Digital diary

Dear Digital Diary: ‘Wimpy Kid’ eBooks Are Coming

This image published by Abrams Books for Young Readers shows animated character Greg Heffley from the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book series. Creator Jeff Kinney, a leading e-holdout among children’s authors, has agreed to make his best-selling illustrated series about middle schooler Greg Heffley available electronically. The first six volumes of “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” are out October 30 as e-books. The new novel, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel,” will be released simultaneously in hardcover and e-book form on November 13. (AP Photo/Abrams Books for Young Readers)

(AP)—The “Wimpy Kid” returns to its digital roots.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” creator Jeff Kinney, one of the leading e-holdouts among children’s authors, has agreed to make his best-selling illustrated series on the trials of college student Greg Heffley available electronically.

“The decision came after a lot of thought and deliberation,” Kinney said in a recent phone interview. “I’m very excited about this. I feel like the time has come.”

The first six volumes of “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” are out October 30 as e-books. The new novel, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel,” releases simultaneously in hardcover and e-book form on November 13.

In the post-Harry Potter era, few series have been as popular with young people as the “Wimpy Kid” books. According to Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, more than 75 million copies are in print worldwide. Even with the release of an electronic edition, Abrams CEO and President Michael Jacobs says the first printing of the new book will be the same as the previous one – 6 million hardcovers, probably the highest of any 2012 versions and more than the 3.5 million copies announced by Disney for Rick Riordan’s latest, “The Mark of Athena”.

“We consider this a multiple buy. Kids will want the e-books in addition to the hardcover books,” Jacobs says. “If they’re in a car, for example, they’ll read the books on their e-book device, or on their parents’ e-book device.”

Kinney noted that her books actually originated online. He first published his stories for free on the educational website www.funbrain.com, in 2004, when the e-book market was almost non-existent. Millions of children have read his work, and the first hardcover book, simply titled “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, was released in 2007.

The digital market for children’s books remains smaller than that for adult books, but sales and technology have improved enough to convince everyone from Rowling to authors and publishers of series as enduring as Clifford the Big Red Dog. ” and “The Berenstain Bears” to allow electronic editions.

Kinney’s reasons for expecting reflect the objections of many authors. He had philosophical concerns, believing that children should have the “tactile” experience of holding books in their hands. And he didn’t think the devices were adequate for the drawings that accompany and help define his stories.

But, like Jacobs, he thinks e-books will complement hardcover books rather than replace them. And he enjoyed the proliferation and improvements of iPads, Nooks, Kindle Fires and other tablets.

“I worked closely with Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble to make sure the books fit the size. It’s almost exactly like hardcovers, if not exactly,” he says, adding that for the moment there would be no interactive or other digital features added. “We don’t want to distract from the humor of the books, which are very timing dependent. If we ever do anything extra, it’s got to be something special.”

The author himself doesn’t deal much with e-books. He likes audio, for practical reasons. He works constantly, sometimes 17 hours a day, on his “Wimpy Kid” stories and doesn’t get a chance to sit down and read.

“Illustrating my books is incredibly intense, and audiobooks help me survive that process,” he says.


Amazon sells more Kindle books than printed books


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Quote: Dear Digital Diary: ‘Wimpy Kid’ e-books coming (October 15, 2012) retrieved March 15, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-dear-digital-diary-wimpy-kid.html

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