Xu Guoqing was a very decisive man, he acted quickly and got the contract written up with the agreed on terms and conditions before signing with Jiang Cheng the next day accordingly.
With that Jiang Cheng sold the copyright to [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] to Southern Weekly, and Southern Weekly agreed to pay Jiang Cheng a ¥100,000 manuscript fee per book, for a set of seven books.
Xu Guoqing sighed seeing Jiang Cheng sign and gain a 15% share stake in Southern Weekly:
"The future is truly with you young people, it seems it's almost time for us old guys to step aside and let you young people get to work. Anyway, no one back at home is willing to pick up my baton, so I guess it's up to you kid!"
Xu Guoqing had a son and a daughter, the eldest, his daughter had studied medicine, and was currently working as a Psychiatrists at a private hospital. Whilst his son was currently still studying law at university and was determined to become a lawyer in the future. Neither of them had the intention to follow in Xu Guoqing's footsteps. So Xu Guoqing was lost in thought about who would inherit his part of the business.
The Jiang family, father and son together had just become the largest shareholders of Southern Weekly with a 50% share stake of Southern Weekly. But individually Jiang Cheng only held 15% whilst Jiang Dejun held 35%.
In this way, Jiang Cheng enjoyed a 15% share of Southern Weekly and became a shareholder of a publishing house at just seventeen. But knowledge of this matter was limited to the three of them.
Others would only know of him as the author of [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] that month.
Southern Weekly was currently short of money, and Jiang Cheng didn't lack money but because they had to maintain their reputation and as a show to others, the ¥700,000 manuscript fees were quickly credited into his account.
Payment for the [Autumn's Concerto] manuscripts promised by Shanghai Tangren had also arrived, a total of ¥300,000. Originally, the basic price of an episode was ¥10,000 but that was based on the standard of having 45 minute episodes like most popular TV shows on the mainland.
But each episode of [Autumn's Concerto] was 60 minutes, which was 15 minutes longer than ordinary mainland dramas. So Shanghai Tangren, not wanting to take advantage of Jiang Cheng gave him another ¥90,000, making up a total of ¥300,000 yuan.
In this way, Jiang Cheng gained a million yuan in his account and in a way became technically a millionaire. Jiang Cheng lamented how hard he had worked in his previous life for peanuts but in this life he had earned the equivalent of $140,000 in just a month.
Sure enough, being reborn was the biggest cheat ever!
With the contract signed Jiang Cheng stopped the serialization of [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] on Tianya and announced that physical copies were going to be released soon.
And in order to create momentum for [Stories About The Ming Dynasty], he also made his first public appearance and was interviewed.
[Author Bright Moon does a face reveal]
[Stories About The Ming Dynasty about to be released!]
[Publishing house Southern Weekly secures Stories About The Ming Dynasty!]
Reading the headlines all those following [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] were immediately excited!
They had been waiting so long and finally got results!
But they were immediately dumbfounded after reading the articles.
What? The author of [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] was a 17 year old kid, who had just graduated from high school? What a joke? Wasn't this too unrealistic!
Jiang Cheng's age raised eyebrows and conspiracy theories and rumors about him copying the work of an elder in his family and making use of the hype to make himself famous seemingly began to spread.
And as word got out about his dad being the editor-in-chief of Southern Weekly and a shareholder these rumors seemed to gain ground. It began to spread that this was actually an attempt at a publicity stunt by Southern Weekly in order to gain traction and publicity for the book and in truth his Dad had actually written [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] .
The Internet quickly became divided into two camps, one group firmly supporting [Stories About The Ming Dynasty] and Bright Moon, whilst the other group suspected that Jiang Cheng was a liar, and that he wasn't the real Bright Moon.
Tianya Forum, Thread Title: Jiang Cheng / Bright Moon? [Fraud or Genius]
◙ Butterfly Feifei: "Wow! I just realised that Bright Moon was so young. He's so handsome! What a genius! I will always be a fan!"
↳ Li Zhongbai: "Jiang Cheng is a genius, I knew right of the bat that Bright Moon had to be a young writer, just looking at the writing style. How could those rigid middle-aged guys write something so exciting. Now I have confirmed my judgment."
↳ Intellectual Minghei: "Please, how could this kid be the real Bright Moon? How old is he, how could he write such a book? Does he even have the cultural credit? It must have been written by his old man and in order to make his son famous and promote his publishing house they resorted to such a trick!"
↳ Great General Yufei: "Please! Let's be a bit logical, if this was a scam, is there any benefit to the two? Wouldn't it have been better to just release the book under his name rather than risk the backlash from trying to sneak it past people.
Many publishing houses jealous of Southern Weekly getting [Stories About The Ming Dynasty], hopped onto the media storm and using their connections began to clamor for Jiang Cheng to stand up and prove himself.
