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New 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Book Beats Steve Jobs' Sales Record

Dairy Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever Cover - P 2011

With sales up 25 percent over the previous book in Jeff Kinney's popular series, "Cabin Fever" is on pace to sell 4 million copies in 2011.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, the sixth book in the popular kids series by Jeff Kinney, sold more than 1 million copies since its debut on Nov. 15, according to publisher Abrams. The first week sales were 25 percent ahead of book five, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, which debuted on November 9, 2011.

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The Ugly Truth went on to sell more than 3.3 million copies through the holiday season, ending up as the best-selling book of the year. The strong debut of Cabin Fever suggests it could sell as many as 4 million copies by December 31, likely also ending up as the year’s top-selling book.

At six million copies, the first printing for Cabin Fever is the largest for any book in 2011, beating Steve Jobs' biography, which sold more than 379,000 copies in its first six days of on the market and Chris Paolini's Inheritance, which logged 489,500 combined book digital and audio sales on its first day of availability.

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"Sales for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever in the first week have exceeded all our expectations. We’re thrilled that the new book has debuted so strongly.  Once again, the fans have spoken, and Jeff Kinney’s series has broken all sales records— both in kids’ books and adult—for the year,” said Michael Jacobs, president and CEO of Abrams.

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The Wimpy Kid franchise has been the hot seller in the hot young adult segment of the book market.  In 2011, the series sold 11.5 million hardcover books to displace Twilight as the best selling YA series.  Lifetime sales for the series exceed 50 million copies.  The two live-action Wimpy Kid movies—2010’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the 2011 sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules—have grossed more than  $145 million worldwide.  A third movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, is scheduled to be released on August 3, 2011.

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The Wimpy Kid series centers on the misadventures of Greg Hefley, the titular wimpy kid, a typical 13-year-old boy who is nervous around girls, fights with his older brother, and gets into trouble with his best friend Rowley.  Author Jeff Kinney likens Greg to a middle-school version of Larry David: well-intentioned but always getting in trouble for saying out loud what other people are thinking.

Cabin Fever finds Greg snowed in at home after a surprise blizzard.  He hates being cooped up at home with his family, but waiting for him when school starts again is punishment for a prank he did not commit.