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Chapter 1209: Ascending to the altar!Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
7 PM sharp.
All the major bookstores across the country had sent in their statistics. The premiere release of 200,000 copies of Fortress Besieged was wiped clean at 6:57 PM. Not a single copy was left on the shelves in the market!
The publis.h.i.+ng world was shaken to its core!
The industry was also in an uproar!
Who said that the publis.h.i.+ng industry was in a slump?
Who said that physical books were already a thing of the past?
Faced with a book whose sales figures rocketed to the stars, many of the publis.h.i.+ng firms hurriedly held meetings. A lot of authors who hadn’t intended to read this book were now flipping through it in curiosity. Some netizens were even pleading to buy it off others by offering up to a 100 yuan for the book. It had become a very sought after book on the market!
Then, all kinds of book reviews started appearing!
Fortress Besieged dumbfounded the entire Chinese literary field!
1. If the poem has any meaning, so much the worse for it.
2. You’re not annoying, but you’re completely useless.
3. Life, it’s been said, is one big book. Should life indeed be so, most of us writers can only claim to be book critics. Possessing the book critic’s skill, we need not read more than a few pages to churn out a pile of commentary and wrap up a book review in no time.
4. If a person does not go out to see the world by 20, he is a failure; by the same token, if he is still out seeing the world at 30, he is a failure.
5. Nothing happens on accident. The different masks we wear make it inevitable.
6. Husbands are women’s careers. Not having a husband is like being unemployed.
And so on and so forth.
Every word contained in Fortress Besieged, every sentence, every line was crazily picked out by people who dissected and studied them until they couldn’t help but call it wonderful!
The netizens were pa.s.sionate and excited!
“How G.o.dly! So G.o.dly!”
“Any sentence found in the book can be considered a cla.s.sic!”
“It’s so good that I’m crying!”
“Is this really what Zhang Ye’s literary novel is like?”
“d.a.m.n, this is the most awesome book I’ve ever read!”
“I can see all the gooseb.u.mps that I’m getting!”
“Your sister, who said that there was a great reveal of Mrs. Zhang inside the book!”
“Pfft, previous poster, did you really believe that?”
“I also never expected that Fortress Besieged would actually be like this. I thought this was a pure romance novel. Isn’t Teacher Zhang not yet married? Pfft, why do I feel like he’s going to get divorced? Look at what he wrote in his book, describing marriage as a grave of love. I wonder if Teacher Zhang will get a beating from Mrs. Zhang tonight!”
“Hahaha, he deserves it if he does!”
“Supporting Mrs. Zhang Ye, make him kneel on a washboard!”
“What a G.o.dly book this is! And what a G.o.dly author!”
“Fortress Besieged is great!”
“Motherf.u.c.ker, I’ve been pulled into Zhang Ye’s fan base!”
“Me too. Fortress Besieged has f.u.c.king left me with no resistance. Zhang Ye’s skill at indoctrinating people into his fan base is too strong! He silently creeps up and gets us hooked without knowing! But I think my parents are even more fanatical than I am. Those two don’t usually pay attention to anyone in s…o…b..z but became Zhang Ye’s fans after reading Fortress Besieged!”
“My grandma too!”
“I never used to read literary fiction since I didn’t think I could appreciate it. But Fortress Besieged really is different from other works of literary fiction! This book is a drug!”
“I’m addicted to it as well!”
“I’ve read many of the other books that were shortlisted for the Qilu Literature Prize, but none of them are comparable to Fortress Besieged. Could Zhang Ye really win this highest honor?”
“Who knows? He should have gotten the Yanhong Literary Prize, but his relations.h.i.+p with the literary world is just no good!”
“So what if it’s not good? Just with Fortress Besieged, even if Zhang Ye f.u.c.king points right at those people from the literary circle and scolds them, he should still win the award! This book is really amazing. Even if they don’t like him in the literary field, even if he has offended many authors before, they must still award it to him!”
“I suppose the literary field is dumbfounded!”
“Fortress Besieged is a killing blow!”
At the studio.
News from all over the place was being reported back.
Ha Qiqi and the others were constantly getting good news and feeling excited and inspired!
“It’s sold out!”
“The number of reservations have broken records too!”
“Its popularity is growing exponentially!”
They sorted the information into a chart for Zhang Ye to look at. The number of Zhang Ye’s Weibo followers soared yet again, as well as all other aspects of his popularity.
Even though this was not really an important statistic, it solved a problem. Most of Zhang Ye’s newly gained followers were the middle-aged to the elderly and were more learned people. Fortress Besieged helped him attract a large number of new fans! This was certainly good news for him. There were always limitations for every celebrity’s fan base. Some celebrities, like the Korean celebs, focused only on the younger crowd for their target audiences. Meanwhile, others like Dong Shanshan targeted male otakus, with a large number of them making up their fanbases. Zhang Ye’s fan base spanned a relatively larger demographic. There were men and women, people in their teens, twenties, and even thirties. But attracting new male and female fans in their forties and fifties or even older was a very rare occurrence!
If a celebrity’s fanbase demographic coverage was smaller, it meant their growth potential was limited.
A celebrity who only targeted young teens would probably end up as only an list celebrity. Even if they could attract half the country’s teen audience as fans, that number would still be limited. Similarly, a celebrity who only targeted either men or women would also find their growth limited as they progressed further up the entertainment circle. Their fanbase would become saturated by their target audience as no new fans would join.
