Chapter 87: Selling the Copyright to the Novel and Fairy tales!
Beijing Radio Station.
“Station Head Jia.” His secretary entered.
Deputy Station Head Jia had his head lowered, busy with work, “What’s the matter?”
The secretary smiled, “I heard that Zhang Ye is applying for television hosting jobs and had submitted his resume to several provincial television stations.”
Deputy Station Head Jia laughed, “He still wants to go to a television station?”
The secretary said, “Yes. And from what I know, they have rejected him. No one wants him.”
“Alright, I got it.” Deputy Station Head Jia let his secretary leave. He knew that no one would dare hire Zhang Ye because both he and the Station Head had already informed friends in the industry. Although working in the radio station was not as glamorous as a television station, they still had quite a lot of connections. Maybe they might not be able to make other radio or television stations do anything to a person with excellent qualifications, but if they made the indication for someone whose qualifications were not good, then they could definitely let everyone in the industry reject that person!
This was the so-called banning!
The moment “Dead Water” was out in the world, the Beijing Radio Station and Zhang Ye were irrevocably irreconcilable!
An entire day.
Zhang Ye did not receive anything. Every time he sent his resume, he would not even be given a chance at an interview. Their replies were very fast, for they rejected him without even giving him a look. It was impossible for them to not know him. A typical process of submitting a resume would need at least a few days before responding, even if they did not want him. Some even dragged it out for a month or two. But for Zhang Ye, it was different. It could be said to be a “second-level reply”. Some people had responded politely, but others were not that polite. There were even e-mails that said “we want anybody but you”!
It’s the end!
The plans were up in smoke!
Has this bro become public enemy number one?
After trying a few more times to no avail, Zhang Ye was also out of options. Immediately, his temper turned bad. F**k it, were the television and radio industry collectively banning me? Fine, you think I can’t live without you? Do you really think I need you to become famous?
Zhang Ye immediately corrected his short-term plans. He definitely needed to join a television station, as it was a very important development and waypoint for his future. However, now with the situation changed, Zhang Ye had to make some temporary adjustments. He decided to put the television stations on hold, pushing forward some of his earlier plans, and waiting out the negative influence brought by “Dead Water”. Since there was nothing to do these days, Zhang Ye would naturally not just sit idle, or his popularity would decrease by the day. He had to retain his popularity, as well as earn some money on the side.
He called his previous assistant, Xiaofang from the radio station.
Du Du, it was connected.
“Hello, Xiaofang. This is your Brother Zhang.”
“I know, Teacher Zhang, I have your number.”
“Have you gotten off work?”
“Not yet. I’m adjusting some documents and will probably need to work overtime until eight.”
“It’s this. I came to you because of a matter. The last time, do you know about the matter of publishers contacting our radio station to publish my ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’? I didn’t agree back then. The publishing firm had also skipped over me, or it could be said that the station management purposely prevented them from contacting me. Now, I’m thinking of getting the publishing firm’s telephone number. I have already left the unit, so it’s not convenient for me to ask. Even if I asked, I wouldn’t be able to get it. Can you check for me?”
“Aiyah, I also won’t be able to find that out. I’ll secretly ask others for you. I’ll see if any colleagues know anything about this. You just need to know the publishing firm, right?”
“Yes, I just need to know the publishing firm.”
“Alright, I’ll do it immediately. Wait for my news.”
“Sorry for giving you trouble. Thank you. I’ll treat you in the future.”
After putting down the cellphone, Zhang Ye lit up a cigarette and waited.
After about twenty minutes, Xiaofang called back. She was very efficient, or it could be said that she was diligent with Zhang Ye’s matters, “Hehe, Teacher Zhang, I got it for you. Get a notebook and write it down. The telephone number is 53276172. It’s the Beijing Education Publishing Firm, one of the largest publishing firms in terms of sales in Beijing. Although they specialize in publishing some official books and works, they also do commercial books.”
Zhang Ye wrote it down and said hurriedly, “Thank you very much.”
Xiaofang whispered, “You don’t have to thank me. Actually, it was Teacher Tian Bin who knew that you needed it before telling me. After all, he was always the anchor for ‘Late-night Ghost Stories’, so it was his responsibility to contact authors and publishers and knew this area well. Uh, but Teacher Tian Bin told me not to let you know this telephone number was given by him. I’m just being frank with you, so don’t betray me.”
Zhang Ye was surprised, “Tian Bin? He was so nice? And didn’t even want you to tell me?” He and Tian Bin had previously had several quarrels and their feud was not tiny.
