Jeff Kinney, the author of the wildly popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, has sold 180 million copies of his books in 52 different languages, according to The Washington Post.
Forbes reports that Kinney earned $20 million last year and is the second highest paid author in the world holding the slot just below James Patterson and just above J.K. Rowling.
Kinney has just released the 11th book in the series Double Down. In an interview with The Washington Post, Kinney explained the secret to his success: using his own awkward experiences to make relatable and funny stories that kids can relate to and not talking down to them. “Most things in the books happened in truth or in spirit, but mostly in spirit,” he said in the interview. “I try to put it all through the fiction blender and get to the essence of the thing and hopefully get a joke out of it.”