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Continue to invest in the low- and mid-tier authors?
Ma Yiqun felt confused and bewildered.
To him, Zhongdian Chinese Network’s lowand mid-tier writers were already enjoying more than enough benefits. In fact, they were getting comparable treatment to big sites like Infinite Chinese Network.
However, it would be extremely difficult for low- and mid-tier writers to increase the revenue that they generated for the website.
That was because writing was a form of creative art-it was very subjective. Some authors could not produce explosive works despite having written for ten years. Other gods grasped the essence of online literature after casually writing a million words and began aiming for the top.
Thus, everything was dependent on the individual.
Even if they poured all their efforts into finding and nurturing novel gods—as long as the authors’ foundations remained the same, finding a novel god would be as difficult as winning the lottery.
What if they invested in people who were not cut out for online literature?
On the other hand, poaching people from other websites would prove more reliable.
Still, since Boss Pei had spoken, Ma Yiqun had no choice but to obey. “Alright, Boss Pei. I’ll do just that.”
Ma Yiqun went back upstairs to Zhongdian Chinese Network and sat down in his office. He began to think about a concrete plan for the website.
Boss Pei had already set the direction for him. The funds would not be used to poach authors from other websites but to continue investing in the low- and mid-tier writers of Zhongdian Chinese Network.
Of course, the standards would be applied across the board. That meant that the top-tier writers would also get to enjoy the same benefits.
However, top-tier writers would be more concerned that Zhongdian Chinese Network had not developed to the stage where it could sell copyrights.
Their main source of income was still subscription fees from readers. Those were only considered side benefits to the top-tier writers; they would not be a huge factor to consider when making decisions.
Ma Yiqun thought about it.
To low- and mid-tier writers, Zhongdian Chinese Network could offer the same benefits that Infinite Chinese Network offered such as full-time remuneration. What’s more, Zhongdian Chinese Network’s standards were slightly higher.
If Zhongdian Chinese Network was to offer more benefits, it had to offer benefits that other websites for online literature could never bear to.
What’s more, although the benefits would be available to low- and mid-tier writers, the latter would be the focus.
That was because there were far too many low-tier writers, and it would be impossible to consider all of them.
Low-tier writers could even include people who only registered as authors on a whim and wrote several thousand words.
If the website offered benefits to such people, it would be as good as a charity organization. No matter how much revenue the website generated, it would never be enough to cover its expenses. After all, it would be a pure loss-incurring transaction.
Thus, the focus was mid-tier writers.
The fact that they could rise a tier above the low-tier writers meant that they had the drive and skills to continue writing. They were more reliable and less likely to give up on their readers and quit the website. As they accumulated more experience, and with a bit of luck, some of them could be nurtured into top-tier writers.
Thus, the funds had to be invested in them.
Ma Yiqun fell into deep thought. “Apart from royalties, readers, and fame which Infinite Chinese Network could provide as well; what else would these mid-tier writers need?
“A career development plan and guidance… “A few social connections… “And… a more regulated, healthy life.
“That means that only a portion of the writers can obtain this security. They will be selected through a rigorous process.”
Thinking that he had found the right direction, Ma Yiqun began to write his plan.
Boss Pei was right. There was no way that Zhongdian Chinese Network would be able to compete with Infinite Chinese Network in terms of money. Even if the former could poach several authors over, they would not be able to keep doing so in the long-term.
That was because Infinite Chinese Network had a huge reader base, many authors, and a greater ability to generate revenue.
Thus, no matter which angle one looked at the problem from, Infinite Chinese Network could offer a more promising future to mid-tier writers than Zhongdian Chinese Network could.
To attract more mid-tier writers to the website, Zhongdian Chinese Network would have to play to its strengths. It could not only work on visible aspects like royalties, readers, and exposure. Instead, it had to work on the invisible aspects.
Basic security in life was one example.
Authors did not earn basic salaries; neither did they have insurance or funds. After all, every book that they published was fraught with risk. Mid-tier writers’ income was not considered low, but it was definitely not enough to compensate them for the risks that they had to expose themselves to regularly.
They could buy their own insurance and funds, but they would also have to pay the company’s portion of the premiums. That was akin to paying double.
Another example was a career development plan and guidance.
Most authors were given free-reign. There were many authors and a few editors. Many mid-tier writers spoke less than a couple of sentences to their editors each year.
Of course, many responsible and hardworking editors would discuss the author’s writings with them. However, since there were too many boats chasing too few fish, only a small portion of writers would enjoy such treatment. Many other writers ended up forming writing groups where they would discuss their experiences and grow together. That arrangement could be compared to creating ‘senior-partner’ groups in companies. One could say that there was practically no career development or guidance offered in the online literature industry; authors were responsible for their own growth.
The last example was a healthy lifestyle.
Writers of online literature were free to create their own schedules. A common trap that many of them fell into was having irregular lifestyles.
Having irregular lifestyles could affect one’s body in many ways. For example, one could develop neck or back problems, high blood pressure, obesity, and the like. There had even been news reports of sudden deaths.
After all, one needed disciple to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Each person had different levels of discipline. Another important factor was one’s environment.
While at home, most people would only think about resting and playing; productivity would often be low. However, productivity would increase in an office or school. That was the power of one’s environment.
It would be hard to tell how disciplined full-time writers—who constantly wrote new chapters—were in other aspects of their lives, but they obviously had a high level of discipline when it came to work.
Thus, after much thought, Ma Yiqun finally made up his mind.
Zhongdian Chinese Network would start a class!
