Chapter 182: Zhang Ye is Publishing Another Book!
Around 2 P.M.
Chenchen needed her afternoon nap, so Rao Aimin chased Zhang Ye out of the house.
Having filled his stomach, he made a burp of satisfaction and headed for his apartment. When he had mostly digested his food, Zhang Ye got changed into his sports attire and a pair of sneakers, as he did not have running shoes. He had to make do with what he had and headed out for a run, just like Rao Aimin.
He ran around the neighborhood to improve his fitness.
Zhang Ye thought that his Taiji Fist could not be used effectively because his body could not keep up with the skill. Like Taekwondo, he had the experience and movements in his head, but he could not execute the moves to its full potential. He lacked strength, reaction speed and stamina. When he fought Wang Cen, his technical skill was slightly better, but yet he was at the disadvantage and on the losing end. In the end, he had to use the consumable item, Health Potion, that he had received from the Lottery to turn the tables around. Zhang Ye had learned his lesson.
Just kung fu alone doesn’t cut it!
His body had to match up, too!
For instance, for Taiji Fist, even if he ate 1,000 Taiji experience books, as long as his physical strength remained the same, not even 10,000 experience books would enable him to do what Rao Aimin did — slicing the steel scissors!
He needed to train!
This had to go through the process and he had to remain determined!
In the future, he would have to run and do some pushups every day.
After running for over an hour, Zhang Ye headed home, drenched in sweat. Just as he entered through the door, the phone in his pocket started ringing.
“Hello, who is this?” Zhang Ye said, catching his breath.
“Hello, Teacher Zhang. We are from the North Chinese Youth and Children’s Publishing House.” It was a middle-aged man’s voice on the other side. It sounded rather hoarse.
Zhang Ye stayed on the phone as he went into the toilet to grab a towel to wipe off his sweat, “Oh, I’m sorry, but my fairy tale stories copyrights have all been sold.”
The middle-aged man was a little stunned, but said cheerfully, “We are not calling regarding your fairy tales. We know that your fairy tales have already been published by the Beijing Education Publishing Firm. I’m looking for you to discuss about other publication opportunities. To my understanding, some of your written works and your modern poems have not been published yet, right? If the copyright is not in your hands, then we will forget about it. But I don’t see any publications in the market now.”
Zhang Ye kept silent for a bit and threw down his towel, “My poems?”
“Yes. We want to do a compilation for you, a ‘Zhang Ye’s Compilation’, that has all your written works and poems, including your couplets.” The middle-aged man said, “Let’s meet up for a chat? Or you can visit our publication house?”
This interested Zhang Ye. He had been worried about being out of a job and not having enough exposure to maintain his popularity since the afternoon. But good news came knocking on his door. Zhang Ye had not thought of publishing a compilation of his works before. He knew that it was difficult. Which of the authors, who had ever released a compilation, was not well-known? Of course, some unknown authors had also released compilations before. They either bought their way in or depended on their network, but the sales were too poor. They were better off not releasing it.
Zhang Ye always believed that if he wanted to publish his poetry compilation, the biggest hurdle was that he started too late. It had only been a few months and his works only numbered in the dozens. What was the concept of having a dozen poems? Even if they increased the font and put a poem on each page, he would only have a dozen pages. Ignoring the publication of a book, even for a pamphlet, it was too thin! Zhang Ye also did not want to bring over all the classic poems from his previous world in one shot. Whenever he used one, there was one less. He needed to keep them on the blade, so he gave up on the idea of releasing a poetry compilation. He had not expected someone to approach him about this matter instead.
“Alright, I will head on over.”
“You sound out of breath. Did you just get home?”
“I was always home, hur hur, but I went for a run just now.”
“Why don’t I go over to your place instead? You can choose where to meet. It’s up to you.”
“It’s fine. I would like to take a look at your publishing house, too. Send me your address, and I will drive over.”
After hanging up, he received a message with the address. Zhang Ye took a quick shower to wash off his sweat and then drove to the location.
North Chinese Youth and Children’s Publishing House.
The headquarters was in Beijing, but the place was a bit out of the way, with it not being in the city’s center.
On the way there, Zhang Ye went online on his phone to check out the publishing house. He found out that there were many youth and children’s publishing houses in the country, but none of them only published reading materials for youths or children. Some even did not publish such materials, but instead dealt with traditional novels or web novels. That had nothing to do with “youths” or “children” at all.
In the lobby.
Zhang Ye finally found the building and walked in.
Just as he was walking to the front desk reception, Zhang Ye was immediately recognized by the young lady seated there. She said to him, “Teacher Zhang Ye, you came? I’ll take you upstairs.”
Zhang Ye smiled. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” the young lady said as she led him to the 3rd floor.
Knocking on the door, she then opened it and walked in. “Editor-in-Chief Zhang, Teacher Zhang Ye is here.”
That person stood up to welcome him, smiling with his outstretched hand, “How are you, Teacher Zhang? We are family; both of us are Zhangs. My name is Zhang Lu. I have heard of you for a long time now.” From his voice, this was likely the middle aged-man who had spoken with him over the phone just now.
Zhang Ye shook his hand, “It’s all infamy.”
