Media

With ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ ComiXology expands beyond digital comics

Digital comics startup ComiXology is adding popular children’s book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid to its digital store and releasing a Wimpy Kid-branded app this week.

The move marks the first time ComiXology has worked with a book. However, Diary of a Wimpy Kid’s vivid illustrated storytelling makes it a good candidate for ComiXology’s Guided View technology, which allows readers to zoom in on a single image or panel to advance the story.

And since the Wimpy Kid book series is so popular, selling over 75 million print copies across six books and spawning two movies, it also benefits from the startup’s self-branded apps — especially since this is the first time the book series is being released digitally. ComiXology has had great successes with its self-branded app model with many comic book series, including The Walking Dead and the IDW-licensed Star Trek series.

All six Diary of a Wimpy Kid books will be available through the ComiXology store, the Comics4Kids iOS app, and the Diary of a Wimpy Kids app. And much like other purchases made on ComiXology’s platform, all the books can be downloaded from any of the apps it powers (regardless of where it was originally purchased). The highly anticipated seventh book “The Third Wheel” by series creator Jeff Kinney will also be available for purchase at ComiXology Nov. 13, the same day it’s released in print.

“(Wimpy Kids publisher Amulet Books) were really excited about it when we presented the book in Guided View… and how well the material was presented to children,” said ComiXology CEO David Steinberger in an interview with VentureBeat. “It’s still reading a book, but (Guided View) adds an element to the storytelling.”

He noted the ability to read the book on smaller devices would be a much easier experience for kids because it removes the need to pinch and zoom. Having tested the app, I can say that tapping the screen to advance the story is much more useful — especially for illustrated children’s books. It also provides a much more immersive reading experience than found on other ereader applications.

Adding a high-profile book series to its virtual retail shelves puts ComiXology on par with several of the biggest digital booksellers, such as Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iBookstore, and the Google Play store. I wouldn’t be surprised if more image-friendly publications end up cutting similar deals with the startup in the future, which would provide it with a new stream of revenue along with ComiXology’s new self-published comics program.

Check out a demo video of the book series using ComiXology’s Guided View tech below.

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