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A young writer who works part-time as an online ride-hailing service to “sell books” – People – China Industry Network


“Youth-style face elimination”

original title:A young writer who works part-time as an online ride-hailing service to “sell books”

Beijing Youth Daily reporter Chen Jing and Zhang Enjie Coordinator/Lin Yan Zhang Bin Photo courtesy/interviewee

Young writer Da Tou Ma young writer Da Tou Ma became an online ride-hailing driver. Da Tou Ma took the online ride-hailing driver qualification test. Da Tou Ma signed autographs for passengers. Da Tou Ma sold books while driving. Da Tou Ma’s works

“The King’s Game” Da Touma’s work “Nine Stories”

Recently, the topic of “writers driving online ride-hailing” has become a hot search topic on the Internet. A writer went to drive an online car-hailing car and put a sign on the car seat to promote his work, which attracted the attention of many netizens.

This “online ride-hailing driver whose main job is writing novels” goes by the pseudonym Datou Ma. In recent years, he has published “Nine Stories”, “Murder TV”, “A Guide to Writing Non-Best-selling Novel”, “The Potentials” and “The King’s Game” and other works.

This unexpected attention from netizens was due to the experience plan she implemented for her new novella. Experiencing life is not only her writing method, but also her character as an “E person”.

Young writer Da Touma

sell novels

Notice boards placed on online hailing cars to attract passengers

“Hello passengers! I am a writer. Writing is not easy. I work part-time as an online ride-hailing service. Here are my works. You can read them. You can also buy them if you like them.”

A rectangular acrylic plate hung on the back of the passenger seat of an online ride-hailing car with the above words printed on it. Under the acrylic prompt board, there are two books “Nine Stories” and “A Guide to Writing Non-Best-selling Novel” in the chair pocket.

The driver, Da Touma, is a young novelist. In September this year, she registered an account on an online ride-hailing platform, rented a vehicle, and became an online ride-hailing driver, driving to pick up passengers in Hefei.

As a novelist, her purpose of driving an online ride-hailing service is not only to experience this profession for creation, but also to sell novels.

Young writer Da Touma became an online ride-hailing driver

Fortunately, on his first day on the job, Da Touma sold a book. At that time, she was carrying several Japanese passengers, one of whom was a Japanese translator. She took the opportunity to chat with the other party and mentioned that she was a writer and was driving an online ride-hailing company part-time. The other person was very surprised and subsequently bought a copy of her book.

After that, such “sales” opportunities did not come one after another.

Datou Ma found that most passengers are not used to actively chatting with the driver after getting on the bus. Online ride-hailing platforms also have relevant regulations, and drivers cannot take the initiative to strike up conversations with passengers. She had no chance to introduce herself as a writer to others, let alone promote her work.

A few days later, in order to arouse the interest of passengers, Datou Ma went online and customized a notice board.

One time, a mother got into the car with her little boy. The little boy noticed the notice board as soon as he got in the car and shouted: “There is a sign here!”

Datou Ma was delighted: Is the business coming?

But the mother and son did not buy the books in the car seat pockets until they finally got off the bus.

This prompt board didn’t seem to bring much help to Da Touma’s book selling plan. After getting on the bus, passengers may be curious to take photos, but few ask for more information.

In order to increase the chances of selling books, Datou Ma changed the scope of orders. Considering that the location where she lived was relatively remote, there might not be a target group of book buyers among the taxi passengers, so she drove the car to the CBD of Hefei City.

Soon, she received an order near a high-end hotel. The other party noticed the notice board as soon as she got in the car and took the initiative to chat with her: “Did you write all these books?” When she got off the car, the other party bought a book and asked Da Tou Ma to sign it for him.

Since “taking up the job” at the end of September, Da Tou Ma has been working part-time as an online ride-hailing driver for more than a month and has done more than 50 orders, but only sold two books, and his “performance” is quite dismal.

Da Touma is used to such dismal book sales. Since entering the writing industry, the sales of her works have been at a low level. Most of her works were first published in approximately 10,000 to 15,000 copies and have never been reprinted.

In a live book promotion event in November this year, more than 100,000 people watched the live broadcast online, but only 6 people placed orders to buy books.

As a young writer, her average annual income is less than 50,000 yuan. “It’s difficult to make a living just by writing,” Da Touma said.


Datou Ma takes the online ride-hailing driver qualification examination

New Experience

Driving an online car-hailing service and unexpectedly discovering a “mystery”

Although my book sales performance is not ideal, my experience as an online ride-hailing driver is very rich.

“I have been driving for so many years and I haven’t driven an online car-hailing service. I encounter a lot of things these days.” Datou Ma said that he has been driving for more than 7 years and is considered skilled. But as an online ride-hailing driver, she would still tremble with nervousness the moment she stepped on the accelerator after receiving her first passenger.

