Letter from the Author #49: Setting the Road to Valhalla | La Marca de Odín

Letter from the Author #49: Setting the Road to Valhalla

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CartadelAutor49.jpg Dear #MarkedbyOdin I have finally recovered the habit of writing a letter to summarize all the things that have happened lately and the what's next for Mark of Odin. I do it after a good season since my last missive was done for the Spanish release of Mark of Odin: Road to Valhalla and the intense crowdfunding campaign to finance its launch.

These months have been a non-stop, between the launch of the Spanish edition of Road to Valhalla and the English edition of the first book. Launching both books in different formats (paper and digital), both in our own store and on external platforms has been crazy. And you have to know that it is not just about registering, but then promote, publicize, do a lot of marketing so all together I've been quite overwhelmed.

You have to take into account that it is no longer about selling only the first book, but we have focused on publicizing the Collector Pack of the two books in Spanish. In March we started to try different mechanics and advertising campaigns to get sales to raise. And although the initial results are being positive, having closed April with double benefits than the previous month, they are still insufficient and we need to dedicate much more time and resources to adjust the processes. To give you an idea, if only the tiny % of users who come to our store and add to their carts the books end up buying, we could ensure a lot of extended content, expand the team and focus on the final draft of the third book in a very short time. With very little we could do a lot.

On the other hand, to spread the book in English, which is the great objective to achieve greater visibility of our saga, has become a most elusive challenge. Reaching the international market is a thousand times more expensive than Spanish, so we are burning our brains to find formulas that allow us to make it known. At the moment the launch has been very shy, we have barely passed the 100 readers between the digital edition and the printed one on external platforms (Amazon mainly). So one of my priorities right now is this issue, since it is vital for our growth to get more exposure and reach a lot more people, even on external platforms.

Apart of these tasks, we had to add legal and bureaucratic tasks. For example, we have done the procedures to try to apply for subsidies from the Ministry of Culture for the translation of books to see if we can get help to translate to English Road to Valhalla. And of course, as you have read in our previous email, we have had to review and update all the legal terms section and forms on the web to adapt to the RGPD that takes effect on May 25. Add also a home move (and there are already nine) in this last month and we already have an explosive saturation cocktail.

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Despite this, I found time to attend as a guest at the Fiction Festival of Seville # FicFest18 that took place at FIBES, Seville, on May 5th. There I had the opportunity to meet some future #MarkedbyOdin and share many anecdotes of how the saga started and about its production. Not to forget that I also gave away and signed a few posters of El camino a Valhalla.

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As I said, right now the priority is to publicize the saga in English and also get to consolidate sales of books. As you know, the crowdfunding campaign was insufficient and I need the income of this project to stabilize in order to continue investing in the production of new actions and content.

In this matter what I can say is that I am still waiting to share the extended story of Professor Hågensen, in the absence of his new illustration (Pray to the Great Father to arrive as soon as possible). In principle this would be the last content of Odinpedia's Volume 1 (I do not rule out expanding with more in the future if sales increase, since there are many things in preproduction stopped).

But what about the bonus chapters of the second book and the extended content of Odinpedia's Volume 2?

Well, we have the main stumbling block that we need to increase sales in order to invest resources in them. I can tell you that the first special content of Volume 2 would be centered on Brunilda (Manu Nieto is in love with her and has been working on his illustration for some time). Then I've been thinking about a series of low-cost content that can nourish you with information as long as we do not have resources for other, more forceful ones. It would be something similar to the Chronicles of Volume 1. In this case they would be written by our favorite historian, Alvit, with whom I would deepen more about Borean culture and society. If you like the idea I would love to know your impressions and / or what aspects you would like to know, so I encourage you to comment on your suggestions in the forum.

What is more than guaranteed are the three bonus chapters. The first: The Battle for Jotunheim, I would like to share it sometime next month. As I said between the move and all the stress, it was impossible for me to finish it. Now that I am settled and I hope to be calmer I want to finish its final draft. The only doubt I have is what to do with its cover, since initially I wanted it to be illustrated by Michael Komarck also, but it will not be able to be, at least for the moment. So I have to see what alternative I can use that fits me. As happened with 'Operation Hammer Nocturnal', this new bonus chapter will continue the story just as it ends in the second book, so you can expect action in abundance and learn new aspects that will surprise you.

Regarding the new website, we continue working to refine all pending tasks that remain to be finalized. We are going little by little but with a firm step. We hope to resolve all pending soon to refocus our attention on finishing the Odinpedia App, with which you can enjoy our whole universe extended comfortably from your mobile devices. We hope to continue sharing the missing content from Odinpedia's Volume 1 in English in the next weeks-months.

I finish this extensive letter thanking all your support, both those who have already started their way to Road to Valhalla, and those who have not yet done so. I remind you that you can order the book in our store, there are many registered readers who have not taken the step. If only all of you who are here would do it, it would be a very strong push for us to continue producing new content.

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By the way, all of you who have finished The Road to Valhalla, in the absence of an operational Opinion's section, I would appreciate it if you shared your impressions in the Forum.

Remember... All is connected!                   

Xavier Marcé

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