Before there were the movies, there were the novels. Written by Ian Fleming, the 14 Bond books were sort of a fantasy version of Fleming's real-life experiences as a member of British Naval Intelligence. However, the author was totally unknown when Casino Royale was set to be published, but he was determined to make the book a hit. His advertising game plan involved sending letters to newspaper editors (complete with a signed copy of the book), and he even reached out to author Somerset Maugham. The respected writer wrote back to Fleming, saying he'd greatly enjoyed the novel, but when Fleming asked if his kind words could be used to publicize the story, Maugham replied with a swift "no." Still, Fleming wasn't a guy who gave up, and when the book landed a publishing deal in America, he pushed even harder. The man wrote to any friend he could, trying to get into Vogue or Time or anything that would get his name out.
Despite his efforts, the books still weren't selling well, especially in America, but everything changed when Fleming met an old, deteriorating Raymond Chandler. Despite Chandler's poor health, Fleming still asked the mystery writer to promote his novel. But Fleming took things even further when the prime minister of Great Britain fell ill. Sick from the strain after the Suez Crisis, Anthony Eden needed a place to relax. Always one to grab an opportunity, Fleming eagerly gave the politician access to his secluded home in Jamaica, little getaway that Fleming called "Goldeneye." However, the place didn't have a telephone, hot water, or a bathroom. Even worse, there were rats running around the roof. It wasn't exactly a great place for an ill man, but Fleming was thrilled by the visit, hoping Eden's stay at Goldeneye would boost his "American sales." And believe it or not, the crazy publicity stunt worked, thrusting Fleming into the public eye.