China: Return of the Wang

Or King, according to the title of Wang Xiaofeng‘s January 10 post which brings with it the news that the eighties and nineties badboy of Chinese literature and one-time “spiritual pollutant” Wang Shuo will be on the cover of the next issue of Life Week magazine, for which Wang (Xiaofeng) works.

So if Wang Shuo's back, what's he up to? Wang Xiaofeng‘s not telling, not even in his follow-up post today, in which he may or may not have interviewed eight hours and thirteen thousand characters worth of Wang Shuo's cohorts from his heyday almost a decade ago.

According to Wang Shuo's Wikipedia entry, he's written five screenplays since his last novel was published in 2000, and not much else. Wang Shuo was mentioned on journalist-blogger Zhao Mu's Bullog space late last month, with the news that the writer has plans to open a pay-per-view blog, making him the first mainstream blogger to do so. Wang Shuo had a Sina celebrity blog, but hasn't updated it since March last year. He currently has a blog of sorts at Flower Village, where he posts only his latest works piece-by-piece. Open since November 17 last year, it's currently free for the reading.

A few interviews with Wang Shuo can be found at Chinese video sharing site 6Rooms, and collections of his previous works can be found at XYS (blocked in China) and Wensou.

Back to Zhao Mu's post, dated December 28, 2006:

December 28

昨天见到顽主王朔。尚无博客的王朔说,他将在徐静蕾的”鲜花村 >> 村”开博,不过是那种付费阅读的。他还说道,将来他的小说会考虑不由传统的出版社出版,而是直接上传到博客里,而且还可以根据用户的需要印制成书。因为少了传统出版发行的所有中间环节,所以他认为书的价格会比传统的出版物便宜很多。

I met bad boy Wang Shuo yesterday. The still blogless Wang Shuo says he's about to open a blog on Xu Jinglei's ‘Flower Village‘, but that it's going to be the pay-per-read kind. He even says he's considering not publishing his novels by traditional means, but posting them straight to his blog, and will print books according to users needs. He feels that without the distribution middle links of traditional publishing, the prices of books can be much lower than those of traditionally published materials.


I guess that:
1. Will pay-per-read blogs become a trend? Would you read pay-per-read blogs?
2. All the publishing models Wang Shuo describes (which already exist), will they have a serious impact on traditional publishing, or even replace it, and become a mainstream model?
(Note: news and publishing management agencies, they have something to do now)

Reader comments


Great, Someone will pay the fee to get in, then copy his works and spread them all over, following which grandpa Wang's blog's readers will be set. To be frank, not that many people reading it, but there definitely won't be nobody reading.


呵呵 那王朔的付费博客肯定有一大堆盗版 何必呢!

Hehe…there's bound to be heaps of unauthorized versions of Wang Shuo's pay-blog of his. There's no need!


Little black

Fuck, this geezer Wang Shuo is really stuck on himself, his arrogance is great. He thinks that if there wasn't this outhouse him around, we wouldn't be able to shit. For people like this I only have one word: fuck!


Luo Fenfen

I'm one of the ones who won't pay for reading a blog. With some many cool blogs on the internet, what's the point of paying to read his? Wang Xiaofeng's blog is so rad, and I still haven't finished reading it.
And, I'm a media student. I think that models like Wang Shuo's here, will never be able to succeed.



If I were unconcerned with money, I'd be unconcerned about succeeding or not as well.



Great. Then someone will set up a free mirror of Wang Shou's blog, and it will be updated faster than the fee-charging blog.


Second Princess

As if this is the legendary long-tailed theorem…and it really is long!
If you have to pay it won't last long.
Is he just thinking to acquire a fixed audience?
I've always doubted whether or not this would be cheaper than traditional publications. After all, the costs for batch printing, compared to those for custom printing, are very different. He probably just wants to leech off some commercial entity. There's no way he's print it all off with his home printer.



I only pay to read the Economist
Who's Wang Shou?



Aren't a lot of websites doing this now? You write a piece on a forum, then readers have to pay for access, like .CMFU [] or QMZW [], only the writers’ reputations aren't that big! They haven't tried the blog form! Although there are lots of pirated version, their business isn't bad!



It works in theory, but it's not realistic in practice. Internet writing, keep Ctrl-V'ing each other, and it all comes out. Nobody's willing to spend money. Awareness of online property rights and and legislation still isn't that strong. What's more, everyone else is free, and there's no lack of talent out there. His being the one single fee-charging blog will turn people off. Although it's right in theory, most people won't go for it.



“2. All the publishing models Wang Shuo describes (which already exist), will they have a serious impact on traditional publishing, or even replace it, and become a mainstream model?”
-They'll sue you for illegal publishing



I study media, and I feel that models like Wang's will never succeed
How could he talk so stupidly?



If Wang Shuo really opens a fee-charge blog, I'd be willing to fish out the money. We've been watching him for so many years, there's good stuff to see, what's money add up to?
Though there's lots of blogs online, there's only a few at Old Wang's level…



Right, pirating is just too easy.
I don't read pay-per-view blogs. Because they can't guarantee quality.
I think it'll never work.


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