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August 09, 2010

'Wimpy Kid' book series supported with not-so-wimpy marketing

By T.L. Stanley on Mon Aug 9 2010


If you thought wimpy kids were to be seen and not heard, then you're not yet aware of the latest juggernaut franchise dedicated to painful adolescence. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, the fifth book written by Jeff Kinney, will print a whopping 5 million copies, the largest batch so far in the bestselling Amulet Books series (35 million sold so far!). It launches Nov. 9, but there's a 52-city promotion kicking off this weekend that will encourage youngsters to pre-order their copies. They can also cool off with purple-colored ice cream treats from branded trucks making stops at boutique and big-box retailers. (The new book has purple as its cover theme.) The tour—which will also give away more than 25,000 books to nonprofit group First Book, which provides new books to low-income families—launches in New York on Sunday as part of Macy's Herald Square back-to-school summer blowout. All this happily (but not coincidentally) coincides with the DVD release of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film, with TV media buys from Twentieth Century Fox giving it national exposure, which comes on the heels of The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary. A compilation, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of Books, goes on sale in September, and there's a second feature film in the works. The first grossed a respectable $60 million in the U.S. For being a pipsqueak, this kid is flexing some serious muscle.


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