Casual Vacancy’s Expected Sales are Down?


Sep 27, 2012

Posted by: Catherine


Hyped as the most anticipated novel of this season, Washington Post has reported that sales may not live up to the hype. The Washington Post blog reports:

But for the most eagerly anticipated book of the year, Politics & Prose had sold only about half a dozen of their 300 copies by the time Oliver was not quite a half a dozen chapters in. That’s about a third of what the store would order for the “Harry Potter” series, but, according to senior book buyer Mark LaFramboise, 20 times more than they usually order for other books. For “Harry Potter’ the store could count on swarms of pre-teens rushing the door at midnight on the day of a new release. For “The Casual Vacancy’ the author’s first adult novel, there have been no such crowds.

The Wall Street Journal blog SpeakEasy suggested that harsh reviews and critical statements may hurt sales.

early reviews may make it harder for J.K. Rowling’s new adult novel “The Casual Vacancy” to generate staying power
on the national best-seller lists. The book, set in a small town in England and
focused on characters involved in a local election, went on sale nationwide
this morning.

The Los Angeles Times reviewer David Ulin noted that “what’s
surprising, given Rowling’s ability to spin a story, is just how unsatisfying
it ultimately becomes.” Elsewhere, Monica Hesse, writing in the Washington
Post, wrote , “Much of the book I admired, even if I didn’t love’ before
concluding that the novel “would be a little better if everyone were carrying

Meghan Cox Gurdon in The Wall Street Journal, however, was
more upbeat, writing that once the novel gets underway, it “becomes a positively
propulsive read.” She adds that the book “may not be George Eliot, but it’s
J.K. Rowling; and that’s pretty good.”

leading independent retailer said the book sold six copies in the first hour on
sale Thursday. “It might be review proof, as many books are’ said Mark
LaFramboise, chief buyer for the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington
D.C. “The curiosity factor is really strong, and there is a built-in audience.
We’re prepared for the book to be very successful.”

It may not
help that the novel is expensive at $17.99 for the e-book edition compared to
$12.99 and $14.99 for many rival best sellers. In hardcover, its recommended
price is $35 although it is widely available online for the discounted price of

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We will have more news about sales later this weekend.

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