Therefore, the coverage of one’s fanbase was very important!
Fortress Besieged had undoubtedly helped Zhang Ye open up a new channel of fans. This new group of fans was really important for him to raise his popularity. If he wanted to break past the list and take one of the seven spots above him, the first thing he needed to lose was an “imbalanced” fanbase. Otherwise, he would have already lost at the starting line!
It was almost 8 PM.
Weibo fell silent.
Everyone in Zhang Ye’s Studio also fell silent.
This was because it was almost time for the Qilu Literature Prize winners to be announced. Countless people across the country switched on their radios and quietly listened in to Central Radio’s broadcast.
Wu Yi was wiping off his nervous perspiration. “How nerve-wracking!”
Ha Qiqi clutched her chest. “Stop talking, you’re making me nervous too!”
Little w.a.n.g couldn’t listen and covered her ears.
Zhang Zuo and the others were staring at the radio in silence.
Zhang Ye was smoking at the window and waiting in antic.i.p.ation as well. He had already done all that he could, even bringing that “atomic bomb” of the literary field, Fortress Besieged, from his previous world over to this world. Whatever happened next would depend on fate. Whether his plan to reach the summit could be carried out smoothly in the short term depended on the results of this award!
The awarding method for the Qilu Literature Prize was different from the other two literary awards. It was the top literary award among the three and also the most special. In all decades until now, the Qilu Literature Prize had been awarded based on tradition. The winners were always announced over the radio to the public, and there was neither an award ceremony nor any trophies given out. However, the voice announcing the results was always intriguing to all of those from the literary arena and was the most sacred moment for the literary field!
The broadcast started.
The people were heatedly discussing it.
Zhang Ye’s parents had long since tuned in to the radio station on their cell phones.
Zhang Xia made her son take out a very old radio that he spent a long time fixing before getting to work again.
In the dormitories at Peking University, there were no sounds of games or music. Instead, from many rooms came the sounds of a century-old radio station.
Static sounded for a moment.
Then the voice of the radio announcer came on without any unnecessary chatter. “Dear listeners, good evening. We will be announcing the five winners of the Qilu Literature Prize that is held once every four years. They will be revealed in ascending order of votes received—”
Zhang Ye extinguished his cigarette and came over.
Ha Qiqi almost stopped breathing.
Little w.a.n.g clasped her hands and prayed, “Let Director Zhang be on the list! Please!”
The radio announcer said, “Love by the Lake by Liu Tianqi.”
Wu Yi exclaimed!
Ha Qiqi shushed him. “Quiet.”
The judging panel had voted for the five winners, and the results were ranked in ascending order. The fifth place winner would be announced first, so there was no need to get too anxious.
The radio announcer said, “Spring Returns by Han Dong.”
At Han Dong’s home, his relatives all cheered!
“Second Uncle, it’s you! It’s you!”
“You got it! You’ve won!”
Han Dong also felt very excited!
The radio announcer: “Two Summer Days by Zhang Yi.”
At Zhang Yi’s home, her husband was howling. As a female author, winning the Qilu Literature Prize was the greatest affirmation she could get. When Zhang Yi realized she had won, she got so excited she had to take several aspirins to prevent a heart attack. Her hands were trembling!
The third winner had been announced!
There were only two left!
The radio announcer said, “Gentle Eyes by Zang Weiguo!”
At Zang Weiguo’s home, his children and grandchildren reacted explosively around him!
When Zang Weiguo heard his name, he started crying. He finally won it. In the thirty years of hard work he put in, he had finally received this highest honor in exchange. Although he wasn’t in first place, it was still enough to make him cry. He never thought that he would win first place and felt that it was a miracle that he could even win the Qilu Literature Prize!
There was only one spot left!
The winner with the most votes for this year’s Qilu Literature Prize was going to be announced!
Little w.a.n.g was perspiring from the suspense!
Ha Qiqi was feeling extremely nervous!
Why wasn’t it announced yet?
Why hadn’t Director Zhang’s name been mentioned yet?
Zhang Ye took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
Wu Yi stamped his feet impatiently. Quick! Announce it already!
The entire literary world was waiting for that last name to be announced!
Many of the citizens had p.r.i.c.ked their ears up and were wide-eyed as they waited to find out who it was!
When this last name was about to be announced, the radio announcer paused for a moment before saying with a magnetic voice, “Fortress Besieged by Zhang Ye.”
Silence was the only sound in the studio.
Little w.a.n.g then screamed!
“He said Zhang Ye! He said Zhang Ye!”
“It’s us! We’ve won!”
“We’re first in the vote!”
“We’ve gotten it! We’ve gotten it!”
The studio erupted!
Little w.a.n.g and a few of the female staff all threw their hands up as they cheered. One of them even got so emotional she cried!
Everyone was hugging one another, screaming and shouting. This really had not been easy. They had won this award with great difficulty! Two days. Zhang Ye had used just two days to dabble in the field of literary fiction to gain the highest honor in the literary field this year by winning the most votes. This could only be described as a miracle and as a dream. Such a result could only be achieved by Zhang Ye!
Today, Zhang Ye had risen to the top of the Chinese literary world!
Zhang Ye and Fortress Besieged had ascended to the altar!
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