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Amazon.com apologizes for shipping Atwood novel early

This Aug. 21, 2019 photo shows author Margaret Atwood posing for a portrait in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) -- 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.

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 Defense Jim Mattis.

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