Marketing push under way for new James Bond book

LONDON - Sebastian Faulks' new James Bond novel 'Devil May Care' is to be published tomorrow by Penguin, supported by a major marketing campaign.

The book will travel in style up the Thames to HMS Exeter at Tower Bridge, where the novel will be launched to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bond creator Ian Fleming.

Copies will then be delivered to Waterstone's in Piccadilly, which will open at 8am tomorrow.

The campaign is being supported by a Bond promotional campaign that includes a rail and London Underground poster campaign, sales promotion activity such as a Waterstone's postcard giveaway, an online push, as well as extracts in The Times and a digital strip banner at Piccadilly Circus.

In addition, the Royal Mail has issued a series of commemorative stamps and there is a Bond exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London to mark the Fleming centenary.

'Devil May Care' has an initial print run of 400,000 copies in the UK and America, with it being tipped as a possible film as well as novel. Set in 1967, the book has the heroin trade during the Cold War and a character called Poppy at its heart.

The cover of the book, the 22nd authorised Bond novel since Fleming's death in 1964, features a blood-spattered poppy with the stem in the shape of a woman's body.

Faulks is best known for his novels war novels 'Bird Song' and 'Charlotte Gray', but won the chance to write a Bond novel after the Fleming family read his Cold War novel 'On Green Dolphin Street'.

Faulks wrote the book in just six weeks and he follows in the footsteps of other famous writers including Kingsley Amis, to try their hand at Bond.

The book comes ahead of the 22nd Bond film, 'Quantum of Solace', which is currently in production and will again star Daniel Craig as 007 and is due to be released later this year.

A 23rd Bond film will follow in 2010, but no details have yet been released.