Jeff Kinney - The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Makes Its Transition From Page, to Film, To E-Reader.15 October 2012
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney, has sold over 75 million copies, been translated into 41 languages, had 3 film adaptations made (the latest released this last August) and it is only now, 5 years after the original publication date of the first book that it is making the transition into e-books - even though it first appeared on the internet in 2004! It seems the Wimpy Kid has made it back home, back to digital technology and an even wider potential readership.
The series will finally be digitised on October 30th, two weeks before the release of the seventh book in the series, all of which are already available for pre-order. Even before its release, the 7th installment has already enjoyed 7 weeks within the top 100 Amazon best-sellers list.
The delay in transition has been for a variety of reasons, partly due to Kinney's personal reservations, but also because the novels didn't adapt to the original e-Readers very well. The Wimpy Kid series are all illustrated and made to look like diaries, with one side of the page often flowing onto the next, which the e-readers simply could not accommodate. “I didn't want the kids to have an inferior experience,” Kinney said, “Now there are multiple devices that can display the books really nicely, so that was part of it. 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 electronic version is “almost exactly like the hardcovers, if not exactly.” Kinney and his publishers didn't want to "distract from the humor of the books, which are very reliant on timing. If [they] ever do something supplemental, it will have to be something special.”
Although a large proportion of adult literature has found its way straight into the digitised format, the improved technology is increasingly paving the way for children's literature as well. The Harry Potter books are also now available electronically, after years of abstention.