After Jeff Kinney was unsuccessful in syndicating his comic strip, lgdoof, he started writing down his ideas for about 6 years (from 1998-2004), which eventually became Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The series are believed to be based on a family that Jeff Kinney know personally, and virtually all the characters are based off people in reality, who are replaced by fictional names to protect their identity.
Greg Heffley was made in 1998 as a middle school weakling, and Jeff Kinney started making stories about Greg in a cheap writing-pad from 1998-2004, and when a single joke was made, Jeff Kinney stuck it together with others. This resulted in a big 1,300+ pages book, which was cut to about 600 pages when Kinney uploaded it on funbrain in 2004. It then achieved over 25 million views, and soon after the success of the web book, he converted the series into published books.
Books in the series
In total, there are fourteen books in the series, each having a different color, a photo cover and plot. From the original to the fourteenth book, there have been many different books.
- Book 1: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, released in 2007, talks about Greg and his relationship with Rowley, and the infamous Cheese Touch. This book revolves around Greg's best friend, Rowley. (Red)
- Book 2: Rodrick Rules, released in 2008, is about Greg and his relationship with his brother, Rodrick, and about the traumatic event that Greg experienced during the summer. This book revolves around Greg's older brother, Rodrick. (Blue)
- Book 3: The Last Straw, released in early 2009, is about Greg and his relationship with his father and how he tries to impress Holly Hills. This book revolves around Greg's father, Frank. (Green)
- Book 4: Dog Days, released in late 2009, is about Greg's worst summer ever. This book revolves around Greg's mother, Susan. (Yellow)
- Book 5: The Ugly Truth, released in 2010, is about Greg and Rowley going through puberty. This book revolves around Greg's great-grandmother, Gammie. (Purple)
- Book 6: Cabin Fever, released in 2011, is about a snowstorm that keeps Greg and his family inside. This book revolves around Greg's younger brother, Manny. (Cyan)
- Book 7: The Third Wheel, released in 2012, is about Greg's relationship with girls and the valentines dance. This book revolves around Greg's Uncle Gary. (Brown)
- Book 8: Hard Luck, released in 2013, is about the Hard Luck Greg faces and the Magic 8-Ball. This book revolves around Rowley’s girlfriend, Abigail Brown. (Lime Green)
- Book 9: The Long Haul, released in 2014, is about when the Heffley family go on a road trip but things don't go to well for them. This book revolves around a man nicknamed Mr. Beardo, the father of the Beardo family. (Orange)
- Book 10: Old School, released in 2015, is about Greg's town voluntarily unplugging and going electronics-free. This book revolves around a creepy man in the forest named Silas Scratch. (Black)
- Book 11: Double Down, released in 2016, is about Greg's relative Nana and Greg making a movie with a movie camera to become famous. This book revolves around a kid named Maddox Selsam. (Scarlet)
- Book 12: The Getaway, released in 2017, involves the Heffley family on a Christmas trip, but a lot of things go wrong. This book revolves around the Director of Fun. (Azure)
- Book 13: The Meltdown, released in 2018, is about Greg's school being shut down because of a snow storm and his neighborhood turning into a battleground with snow forts, alliances, betrayals, and "epic snow fights."This book revolves around Greg's neighborhood. (Dark Purple Gradient)
- Book 14: Wrecking Ball, released in 2019, is about the family worrying about moving, and other things. This book mostly takes place in the spring. This book revolves around The Grout. (Gray and Orange)
- Book 15: The Deep End, slated to be released in 2020, is about the family going on a cross-country camping trip during the summer and getting stuck in an RV park. This book revolves around an unknown character. (Blue and Light Blue)
- Non Canon Books: The other books in the series ware the Do It Yourself Book and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary and also there are Journals with only lines and also writing pads and sketch books. There was also a Mad Libs related to the series.
The New York Times, which ranks children's book series collectively on a "Series Books" bestseller list, has included the Wimpy Kid series for 64 weeks as of April 10, 2010 . USA Today, which ranks best sellers based on sales alone regardless of genre or intended audience, has listed Diary of a Wimpy Kid in its top 150, peaking at number 8, for 141 weeks as of April 4, 2010. As of the same date, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules has been on the list for 117 weeks (peaking at number 4), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw has been on the list for 65 weeks (peaking at number 1), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days has been on the list for all 25 weeks of its publication (peaking at number 1), and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary has been listed for all three weeks of its publication, peaking at number 2. As of May 2010, more than 200 million Wimpy Kid books are sold worldwide., and the books have been sold in more than 30 countries in the world. As of 2014, Jeff Kinney has made 25 million dollars from the series.
- In March 2010, Fox Film 2000 released a movie named Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on the first book. The film garnered mixed reviews, and is rated 53% on Rotten Tomatoes.
- In 2011, a second movie named Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules hit theaters. 47% of critics gave the film a positive review, according to the aforementioned Rotten Tomatoes.
- In 2012, a third movie named Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was released. It got 51% on Rotten Tomatoes unlike the first two films. Dog Days combined the third and fourth books (The Last Straw and Dog Days).
- In 2017, a reboot film named Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul was released. It got 18% on Rotten Tomatoes which received negative reviews because of the new casting changes, the bizarre tone, and it's attempts at being "hip and relevant". This film combined the ninth and tenth books (The Long Haul and Old School).
- In the first teaser trailer of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the location of the movie was possibly revealed in Indiana, Ohio, or West Virginia. When Greg and Rowley look at the map, they say that Indianapolis is only 2 inches away. Also, it shows a map of Indiana. In the car, the GPS says the car is on Blue Ridge Parkway. A similar shaped road also named Blue Ridge Parkway is in West Virginia. There is also an Ohio license plate on the van.
- The first three films were shot in Vancouver, Canada.
- The character appearing with Greg on the title page for each book is usually the main antagonist.
- The Long Haul and Wrecking Ball are the only two books with Jeff Kinney's name in the lower right corner instead of the center.