View Full Version : Selling Maps like Clipart as Publisher Resource??

05-08-2011, 06:57 PM
Well here's an interesting idea. Raysr (Tim Dugger, author of HARP, now developing Novus) posted in a thread I have on RPG.net asking if I could possibly offer Maps as clipart publisher resources for small RPG pubishers who cannot afford traditional cartography commissions. Clipart collections specifically targeting small RPG publishers are available through RPGNow/DriveThruRPG, and 'Clip-Maps' could be something offered as a similar product.

Maps could be available in color, grayscale, b/w, with square, hex and no grid. They shouldn't be labeled, although providing a second version of each map with numbered locations ready for a publisher to create an encounter based on the numbered location in his adventure, would be a nice extra feature for those publishers lacking the skill to label it themselves.

My original plan to create the Tavern collection of hand-drawn maps as a product sold to the public, could simultaneously be sold as a Clip-Map pack too. The public use 'ready to print' version might sell for $3.99, but the same set as a Clip-Map pack might sell for $19.99. I could also require as part of the usage guideline that publishers post links to the printable (or pre-printed) set of Maps from my Gamer Printshop site. Thus publishers push my products through the usage of maps for their products.

Tim Dugger formerly one of the owners of Iron Crown Enterprises commissed me for the regional and encounter maps for his Cyradon setting for HARP. So he's familiar with my cartography.

I thought it was an interesting idea.



05-10-2011, 07:49 PM
hmmmmm....things to ponder....how would you be able to enforce the reference to your work with the publishers? I thought clip art was free to use....True, you need to purchase the clip art package, but after that there is no legal requirement to give credit, is there? I am also wondering what would be involved in turning something into clip art......

05-10-2011, 10:03 PM
You would include a usage guideline that would:

1. Allow publishers a one-time usage for each included map in the set. They would not be allowed to use the map in multiple publications - one only.

2. Would require publishers to list Gamer Printshop and Michael K. Tumey (that's me) to be listed in the publications credits as cartography by...

3. Would require publishers to include a URL in the publication that points to printable maps for miniatures use at Gamer Printshop.

4. Standard clipart license agreement would be included with the Clip-Maps.

5. Would require publisher to contact me through Email to announce each publication with include Clip-Maps, so I can track them for future usage issues.

Two versions of each map could be provided, one without labels (so publishers can label themselves) as well as one that has numbered locations in each chamber/area, that publishers could reference in the adventure to describe each particular numbered location. There would be little other preparation required to 'convert' a map into 'clip art'.

Could this be abused? Certainly, so I'd want to follow the future publications of each Clip-Maps purchaser. Its just an idea that I never conceived of on my own and another way to earn income for created map.

At the same time I could package these maps in purchasable sets intended for use by non-commercial games, at a separate lower price.

For me, I have well over 100 maps from contest entries to personal maps that were never intended for publication. I could package these maps in matching themes: dungeon maps, taverns, castles, caverns, wilderness, village/town/city, etc.


05-10-2011, 10:46 PM
This Does sound like an interesting idea, and one that you seem to have thought out quite a bit.

"4. Standard clipart license agreement would be included with the Clip-Maps."........There is such a thing? Where can I read up on that? I will google it but if you have a direct reference I would like to see it. Not doubting you at all, just that it is news to me and I would like to know more about it.....as to NOT step on toes that I didn't know were there... ;)

I wish you luck with this new venture, and you are right about the sets. I think that would be one of the major selling point.

Another thought was do you think there may be problems with different publishers using the same Clip-Map in their publications?

05-10-2011, 11:13 PM
I don't have an online link, but I do have a clipart collection that contains such a license that I would use to include in such a product.

Ideally only the smallest publishers (those who can't afford cartography) would be the kind of customers for this kind of product. Since the maps aren't named or labeled, generic type maps would probably not 'compete' with another publisher using the same map. I think only encounter scale maps would be usable, or a village/town map, but regionals and world maps would not work as those are too setting specific. But, yes, a very good chance that several publishers would be using your maps in varying products at the same time, but such is the nature of shared clipart.

06-10-2011, 03:06 PM
First off, I want to point out that I am not, and have never been any sort of owner of ICE. I was, however, an employee of Mjolnir, LLC which dba ICE for a number of years until recently (John Seal is and has been the owner since he purchased it from the bankruptcy court - his brother-in-law is essentially running ICE now).

As for the "Clip Map" idea - yes, I suggested it, but I cannot take credit for it. I have seen maps for sale on RPGNow for a while, and of course there is clip art for sale on there as well.

Usage rights -- Basically what you are doing is selling usage rights to the maps, not actually selling copyright ownership to them. As part of the usage rights, you can require the publisher to include proper credits to you, including links (I know that I would be happy to include such). You can even include usage limits (i.e. not used in mass printing of 100 units or more, thus allowing the little guys who use POD services to use the maps, but requires the larger companies to negotiate for separate rights.

If a person exceeds or mis-uses your maps, you then have the same options and recourses as if you sold the work to a publisher and they didn't pay you what you were owed.

The publishers, purchasing such maps, would obviously know that since this is a "Clip Map", that other companies could also be using it. Personally, I have no problems with that. And each publisher would make his own decision in that regards.

For example, if I purchased a tavern map, one that required me to NOT print the map at miniature-usage scale, but to instead point to your own version of the map (that could be printed out at a scale to be used with minis), then that would benefit both of us. Me by having a map to include in products, and you because that map can push sales to your own version of that map. Personally, I think it is a win-win for all involved.

As for clip art licenses here is one from Avalon Games

Usage Requirements/Limitations

You may reduce, recolor, or crop any image included here. You may not resell these images in clip art packages or art collections.

If you include any of these images, in your product, you must include the statement:

Some artwork copyrighted by Robert Hemmiger, used with permission

By purchasing this product, you agree to these terms.

And here is another

All artwork in this collection was created by Joseph Wigfield.

Permission is granted to use these pictures under the following conditions:
• They may be used in any publication - commercial or non-commercial.
• You may not include any of this artwork in another collection of clip art.
• You may color or modify any of these pictures, but you must include the authors name in each piece.
• If you include any of these pictures in a publication, you must include a line in your copyright notice that states
“Some artwork in this book is ©2007 Reality Deviant Publications, used with permission.”
©2007 Reality Deviant Publications.