LONDON (Reuters) - Ian Fleming's estate has signed a 10-year deal with the Random House Group to publish the James Bond backlist both in print and e-book format, the publishing company said on Friday.
Random imprint Vintage Books acquired the rights to Fleming's 14 Bond books as well as two non-fiction titles.
The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, represents a homecoming of sorts for the author whose first 007 novel "Casino Royale" was published in 1953 by Jonathan Cape, a sister imprint of Vintage.
The Bond catalogue is one of the most prized in publishing, with global sales totaling more than 100 million copies and the knock-on effect of the hugely successful film franchise which continues to run today.
With the original James Bond movie "Dr. No" celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and the release later in 2012 of new Bond film "Skyfall", there will be plenty of buzz to build on.
"We are delighted to be reuniting James Bond with his original publisher," said Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, the family company which has until now published Bond e-books under its own imprint.
"This new deal, incorporating both print and e-book formats, represents a significant step-change for Ian Fleming and his work," Turner added.
Vintage acquired exclusive rights to the Bond novels in English everywhere except for the United States and Canada.
The books will be re-launched this summer in two styles - one under the Vintage paperback imprint and one in Vintage Classics, as well as in e-book format.
Vintage will take over as James Bond publishers from Penguin in April.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)