NEW YORK — 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.

Margaret Atwood

This Aug. 21, 2019 photo shows author Margaret Atwood posing for a portrait in Toronto, Canada. The longtime Toronto resident has written the year’s most anticipated novel, “The Testaments,” the sequel to her classic “The Handmaid’s Tale” and a Booker Prize finalist. Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

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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