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.

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