Hearing his self-deprecating tone, Zhang Lu said, “That’s not true; you have helped Father Wei seek justice. Anyone who knows about it will give you the thumbs up. How could they fire you?” Zhang Lu laughed, “They let a treasure like you slip away. It’s so laughable.” This was rather true, and it was also Zhang Lu’s opinion. If Zhang Ye was from his publishing firm, even if he had created so much trouble, the firm would fight to keep him since Zhang Ye’s intentions were good in the first place. They had already heard of the extremely good sales of “Ghost Blows Out the Light” and his other fairy tales. Who wouldn’t fight to keep such a cash cow?
Of course, you cannot compare apples to oranges. After all, a publishing firm and a television station were very different. Profits were now the main concern for publishing firms, as political publications had decreased. For television stations, who earned money from ratings and advertising sponsorship, they were much focused on political implications, so their industries were different.
There were about 3 to 4 other people in the room.
Zhang Lu introduced them to Zhang Ye one by one. They were people of both sexes, all employees of the publishing firm.
After the introductions, Zhang Ye sat down, “About the compilation, I don’t really understand or know why you would like to publish them. There will not be enough pages, right?”
Zhang Lu smiled. “There will be enough. We will have illustrations as well.”
“Illustrations?” Zhang Ye said, “Would that help much?”
“There will also be translations and sentence analysis. A poem will take up to 3 to 4 pages; one page of illustration, another one to two pages of analysis. But of course, the analysis would not be written by us. We wouldn’t dare to because no one can claim to understand all of your works. This would be better left to the author. The same would go for the couplets. Two to three couplets would appear on each page and we would be able to come up with a compilation without problems,” said Zhang Lu.
Zhang Ye pondered for a moment, “The explanation is not a problem, but.. isn’t the amount of content still lacking?” He felt that it was just to bolster the page count.
A youth at the back said, “It’s not little at all. Even if we take one of your poems and make a book out of it, no one would dare to say a thing, let alone having so many of your works in the book. “The Song of the Stormy Petrel” and “Tribute to the White Poplar”, with their words enlarged a little, will easily be able to take up 7 to 8 pages.”
How big would the words have to be then!
But Zhang Ye himself wanted to publish a book, too. Firstly, there was his fame to consider. Secondly, it was to maintain his popularity. Thirdly, whether it be for money or Reputation points, he could also do with some extra money.
Finally, it came to the point of them discussing about the price.
They would buy all his copyright for 400,000 Yuan!
This was already quite a high price. After all, a literary compilation was not a novel. It was not as popular with the masses as entertainment material like novels. Only some cultural hipsters would buy it, hence the price naturally could not compare with “Ghost Blows Out the Light”, and could only be about the same price as the children’s fairy tales. And if no comparison was made with novels, compared to other pure literary works or compilations of other authors, the price for Zhang Ye’s compilation was definitely much higher than theirs.
There was no reason to wonder why!
It was because every piece of Zhang Ye’s works were too popular!
With the negotiations settled and the contract drawn up, Zhang Lu and Zhang Ye shook hands once again, “We had a good time working together. Thank you for trusting our publication house. Leave the publishing and promotional matters to us. With your reputation and fame in Beijing, the sales will definitely not be low.” With a pause, he said, “About the analysis of the poems…”
Zhang Ye said, “I’ll write it when I get home. I’ll pass it to you tomorrow.”
Zhang Lu extremely liked Zhang Ye’s straightforwardness and his high efficiency, as he said, “Alright, then I’ll count on your hard work. Actually doing so in a month would do. After all, analysis work is not something trivial. Oh, and there’s also something. We might need a preface or prologue, or some overall introduction to the poetry compilation.”
Zhang Ye blinked, “Preface?”
Zhang Lu nodded, “Right. Write anything that comes to your mind. It preferably resonates with the poetry compilation’s contents. If the first page began with the poetry compilation, it would feel like something is lacking. What say you?”
“Alright.” Zhang Ye asked, “Do you have a pen?”
Zhang Lu’s eyes lit up, “Are you writing it now? Good! Of course there is!”
The people behind him all knew that it wasn’t easy for someone to witness Zhang Ye creating a work on the spot. They were very happy and excited, “Why don’t you use a brush? If that’s the case, we can directly use your words for the cover or preface. It will feel better than using computer fonts.”
Zhang Lu agreed, “Right. What a good idea. I heard that Teacher Zhang’s words are pretty good.”
“Sure,” Zhang Ye did not mind.
A youth quickly prepared it. A minute later, he came back with an ink stick and took the initiative to grind the ink for Zhang Ye.
“I’ll take the pictures.” A woman took out a camera and took a few pictures from the side and front. She included the Editor-in-Chief, Zhang Lu, too. In the future, they could also use it in promotional materials. Then the woman focused the camera and waited to take a picture of Teacher Zhang Ye writing.
It had to match the content?
His literary compilation definitely needed his own thoughts and values.
Thinking of the death written of in “My Confession” and “Prisoner’s Song”, and then thinking of the existence in “A Generation” and “Tribute to the White Poplar”…
Zhang Ye lifted his brush and wrote a preface on the calligraphy paper.
“Let life be beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves — Zhang Ye.”