Xiaofang sighed, “After you left, Teacher Tian’s days haven’t been good. You might not know that yesterday, the station had already removed Teacher Tian from his anchor position of ‘Late-night Ghost Stories’, making him a replacement host. He has no position now.”
“Ah?” Zhang Ye was curious, “That can’t be; didn’t he get the job after I was removed?”
Xiaofang explained, “It’s because of Jia Yan. Jia Yan’s new segment, about 8-9 episodes of ‘Soaring Youth’ have been broadcasted already. Other than the first episode having an extremely high listenership rating, the episodes after decreased by the episode. It could only get that listenership rating for its first episode from the popularity of ‘Old and Young Story Club’, and it could not measure up to its previous usual standard.
Now, with the program’s defects exposed, yesterday’s listenership rating was just 0.46%. I heard that it’s about to be axed soon, so the higher-ups have transferred Jia Yan to ‘Late-night Ghost Stories’. Once ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ is done broadcasting, Jia Yan will take over. After all, with tomb robbing-related supernatural novels being extremely popular these days, there are quite a lot of good works that are tailing behind you on the market. As long as we buy the copyright, we can use the popularity to increase the listenership ratings. The station is clearly paving the way for Jia Yan, letting him build up his qualifications. As for Teacher Tian… He naturally became the sacrificial lamb.”
Zhang Ye frowned, “Old Tian is so miserable now?”
“Hai, your ‘Dead Water’ did not wake them up. Now the station is getting even messier. Anyways, I heard that Teacher Tian has already submitted his resignation letter. He should be leaving in a day or two.” Xiaofang said.
The phone was hung up.
Zhang Ye sat on the bed. Hearing a previous enemy of his in such a situation, he did not feel happy at all, and in fact felt very uncomfortable!
Let’s put this matter aside for a while.
Zhang Ye called the number given to him by Tian Bin. It did not connect on the first time, as the other party might have been busy. It connected on the second try.
“Hello, who’s this?” The other party was a middle-aged man.
Zhang Ye said, “Hi! I’m Zhang Ye, the original author of ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’. I heard your publishing firm wants to discuss about the publishing copyright? I’m wondering if you still have those intentions?”
The middle-aged man was stunned, “You are the author of ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’?”
Zhang Ye laughed, “Hur Hur, that’s me alright.”
“Eh, I thought you were not planning on selling your copyright?” the middle-aged man curiously asked.
Zhang Ye said, “I never said so. You must have gotten that information from my unit, right? The unit did not inform me. They told you things I know nothing about. I have also resigned already.”
Hearing this, the middle-aged man was very excited, “Aiyah, then that’s great. We were still worried about how to get the rights to ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’, but your unit was unwilling to reveal anything. Now that we have gotten ahold of you, things can be expedited. Teacher Zhang Ye, I’m the one who was in charge of this matter, so you can discuss about the copyright matters with me. Do you want to go the royalty route or a one-time buyout of the simplified Chinese edition copyright?”
“What would be the prices?” Zhang Ye asked.
The middle-aged man said, “If it’s royalties, then it will be normal, for we all use a standard rate. It will be based on a percentage of the sales received. If it’s a buyout, we had offered two million to your radio station back then. Of course, that was back then. Now ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ is causing a greater effect on the market, and the response is very hot. Many people are looking forward to a physical copy. Even a few tomb robbing books that imitate yours have sales of about 100,000 copies. Even if I don’t tell you, I believe you will understand. Nor will I lie to you, as the evaluation of your work is definitely very high. Uh, let’s do this. I’ll make the decision, and not decide based on the word count. I’ll offer four million. We only want the copyright to the simplified Chinese edition. The rest of the copyright belongs to you; how about it?”
“It’s a bit low, right?” Zhang Ye’s tone sounded unsatisfied, but he was actually overjoyed in his heart. Baby, four million? This was enough to buy him so many instant noodles!
However, upon further thought, it was actually not a lot. In his world, ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ had gone mad. He did not know how much the author had received, but it was definitely more than four million.
The middle-aged man paused, “Teacher Zhang, I’m not sure how much you want, but please believe me. Only our Beijing Education Publishing Firm will be willing to buy the copyright of one book with four million. It happens that we have good cash flow this year. If it were other publishing firms, none of them would dare make such a bet, for if the sales aren’t good…”
Zhang Ye interrupted, “Can’t you already estimate the sales volume? If the works that imitate mine already have such sales, the sales of mine would definitely be higher than theirs by a lot more once ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ comes out! I believe you know the market better than me.”
