It's not necessary to launch an entire multimedia campaign—game, movie, website or even a balloon in the Macy’s parade—to promote a book, but it hasn’t hurt the Diary of a Wimpy Kid,which has sold more than 40 million books since 2007.
“I don’t think you have to have a franchise to be successful,” Michael Jacobs, CEO of Abrams Books, which published the book, told CNBC Friday.
But the "Wimpy Kid" phenomenon has become a franchise, including a board game, five books and two movies. One of the movies, released earlier this year, grossed $64 million. Some 70 million kids click onto the website daily.
Jacobs, a former librarian who oversaw the Harry Potter series for Scholastic Books, declined to say how much the company has made on "Wimpy" books. He expects, though, that the franchise will get a boost when some 51 million people see the Wimpy Kid balloon, debuting at the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving Day.