I am delighted that my new novel for adults is published today.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 27, 2012
Did you buy a $17.99 eBook copy of J.K. Rowling‘s A Casual Vacancy before 3 p.m. ET on September 27? You are entitled to a new digital copy of the book. Hachette has published an official statement about the formatting problems with the eBook edition:
Yesterday the eBook file for The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling was released to all U.S. eBook retailers. There were issues with that file, including the adjustability of font color and size and adjustability of margins. As soon as Hachette was made aware of these issues, a replacement file was uploaded to all eBook retailers. Hachette has requested that each retailer contact their customers directly about reloading their eBook. Any consumer who purchased the eBook on Thursday, September 27, before approximately 3:00pm ET, who has not heard from their retailer, should contact them and request that their eBook be reloaded. No consumer should have to repurchase the eBook.
The novel for adults has earned some divided early reviews on Amazon For A Casual Vacancy. As of this 5:30 p.m. ET writing, the book had 19 five-star reviews and 15 one-star reviews. The majority of these early reviewers have not read the book.
Most of the one-star reviews were written by customers complaining about the steep price of the book. The most popular one-star review attacked the quality of the eBook. Here is an excerpt:
The publisher either didn’t bother doing any work at all to make sure that this ebook displayed well on kindles and nooks, or they willfully did a poor job, or they are too apathetic to care how one of the most anticipated novels of the past five years would look on ereader devices. The body font is extremely small, while chapter headings are proportionally much, much larger. On top of that the publisher choice for font can not be overridden! This is kf8 formatting at it’s worst. This is a slap in the face to ereaders.
The negative Amazon customer reviews even generated a five-star review from somebody who had not read the book:
Even if this book wasn’t that great I would still give it five stars to make up for those ridiculous price reviews. They don’t contribute anything. The price for the Kindle version is high, yes, but so what? If you don’t want to pay that much then don’t buy it. Just don’t ruin the star rating with useless review. By the way, even though I gave this book five stars for the reason I mentioned, I am sure I will very much enjoy it.
The author made two rare trips to Twitter to promote her book this week. We’ve embedded one tweet above. She also tweeted to remind readers that they can live stream her UK book discussion at this link.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated as the story evolved.