E-book glitch leaves new J.K. Rowling novel unreadable

Harry Potter author's first adult novel arrives to mixed reviews, but e-book readers who bought the book today couldn't even read it.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
Hachette Book Group

Update, 3:21 p.m. PT: Updated with comment from Amazon.

E-book readers who were excited about reading Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's first adult book, "The Casual Vacancy," were met with an unpleasant surprise today -- the text delivered to their e-book readers was unreadable.

A glitch on the publishing end caused the book to be viewed into two formats: oversized letters that took up the screen or tiny, illegible font, paidContent reported, which first noticed the problem on Amazon's Kindlemodels.

It left the eager fans who shelled out $17.99 for the e-book disappointed, and no magic wand was going to wave that away.The novel's publisher Hachette Book Group, which settled with the Department of Justice in Aprilover allegations of e-book price fixing, confirmed the "file issue" affected all e-book readers.

Hachette said the issue's been fixed since and anyone who buys the e-book now will get a functioning file. Those who downloaded early? They'll have to wait until Amazon updates the version or try buying the book again.

An Amazon spokesperson said in an e-mail sent around 2:30 p.m. PT that the company "will make it possible for past purchases to get the updated file in the next few hours."

So much for the early bird getting the worm.