How The Wimpy Kid conquered the world

The eighth outing for Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, sold a massive 1.3 million books in all formats around the world in its first week.

The print run is 5.5 million, so there are still some copies out there but Abrams’ imprint Amulet Press could be going back to the printers pretty soon. The Wimpy Kid series has sold an incredible 115 million copies which equates to around 16 million books apiece if they all sold equally well.

Amazingly, the new ebook is only No 18 on the overall best sellers in the Kindle store at but that probably just shows the vast majority of sales for the book are in print.

In the new book, Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley is on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

Some of you might remember a book with a similar theme, Luke Rhinehart’s 1971 novel The Dice Man, which was decidely not a children’s book.

Author Kinney’s ambition was to become a newspaper cartoonist but he couldn’t get his comic strips syndicated. He came up with the Wimpy Kid idea in 1998 and worked on it for eight years before signing a deal with publisher Harry N Abrams in 2006. Kinney is touring the US to promote the book and goes on to the UK, Ireland and Germany in December.