“Bond Promotion: 1952-1953,” provides the best understanding I’ve seen of Ian Fleming’s pre-Casino Royale publication treatment of James Bond as a business.
This is Chapter 8 of Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond ( 1995), by Andrew Lycett.
By way of introduction to this subject, the November 1998 issue of Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine, states that 4,728 copies of Casino Royale were bound up by Jonathan Cape for sale. They believe that less than half of this first printing, officially dated April 13, 1953, was actually sold to the public; the balance went to public libraries.
In that context, Lycett describes Fleming’s negotiations with Cape in September of 1952. The “two sides had agreed that he would receive royalties of 10 per cent on all sales up to 10,000 copies, 15 per cent from 10,000 to 15,000, 17½ per cent from 15,000 to 20,000 and 20 per cent thereafter.” Fleming initially demanded a first print run of 10,000 books.
Ian Fleming provided his own artwork for the cover of Casino Royale. He suggested April 15, 1952, “as a possible publication date, and informing Cape that the word ‘Royale’ in the title might help pick up some extra sales over the coronation period.
‘I do hope you won’t find any of these suggestions unreasonable,’ [Fleming] added with mock affability, ‘since I am only activated by the motives of a) making as much money for myself and my publishers as possible b) getting as much fun as I personally can out of the project.’
He disclosed to Jonathan Cape in October of 1952 that he had sold the rights in Casino Royale to “Glydrose Productions,” meaning “Glidrose,” named after its two principals, John Gliddon and Norman Rose. Fleming was in the process of buying this going concern, but had misspelled its name in communication to Cape. He would own 999 shares, his wife, Ann, would own one.
All rights to Casino Royale— except film rights — were assigned to Glidrose.