!

  10. Hi John,

    There are also extremely slight variations on the Signet movie tie-in for TMWTGG.

    Signet 451 Y6208 is priced at $1.25. The front cover states "in a smashing new film.." while the back cover has " a sensational film..."

    Signet 451 W8187 is priced at $1.50 . The front cover states "in a smashing film..." while the back cover has "a sensational film..."

    Thanks for your continued excellence. You make being being a lit Bond fan/collector fun!

  11. Thanks, night person. That's great stuff. I thought there was TMWTGG with a smaller pic of Moore and the girls on the cover. Maybe it was one of these you mention?

  12. Another great round-up, John. Thanks again! So DAF was the only tie-in published in a book club edition in the Seventies? I've got that, but always wondered if there was an elusive LALD as well.

    What was the Signet Dr. No hybrid?

    Mark, thanks for sharing your Dr. No story. I love the personal stories that each of John's posts have inspired here, the memories these covers recall! My own story for this batch is about the LTK book club edition.

    I worked in a great used bookstore in high school, and they sold all book club editions for $1. It was my job to slap the stickers on them with a pricing gun. I remember pricing that LTK book club, and even though I was already maniacal about collecting every edition I could get my hands on, that didn't at the time extend to book clubs, which all of my "book collector's training" had taught me to regard as less than garbage. And so, already possessing the signed Mysterious Press edition, I didn't even think about buying that LTK book club for myself at the time. I priced it and shelved it in the unorganized bargain section.

    Years later, that book club edition is surprisingly collectible. I always kick myself for passing it up, and wonder if it's still there somewhere. (It could well be. Shelving it in the bargain section there was akin to boxing the Lost Ark in a giant warehouse full of identical crates.) Oh well. At least I managed to snag the dust jacket edition of the Mysterious LTK in a non-library edition while I worded there...

  13. Tanner -- if there was a Live And Let Die book club tie-in, I've never seen it. I don't think there was.

    The Dr. No hybrid removed the cover blurb, etc., but keeps the photo of Connery and Andress on the back.

    I actually didn't even know about the LTK book club until years after the movie. I flipped when I discovered it. Took a while, but I finally got one.

    1. It appears as if you are saying the Doctor No movie tie-in has the blurb on the front cover and a Connery-Andress photo on the back cover (which I have) and the hybrid removes the front cover blurb but keeps the back cover photo (which I don't have)BUT I do have one with the front cover blurb and no back cover photo. So, are their three tie-ins for Doctor No?

  14. I only bought the British LTK book club because it was hardback as opposed to just having the paperback movie tie-in. Little did I know how sought after it would become. Also I think the British book club Goldeneye is the true first edition as it appeared before the Hodder and Stoughton version. Not worth so much but still very collectable. Incidentally the British book club edition of FRWL contains first edition pages from the Cape printing that were rejected. So that makes an interesting copy to own too.


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