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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID to Be Available as E-Book, 10/30

Related: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

The New York Times Arts Beat blog reports that DIARY OF A WIMPY KID creator Jeff Kinney has agreed to make his best-selling series about middle schooler Greg Heffley available as an E-Book.

"The decision came after a lot of thought and deliberation," Kinney said during a recent telephone interview. "I am very excited about this. It feels like the time is right." The first six volumes of "The Diary of a Wimpy Kid" are dueout Oct. 30 as e-books. The new novel, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel," comes out at the same time as a hardcover and an e-book on Nov. 13.

According to Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, more than 75 million copies are in print worldwide. Abrams CEO and president Michael Jacobs says the first printing of the new book will consist of 6 million hardcovers. "We see this as a multiple purchase. Kids will want the e-books in addition to the hardcovers," Jacobs says. "If they're in a car for instance, they'll read the books on their e-book device, or on their parents' e-book device."

Author Kinney said he believes that e-books will be a complement, rather than a replacement for hardcover books and he is enthused about the recent improvements to iPads, Nooks, Kindle Fires and other similar electronic tablets. "I've been working very closely with Amazon and Apple and Barnes & Noble to make sure the books look right for the format. It's almost exactly like the hardcovers, if not exactly," he says. "We don't want to distract from the humor of the books, which are very reliant on timing. If we ever do something supplemental, it will have to be something special."

Ironically, the author admits he is so busy writing his "Wimpy Kid" series that he rarely has time to sit down and open up a book. "Illustrating my books is incredibly intense and audiobooks help me survive that process," he says.

The series started off online on Funbrain.com in 2004 and made its print debut in April of 2007. There are now more than 75 million copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in print in 40 different languages.

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