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'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series (finally) available as e-books

October 15, 2012|By Susan Carpenter
  • Jeff Kinney's bestselling "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series will finally be available as e-books, starting Oct. 30.
Jeff Kinney's bestselling "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series… (Abrams )

Jeff Kinney is one of the most popular children's book authors on the planet. More than 75 million copies of the first six books in his "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series are in print in 41 languages. They just haven't been available in a digital format.

But that's about to change.

The series' publisher, Amulet Books, announced Monday that it would release the first six titles in the illustrated series as Wimp-E-Books. The e-books will be available for download on Oct. 30 and are available for pre-order today through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The highly anticipated seventh book, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel," will be available as both a hardcover and a Wimp-E-Book on Nov. 13. One month before book No. 7's release, "The Third Wheel" has already spent 120 days on's top 100 bestseller list.

Kinney, who was named one of Time magazine's most influential people in the world, first introduced "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" in 2004 through the website, where the book is still free and available. Since the first book was published in 2007, the series has gone on to become a standing feature on bestseller lists nationwide.

They haven't been available digitally due to a combination of technical issues and Kinney's personal reservations.

"The first generation of e-readers didn't display the book well, and I didn't want the kids to have an inferior experience," said Kinney, 41.

Many of his books' illustrations are designed to look like doodles in a diary, with ruled lines in the background, and digitizing them turned out to be problematic, especially since the pictures are embedded in the story flow on every page.

"Now there are multiple devices that can display the books really nicely, so that was part of it," Kinney said. "The other part is that I felt conflicted about whether or not the books should be in e-book format. A book to a kid is a precious object. Eventually, the conclusion I came to was that this was an and proposition instead of an or proposition. Kids would like to have the book in both formats."

The e-book editions are priced the same as the paperback versions, at $7.99 per title.


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