This is probably one of the biggest posts since Gravity Tales was created back at the start of 2015.
Before anything else, I want to give thanks to everyone that has witnessed the growth of just a single person translating to this huge staple in the community that Gravity Tales is right now. Fist bump to those who were here when we were still called Gravity Translations.
Today, I’d like to announce that all Qidian novels on Gravity Tales have been officially licensed.
Yup, you heard that right! Besides the Zongheng and iReader novels on Gravity Tales, the Qidian ones, such as Way of Choices, King of Gods, have been licensed! In addition, we have a lot more new licensed Qidian novels on the way and will be bringing back some old favorites that left.
This announcement and deal has been in the works for quite a few months prior so it’s unfortunate that the timing of this announcement is going to be so bad. We wish all parties in the current conflict to be able to peacefully resolve things.· Our focus is on providing the best deals for our translators and readers and to make the highest quality content available to the community in the fairest way possible for everyone involved. Here at Gravity Tales, we believe people should be rewarded for their hard work and given the chance to grow. No one should be shut out or forced to work in a monopoly.
What does this mean for our translators?
1 - Freedom
Translators in the community looking to work on their favorite novels should be able to do so for whichever site they choose, or independently. We fully support the rights of translators to choose their own path. Those that work through Gravity Tales will do so because of our beneficial terms and high rewards, not because of draconian contractual stipulations.
2 - Legal Protection
For starters, with the licenses out of the way, translators no longer have the threat of legal action looming over them. These won’t be verbal agreements or good faith promises. Everything will be confirmed in writing. Any decisions made about the future of those translations will be thoroughly discussed with the translator as well as the translator receiving royalty from any resulting publication (ebook or hardcopy). This stipulation is in the contract between Gravity Tales and the translators, and also in the contract between Qidian and Gravity Tales.
3 - Rights
In addition, unlike the previous licensing deals, translators at Gravity Tales get a choice between whether or not they want to see their translation published on Qidian International. If, for whatever reason, they don’t feel QI is the right place for their translations to be hosted, they can choose not to have them appear on the site. This, again, is not just a verbal agreement.
4 - Financial Incentive
Also, for new translators, as well as income from ad revenue, Gravity Tales will now provide a base, minimum pay for each chapter done so that we can fully support translators looking to make this their full-time occupation. If we can help provide a stable income, that means more time for translators to translate, which means more content for readers to enjoy, more views for Gravity Tales to continue growing. Everyone benefits.
5 - Ebooks
The licensing deal also allows for both Gravity Tales and the translator to explore opportunities to publish digitally or in print form, so look forward to seeing Gravity Tales ebooks start being produced! I know that offline reading has always been a feature that has been highly requested but unfortunately, in the past, with the licensing issue, it hasn’t been possible to legally create and distribute ebooks. That will soon change.
How does this help other translators?
For translations outside of Gravity Tales, there are also a couple pieces of good news. First, is for Strivon, previous translator of Forty Millennium of Cultivation, as well as Skyfarrow, previous translator of Reverend Insanity (new name of Gu Daoist Master). We’ve worked something out where they can continue to translate the novel they love with the proper authorizations and support. In addition, for the translators that kept these novels afloat at Qidian International, we’ve worked it out so that the best of both worlds is made. Let’s all give a round of applause to these translators who picked up the novel. Despite everything, the new translators spent a lot of effort in keeping terms consistent, upholding a quick release pace and most importantly, dedicating their time to translations for everyone to enjoy.
What does QI get out of this? How does the community benefit?
I think that a large question on your minds is what Qidian International gets out of this. We want to make it very clear what this deal is and what it is not. Despite the licensing, Gravity Tales will remain completely autonomous. We will continue to be a website by the fans, for the fans.
Qidian, as most of you will know, has received some bad press of late. They haven’t made the greatest decisions and their reception from the community has varied from guarded to outright hostile.
The level of passion from the community over here has been incredible and we’re proud to be a part of this awesome community.
They now see that they can’t just do things their own way and expect no blowback. Readers won’t just follow a story wherever it’s hosted and the community won’t simply come around eventually. They realize they have a lot to learn. While some bridges may have been burned beyond repair, they are trying to build new ones with more reasonable materials.
At this time when feelings are still hot, Gravity Tales is happy to step in and offer guidance and advice, and in return we’ve been able to negotiate deals for our translators far more favorable than what we could have arranged a few months ago. We’re trying to prevent drastic actions like previous events from occurring and instead have the community in a healthy state.
We are helping Qidian better understand the Western market. What’s expected of them and what they shouldn’t do if they want to keep the goodwill of the community. We have helped them set up better training for their own translators as well as establishing quality checking measures. They wish to become a better site, one that readers will come to because of their high standards and top quality content. They have a long way to go to match the top sites in this regard, but if they end up offering people stories they want to read, in a way they want to read them, they have every right to do so.
Where to from here?
Some of you may be thinking about paywalls and other ways for QI to force people to pay for their favorite stories. We will advise them accordingly, but there’s no way for me to know what they plan to do in the future and ultimately, if they believe that’s the best business model for them, that’s up to them. However, we never forget our roots and your support that brought us to this height. That’s why Gravity Tales will never implement paywalls where you have to pay to view chapters or change our model of operation. We’ll do whatever it takes to get our translations to your hands for free, now and forever!
PS: For comments, I will be responding on reddit solely. So if you guys have any questions or concerns, I’ll be in the subreddit r/noveltranslations!