Amazon apologizes for shipping Margaret Atwood’s new novel early

Amazon has apologized for accidentally shipping copies of Margaret Atwood’s new book early.

The company said Thursday that a “technical error” resulted in some customers receiving copies of the celebrated author’s latest novel, “The Testaments,” this week, days ahead of its September 10 publication date.

Atwood is an award-winning Canadian writer whose works include “Cat’s Eye,” “Alias Grace,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the last of which is now a TV series on Hulu. “The Testaments” is a sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was published in 1985.

“Due to a technical error a small number of customers were inadvertently sent copies of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments,'” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement provided to CNN Business. “We apologize for this error; we value our relationship with authors, agents, and publishers, and regret the difficulties this has caused them and our fellow booksellers.”

Publishers Weekly reported about the incident Wednesday, citing booksellers who contacted the publisher about it. The book’s publisher also posted a statement about it, without naming Amazon as the culprit.

“A very small number of copies of Margaret Atwood’ ‘The Testaments’ were distributed early due to a retailer error which has now been rectified,” Todd Doughty, executive director of Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, said in a statement. “We appreciate that readers and booksellers have been waiting patiently for the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.'”

The publisher added that the global publication date remains unchanged.

Neither statement disclosed the exact number of orders that were mistakenly shipped. The Guardian reported around 800 copies went out early, and only to US customers.

Hulu and MGM announced Wednesday they are planning to develop the new novel for television. Hulu has renewed “The Handmaid’s Tale” series for a fourth season.