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JK Rowling's adult novel arrives on ebook full of FAIL

Where's a digital wizard when you need one?

JK Rowling's first novel not to feature young bespectacled wizard Harry Potter was released on Wednesday, following a massive marketing campaign that effectively shrouded The Casual Vacancy in mystery before its debut on bookstore shelves. But it didn't all go according to plan, after the ebook version of the 506-page tome was delivered to US customers with glitches galore.

The Wall Street Journal reported that punters who ordered the digital version of Rowling's novel were greeted with flaws relating to the ability to adjust margins and font colour and size.

The glitchy file was downloaded from all ebook retailers selling the book, including Amazon, admitted publisher Little, Brown and Co, which is owned by Hachette Book Group.

After it became aware of the technical cock-up on Thursday, the publisher provided retailers with a corrected file. Customers who were unlucky enough to be saddled with the duff version of the novel were advised to reload it from the online retail stores.

Here in the UK, some customers on Amazon complained about the high price tag (£11.99) attached to the ebook version of The Casual Vacancy, which was billed by one critic as "The Archers on amyl nitrate".

But as some have noted, the steep cost of the ebook shouldn't be blamed on Rowling: It's the taxman's fault in Brussels.

Many publications, including printed books, maps and charts, magazines and newspapers, are zero-rated, but ebooks are classified differently because they are subjected to VAT. ®

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