I finally relaxed on the second day of my “job”, but I didn’t expect another accident to happen. The taxi was taken by a family of three. When the passengers got on the bus, she made a series of operational errors: she started the car before the rear door was closed; her mobile phone frequently fell off the holder… The atmosphere in the car began to become tense. Ma also felt that every time the phone was dropped, the family of three breathed harder. Seeing her incompetence, the male passenger couldn’t help but said, “How about we hold the phone for you?”

When they were nearing their destination, Datou Ma suggested, “There’s a bit of a traffic jam here, how about you get off here?” “Okay, okay, okay.” The other party quickly responded and said yes.

“But I don’t know if this is a place where I can get off.”

“Master, you can do it if you can.”

Then the three of them opened the car door and “rushed” out. The big-headed horse also breathed a sigh of relief.

These stories of chance encounters may not become the material for Da Touma’s novels, but she said that she is truly integrating into the role of an online ride-hailing driver, such as: many driver friends in the WeChat list, eating driver meals at charging stations, etc.


Datou Ma sells books while driving

Da Touma is writing a novel about an online ride-hailing driver. She wanted to use her usual black humor style to write about this group that is closely related to our lives.

During the process of running orders, Datou Ma also discovered the secret of the drivers’ “plastic socializing” in the WeChat group.

She discovered that an important skill for being an online ride-hailing driver is to pick up airport orders. In cities such as Nanjing and Hefei, the airport is far from the city, and a taxi to the airport costs about 100 yuan. For the driver who takes the order, a round trip of about 2 hours can earn 200 yuan. Most online ride-hailing drivers will look for places where they can receive more airport orders, such as hotels and guesthouse gathering places. They call such places “airports.”

However, most online ride-hailing drivers are unwilling to reveal their true “airport” in WeChat groups. “After all, there is competition.” Da Touma said with a smile. It’s like in student days. Before the exam, everyone asked how well you prepared? Top academics will say, I didn’t review anything and I must have done poorly in the exam this time.

According to the lease, Datou Ma’s “Ride-hailing Role Experience Plan” lasts for three months. She plans to start writing after the research is completed, which is expected to be a novella of about 50,000 words. “Online ride-hailing is closely related to our lives, but we seem to have never paid attention to such a group. I think their The story is worth writing. I can’t spoil too much right now, but it is definitely a story with a bit of black humor and absurdity.”


Datou Ma signs autographs for passengers

Talk about creation

I don’t want to produce works like an assembly line

Different writers work in different ways. Da Touma’s way of working is to personally investigate and experience, so that he can be more confident when writing. “I do what I think a professional writer should do. Before writing a novel, you should do Some preparation work, whether it is desk work or fieldwork, the writer must have a basic understanding of the field he is writing about, which is the basic quality of a professional writer.”

I like to write through real experience and research, which is also related to Da Touma’s personality. She laughed and said that, in popular terms, she is an E person (E person refers to an extroverted person), “I like to be exposed to unfamiliar areas and deal with strangers. This is what I like to do, and it has become a It’s my approach to writing and I feel like it goes hand in hand.”

In fact, becoming a writer was not the life path Da Touma originally chose. She began publishing articles at the age of 9 and was once the protagonist of a children’s book. People around her compare her with Jiang Fangzhou, but she did not embark on the path of professional writing from the beginning.

After graduating from college, she joined an Internet company as a product manager. I work in a company, but I don’t like to live in a group and don’t interact with my colleagues. I always read to the side during dinner parties. Later, she worked as a reporter and screenwriter, until in recent years, she began to become a professional writer.

Most recently, her collection of stories, The Game of Kings, was published. This book contains 8 short and medium-length novels she wrote between 2017 and 2022. These novels incorporate elements of fantasy, science fiction, suspense and youth subculture, and construct eight virtual worlds parallel to the world.

Da Touma cares more about the quality of his works than the quantity of his works. Her output is not high, and 2023 is coming to an end, with only one short story “King Solomon’s Ring” written.


Da Touma’s work “The King’s Game”


Da Touma’s work “Nine Stories”

This work combines non-fiction history and fictional stories. The non-fiction history part is based on the story of animal behaviorist Konrad Lorenz, and the fictional story is based on the mother of an autistic child. The intersection lies in the observation and intimacy of animals.

At the same time, the origin of this story is also related to Da Touma’s experience as a volunteer at Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo.

“I don’t want to produce works like an assembly line, and I don’t want to repeat what I have written. I want to take writing seriously. If I want to write, I will definitely spend a lot of time preparing, and I will definitely feel that the novel is worth writing, and then I will write it. Write it down.” Da Touma said.

The article is in Chinese

Tags: young writer works parttime online ridehailing service sell books People China Industry Network


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