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Amazon.com is apologizing for a “technical error” which led to some copies of Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, the year’s most anticipated novel, being “inadvertently” sent early.

The online giant issued a statement Thursday saying that a “small number” of customers received Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale before its Sept. 10 release date. Some readers have posted photos of The Testaments on social media.

Smaller bookstores speak out after Amazon ships 800 copies of Atwood’s Testaments early

Book excerpt: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale

Atwood’s new novel was tightly embargoed, a common publishing tactic for topical non-fiction such as political memoirs, but rare for fiction. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter novel are among the few fictional books released under similar conditions.

The Testaments was No. 2 on Amazon as of midday Thursday, trailing Call Sign Chaos, by former Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis.

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