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Sales of J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ gets off to great start

By Daniel S Levine,

JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, her first adult novel and first novel since Harry Potter ended in 2007, got off to a great start with sales, topping the fiction chart in the UK. The book also did well in the US, notching the third best debut week of the year.

The Guardian reports that the book, which was only released on Thursday, sold 124,603 copies during its first week. That was ten times as much as the book in the No. 2 slot, Bernard Cornwell's 1356, which sold 12,231 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan.

It’s the fastest-selling hardcover book in the UK since Dan Brown’s 2009 novel The Lost Symbol sold 550,000 in its first week.

In the US, the book also debuted at the top, reports Publisher’s Weekly. The book sold 157,000 copies, beating Fifty Shades of Grey’s 61,000 copies and No Easy Day’s 52,000.

It’s the third-best debut of the year, behind No Easy Day, the novel about the Osama Bin Laden raid which sold 254,000 copies in its first week. Fifty Shades Darker sold 171,000 copies in its debut.

EVP of Little, Brown Michael Pietsch was happy with the numbers, reports Entertainment Weekly. “The Casual Vacancy has exceeded our expectations,” he said, adding that it will be the year’s “bestselling novel in hardcover.”

The Casual Vacancy had almost no shot of matching the sales of the Harry Potter novels. The last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold 2.6 million copies in its first week in 2007, notes the Guardian.

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