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Sales numbers for The Casual Vacancy’s first week are now out, and Little Brown says that J.K. Rowling’s first post-Potter novel “exceeded expectations.”

In the United States the book sold 375,000 copies since its Thursday release. In the United Kingdom, 124,000 were sold. The publisher believes that it is on track to become the bestselling hardback book of the year. Despite high anticipation and one million pre-orders, the book did not surpass first week sales of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol which holds the record at 550,000 copies.

The good news for Rowling started early this morning when it topped USA Today’s best-seller list, knocking E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey out of the lead. It’ll be interesting to see how long the book can hold on to this ranking. On Monday we noted that the debut of Rick Riordan’s The Mark of Athena had already dethroned Rowling from #1 on Amazon’s best-seller list. We expect additional sales numbers to be revealed in the coming days. The book had hit one million pre-orders and two million copies are reportedly in print.

On the latest episode of MuggleCast, our long running Harry Potter podcast, we discuss The Casual Vacancy in a spoiler-free manner. The hosts, this writer included, have been largely unimpressed so far, but we’re all going to finish it – at some point.

  • Tomas

    The Casual Vacancy is just a phenomenal book. It is SO incredibly good. Well written, story is interesting, Jo Rowling is the best author at the moment.

  • NightStrike91

    How come pre-orders outnumber sales? Are these sales excluding the pre-orders? I’m really confused.

    • Lexi89

      Yes, the sales exclude pre-orders. After the sales number it says, “since its Thursday release”

  • Lexi89

    I finished it yesterday! I cried on and off during the last fifty pages of the book. It reminded me a lot of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Both have issues of moral vacancy, rich/middle class vs. poor, and lots of smoking. Although GG is set in 1920 New York featuring jazz music while CV is in 2012 small town Pagford in England and features Rihanna and Jay-Z.

  • http://hypable.com/author/jeremy-baril/ Jeremy Baril

    “Exceeded Expectations.” Classic.

  • Tom

    What’s the point of these figures if they don’t include pre-orders?

  • http://twitter.com/dreamfall31 Kevin Slechta

    Didn’t pick it up yet, but I hope to before the years over. Seems so far that all the negativity is from younger people who were a bit late to the HP bandwagon. The Mugglecast this past week has a great discussion about it! I highly reccomend listening to it as it is spoiler-free!

  • goldensnidget92

    I think it would be more difficult to appreciate for someone who doesn’t live in Britain. There are just elements to it that, coming from a small country village myself, struck me as so, so uncannily accurate, and I think this could be lost on people who haven’t experienced the same society. That’s not to say they can’t enjoy it of course!!

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