It would not be a philosophical-type class, but a practical class that would provide security, provide career development plans and guidance, and nurture healthy lifestyles for mid-tier writers!
This was Ma Yiqun’s initial plan: writers would be allowed to register, and the website’s editors would shortlist thirty suitable candidates from the group of mid-tier writers at Zhongdian Chinese Network.
That would be the first batch of guinea pigs, and Ma Yiqun would observe the effects of the class.
The writers would be allowed to claim their expenses. Once they arrived in Jingzhou, their food and lodging would have been arranged. In any case, they could eat Fish-Catching Take-Out, and rent would not cost that much.
The writers would also get a basic salary of three thousand yuan, and insurance and funds suitable for that amount.
Ma Yiqun would also find an office building near their accommodations, and rent thirty cheap workspaces. They would be required to clock in and out of work every day, according to Tengda’s stipulated working hours.
Apart from that, Ma Yiqun would organize regular discussions and sharing, where more successful writers could share their experience and learning points.
Each time a writer wanted to start on a new book or became stuck at a point in the plot, they could discuss with the other writers and gather a variety of opinions. Under such circumstances, the writers would see each other more as friends and classmates than colleagues.
Of course, not all writers would be interested in a practical class like that.
Many writers—the older and more experienced ones in particular-would not be interested in drawing a low salary, moving to Jingzhou, having meals and lodging provided, and clocking in and out of work like other writers.
Writing online literature was a form of freelance work, and a benefit of freelance work was that one did not have to leave their houses. Wouldn’t it defeat the purpose if they had to go to Jingzhou to write?
Of course, Zhongdian Chinese Network would not force such writers to attend the practical class.
Thus, the class would be targeted at the younger writers who did not have families yet. Those writers tended to have a lot of drive and potential, and they could improve quickly. Yet, they also had poor self-management skills and a set of expectations of society and their careers.
To test waters and observe results, the first practical class would last a month.
If it did not prove effective, Ma Yiqun would increase the scale and extend the length in the future.
After sending Ma Yiqun off, Pei Qian went back to studying. Less than half an hour later…
Ding! He received a message on his cell phone.
Pei Qian picked it up and saw that it was a message from Chef Lin.
“Boss Pei, a new high-end restaurant has opened in the city. It looks like it’s competing with Ming Yun Private Kitchen. It’s called Ming House, and it’s targeting high-class customers as well!
“I think it only opened two days ago. Ming Yun Private Kitchen has been seeing significantly fewer reservations. What should we do?”
Pei Qian was stunned after reading the message.
A high-end restaurant seeking to compete with Ming Yun Private Kitchen?
Could it be the restaurant that Boss Li and the others had invested in?
Pei Qian recalled Boss Li mentioning this when they had met last month. Boss Li had said that he, Xue Zhebin, and Wang Peng had felt miserable because they had not been able to reserve a place at Ming Yun Private Kitchen.
Thus, they had proposed working together with Pei Qian to turn the nameless restaurant into a franchise. However, Pei Qian had rejected them.
The three of them had had no choice but to start a restaurant on their own.
Based on Pei Qian’s calculations, Li Shi must have started preparations for the restaurant before proposing the idea to Pei Qian. That was why it could open for business two days ago.
Pei Qian replied to Chef Lin’s message with ‘noted’ and then called Li Shi.
“Boss Li, is Ming House high-end restaurant that you started?”
Li Shi smiled and said, “That’s right, Boss Pei. What’s the matter? You said you didn’t care for it, but have you been paying attention to its progress in secret?”
Pei Qian was speechless.
Like h*11, I’ve been paying attention to it. If Chef Lin had not sent me the message, I would not have found out that your high-end restaurant is already open for business.
Pei Qian didn’t bother to say more; he would only complicate matters if he did. Thus, he cut straight to the chase. “Boss Li, didn’t I say that I’ll have a meal at your restaurant once it opens for business? Why didn’t you let me know?”
Li Shi cleared his throat. “Hehe, Boss Pei, I’m really sorry. I’ve been very busy recently, and once I get busy, I become forgetful. What’s more, I thought you were just being polite.
“It was my mistake. How about this? Whenever you choose to come for a meal, I’ll give you a thirty percent discount! That’ll make it up to you.”
A thirty-percent discount? He isn’t going to waive the bill?
Boss Li was stingy indeed.
However, on further thought, Pei Qian realized that he could not accept a free meal even if Boss Li had offered.
Since he offered a thirty-percent discount, then so be it.
“Alright, let’s not waste any time and make it today! Make a reservation for tonight on my behalf-I’ll book the entire restaurant.” Pei Qian sounded quite nonchalant. “Book… the entire restaurant? Tonight?” Li Shi was obviously at a loss for words. “It’ll be a bit difficult to let you have the whole place tonight. Many people have already made reservations for 7 PM.
“I won’t eat after 7 PM. I’ll arrive at 4 PM and be done by 6 PM. There’ll be time for you to clean up and receive your next batch of customers. I won’t hold you up.
“Do you have enough ingredients?”
Pei Qian glanced at his watch. It was now 3:40 PM.
Ming House was not far from here. He could reach the place in about twenty minutes.
Li Shi remained silent for a while and then said, “We might run out of certain ingredients, but we have enough for the most part. Alright, Boss Pei! Of course, if you can come right now, it’ll be great. We welcome you.”
Pei Qian, “Alright, see you soon.”
He hung up, jumped to his feet, and kept his notes.
He couldn’t study anymore; it was time to eat!
They would arrive at 4 PM and eat until past 5 PM. That would be just right; everyone could rest once the workday ended.
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