The middle-aged man said, “But your program has been broadcast on radio, and many have already heard it, so it might cause some detrimental effect to the sales.”
Nonsense. ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ was first posted online in his world. And weren’t there quite a number of people who had read it? Yet, I didn’t see it having low sales when it was published!
After more bargaining.
Zhang Ye requested for six million.
The other side was only willing to give 4.8 million, having added a bit more.
After the bargaining could not carry on, the middle-aged man pondered and said, “Alright, Teacher Zhang, we can do six million, too, but you will have to give the publishing rights of ‘Little Bunnies Be Good’, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to us. We are an education publisher firm, so that is our core business. We can include some illustrations and sell them as small books. With all that added up, six million!” Clearly, they knew Zhang Ye well and had done their homework on his fairy tales. They knew the value of those stories!
“The fairy tales do not include the overseas copyright, right?”
“Man, no it does not. Only the domestic simplified edition. As for publishing overseas… We don’t have that ability, either.” The middle-aged man felt that Zhang Ye was very ambitious. Was he already thinking of selling the fairy tales overseas?
Zhang Ye did some calculations and felt that the price was right, “Alright, then.”
“Great! Since we are in a rush for time, shall we meet now? And sign the contract?” The middle-aged man said, “I am also a loyal listener of ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’. I can tell that this novel will end in a few more episodes, so once we sign the contract, we can send a lawyer’s letter to the Beijing Radio Station to stop the broadcast of ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’. The audio edition copyright is still in your hands, right?”
“Yes, all the copyright is with me.” Zhang Ye said.
“Then, that’s great. If the radio station finishes broadcasting it, then there is no suspense. It will definitely affect the sales. Since you have already resigned, I believe you have no qualms about stopping the broadcast?”
“Of course not. You can do it for me.”
“Alright, leave this to us. I’ll immediately draw up the contract!”
Having negotiated successfully, both sides were overjoyed.
Actually, the price received for selling ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ was not that high. It could be said to be acceptable, at best. However, Zhang Ye knew that in his world, the legendary sales of ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ were not created in a short period of time, but over a long process. One year, two years, three years, they were accumulated sales figures. And the publishing firm had bought it out with six million at once. After inflation and other factors, Zhang Ye did not lose out at all, and it was just the simplified Chinese edition. It did not include the copyrights to games or movies, so he was very pleased.
The contract was signed.
Details and the promotion were discussed.
The morning of the second day.
Deputy Station Head Jia had just arrived at the radio station. But before he could enter his office, his secretary came rushing over. “Station Head Jia, we have a situation. The Beijing Education Publishing Firm has sent us a lawyer’s letter, requesting that we immediately stop broadcasting ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’, or they will sue us for infringement!”
“Infringement?” Deputy Station Head Jia said angrily, “What copyright has our program infringed on!?”
The secretary gave a wry smile, “But, but the novel was written by Zhang Ye. He never gave us the copyright. Now, the lawyer’s letter is with the Station Head. I heard that it even has Zhang Ye’s signature.”
Deputy Station Head Jia’s anger surged, “What is this Little Zhang doing? Eh? How can he stop the broadcast after it had been broadcast for so long? How are we to answer to the listeners?”
The secretary sighed, “But legally, we are indeed…”
The phone in the office rang, Deputy Station Head Jia quickly went forward to pick it up, “Hello. Oh, Station Head… What? Stop the broadcast? How are we to stop! The story isn’t over yet… But… Alright, I understand. I will instruct the Literature Channel… Rest assured.”
The station did not want to lose money in a court case. The Station Head had compromised!
Deputy Station Head Jia was gritting his teeth with hate. This Zhang Ye! He was gone, but he was still around haunting them?
Admittedly, they had caused a ban on Zhang Ye and Deputy Station Head Jia had naively thought that Zhang Ye would never have a platform of his own forever, existing silently. With such a major “ban order”, what waves could he set off without a program? But Deputy Station Head Jia now realized something. They could suppress Zhang Ye in the broadcasting industry, but they had no say in other industries!
The publication world?
They could not ban him even if they wanted to!
And Zhang Ye was not a person with only broadcasting abilities! He also had his creations! And those novels and fairy tales! Despite Zhang Ye leaving the broadcasting industry, Deputy Station Head Jia realized to his anger that Zhang Ye could still thrive! This made him extremely angry, but he was helpless!