So seeing the attention and reaction his face reveal was garnering, Jiang Cheng set his plan into motion and had Southern Weekly invite out a load of well-known experts and professors using their connections.
They were going to openly examine his knowledge on the Ming Dynasty to see if he was the real deal. The group was made up of history professors from major universities, their reputations weren't low.
In order to write [Stories About The Ming Dynasty], Jiang Cheng had dedicated hours of hard work into studying the history of the Ming Dynasty. Jiang Dejun's collection of books was a blessing. His knowledge on other dynasties was bleak but his knowledge on the history of the Ming Dynasty was clear cut. His mind and memory had been sharpened over a hundred fold since his rebirth and now just based on memory alone he could recall obscure facts from the footnotes of the books.
The experts and professors made use of their abilities to rack their brains in order to stifle Jiang Cheng, within reason of course, as leaders in their fields they had their pride and conscience afterall.
But unexpectedly, not only did they fail to stump him, but they actually gained a new outlook from him.
The young man talked about the history of the Ming Dynasty, with a refreshing take. Not only did he analyze many historical issues left behind by the Ming Dynasty in a pin-point manner, but he was also polite, witty and humorous. He was humble and showed understanding for his shortcomings whilst showing eagerness to learn and correct them.
[Straightforward and unyielding, that was the integrity of the officials of the Ming Dynasty.]
[No matter how powerful you get it's important to pay your debts. ]
[You can't just bare your fangs and try to control everyone, even as the emperor. ]
[It's a great way to work, set an action plan then an escape route and distribute weapons. Then find someone to blame and an excuse to fight.]
[The struggle for public favour is always a vital part of seeking power. ]
[Let's be truthful here, an efficient and effective market without allowing for competition whether internal or external only exists in theoreticals and imagination.]
[There needs to be a balance. Just look at Zhu Yuanzhang again, he imposed severe restrictions on sea trade, which was completely counterproductive and just resulted in piracy and smuggling. And then his successors went too far the other way and began losing state power to the very merchants Zhu Yuanzhang had wanted to restrict. It's all about striking a balance.]
[The world is developing and the times are progressing. The era of one-on-one politics and warfare are behind us and in order to adapt to the trend, political organizations have emerged as the times require. Large-scale collective fighting is the future and bound to happen.]
In this way, the expected grilling session of Jiang Cheng instead became a discussion session. With everyone who came leaving convinced of his talent.
However, Jiang Cheng was shouting in his heart. He almost couldn't hold it several times. Fortunately, he was quick-witted, and the event passed with a flicker.
What interested Jiang Cheng was that among these expert professors, he actually met a future celebrity among them - Yi Zhongtian, a professor from Xiamen University. Who in the future would become famous for his novel [Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms] and being on CCTV-10's show, Lecture Room!
Among these professors, Stories About The Ming Dynasty's writing style was the most relevant to Yi Zhongtian. Which was to be expected since Yi Zhongtian, would also become famous for writing fun history novels.
The two of them got on well and after the event, they had a private conversation. Both sides were impressed by one another's outlook on history and Jiang Cheng running into him was naturally more than willing to build a connection with him.
However, Professor Yi didn't plan to stay in Shanghai for long this time round, he had to return to Xiamen the next day. So the two of them traded contact information and agreed to talk in the future.
Jiang Cheng knew that although Yi Zhongtian's [Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms] series didn't do crazy numbers like [Stories About The Ming Dynasty], it still cleared more than a million in sales. And now that the two had established a friendly relationship, maybe in the future Southern Weekly might have another best-selling book!
With the event over, the professors came out and praised Jiang Cheng as a force to be reckoned with on the topic of the Ming Dynasty and commended him on translating that knowledge into a top tier history novel.
A talented young man with a bright future! Was the consensus.
The news quickly circulated online, and it was generally accepted. With all but a few die-hards still clamoring, that it was all a scam. Most went back to looking forward to the release of [Stories About The Ming Dynasty].
Sure enough, Jiang Cheng's age was a double-edged sword. It raised doubt and suspicion before it was confirmed, but once confirmed, it quickly became a reason for praise and worship.
And with that Xu Guoqing retook control of all the PR affairs regarding [Stories About The Ming Dynasty]. Jiang Cheng would only need to come out again for a book signing event after the physical copies of [Stories About The Ming Dynasty], came out.
So after the event was over, Jiang Cheng went back to hiding behind the scenes. He continued to write [Stories About The Ming Dynasty], whilst also working on the revision of Southern Weekly.
But not long after getting back to work, he received a sudden call and answering it, it turned out to be from Cai Yinong, the president of Shanghai Tangren.
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