Via PR, the news that Wimpy Kid is really, really big, with a four million copy initial release for the next volume in the series. Author Jeff Kinney will also be on tour on the West Coast (dates in the jump) and be making many media appearances. Although whether the text-heavy Wimpy Kid series counts as a comic at all is often a subject of some dispute, as we’ve often said, Kinney self-identifies as a cartoonist, and we should welcome him to our clan.
On October 12, 2009, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, the fourth title in #1 bestselling author Jeff Kinney’s series published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, releases with a 4-million-copy one-day laydown. The printing is the largest of any children’s book release this year. The additional pre-publication printings reflect a surge in demand for the newest book in the middle grade series and Abrams’ commitment to the increasing popularity of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
“We are poised to ship additional books as demand warrants, and we expect the sell-through to be extraordinary. Our first printing and lay down are unprecedented for Abrams and indicate how hugely successful and popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid has become,” said Michael Jacobs, president and CEO of Abrams. “It’s exciting to see the impact these books have on readers. Even more interesting for our industry is how Dog Days will bring people into the stores and give fans of the series an impetus to shop for and buy books and help kick off the holiday season at retail.”
The national lay down of the book has been supported by a pre-sell campaign implemented by more than 3,000 stores across the country. Custom-made items provided by Abrams kept the message consistent and in support of in-store events on the day of sale and throughout the fall. More than 2,000 event kits that have materials created by Jeff Kinney were shipped. These include reproducible sheets with Wimpy Kid games and trivia, a T-shirt to be raffled off, and temporary Dog Days tattoos.
Jeff Kinney is scheduled to be a guest on NPR’s Here and Now on October 13 and on ABC’s The View on October 14. A national author tour begins on October 12 at 11:00 a.m. Co-sponsored by Borders in the Providence Place mall, which partnered with Abrams, a 3,000-seat room at the Rhode Island Convention Center has been secured. This ticketed event will feature Jeff Kinney discussing the series, answering fans’ questions, and signing books. The tour then picks up on the West Coast on October 17 with ticketed book signings in eight cities. See the schedule below.
“With Dog Days, Jeff continues his commitment to his fans,” said Charles Kochman, Executive Editor of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. “After the release of The Last Straw in January, Jeff made sure that kids did not have to wait a whole year for the next book. This tour allows Jeff’s fans the opportunity to meet with him directly and celebrate the new release.”
Kinney’s work has been widely credited for its ability to turn reluctant readers on to books. In 2009 he was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He has won awards voted on by students in schools around the globe. Since publication of the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in April 2007, more than 25 million books are in print in the United States and around the world. Rights have been sold in more than 30 countries, with the books making bestseller lists in the UK, Germany, Italy, Israel, and Korea, among other countries.
The series is a fixture on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and IndieBound bestseller lists, and has remained consistently in the top spots on the New York Times lists since publication of the first book. The books in the Wimpy Kid series dominated the tops of both the Bookscan juvenile fiction and nonfiction lists for the first quarter of 2009. A movie based on the books is currently in the works with Fox 2000 studios and is due out on April 2, 2010.
National tour schedule:
October 12, 11:00 a.m. Borders Providence Place mall, held at the Rhode Island Convention Center
October 17, 11:00 a.m. Vancouver Kidsbooks, Vancouver, BC
October 18, 11:00 a.m. University Bookstore, Seattle, WA
October 19, 5:00 p.m. Powell’s Beaverton, Portland, OR
October 20, 5:00 p.m. Kepler’s, Melo Park, CA
October 21, 5:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble, El Cerrito, CA
October 22, 5:00 p.m Children’s Book World, Los Angeles, CA
October 23, 5:00 p.m. Fundraiser, Faylane, CA, library rebuilding efforts
October 24, 11:00 a.m. Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA