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View Full Version : Considering a Kickstarter to fund Quick and Dirty Map Tutorials Book!



Gamerprinter
06-14-2013, 12:59 AM
Some of you may have noticed the 8 posted Quick and Dirty Map Tutorials in the Tutorials Forum, I've done lately. I created the first one for somebody at the Maps for Sharing Google+ community using Xara Xtreme Pro 4, my preferred graphics application for creating maps. Then the many +'s, comments and requests for more, I've been doing about 2 per week.

Now based on fan requests, I've been asked if I could create a book of 25 or more Quick and Dirty Map Tutorials as a full color PDF book. Many have suggested I run a Kickstarter to fund it and they want to sign up.

If I wanted to do this right, I'd clean up the tutorials, placing 3 maps in progress per page (rather then the 9 per page as they currently are), which would mean 3 pages for each tutorial (more for longer ones). I'd compliment each tutorial with 3 sample full page maps using that tutorial technique, thus 6 pages (at least) per tutorial, with better presentation. 25 tutorials = 150 pages. If I included chapters on "About Author/Cartographer", Intro: who needs this book?, Definitions & Examples book (apply chiseled bevel in Xara, would be described for Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape) with images showing shapes with given effects, a Resources chapter: to photo texture sites, map object sites, font sites, and even a page dedicated to the Cartographers' Guild and it's resources. I see roughly a 250 page full color PDF and possible short run printed or POD printed full color, soft cover, perfect bound printed book targeting amateur cartographers, game masters, RPG and board game publishers - the same kind of people that are members here.

I've sent short run and POD order requests to Lightening Source and a couple other book printers to see what it's going to cost to me, and price per book. Once I have that information, I'll seriously consider getting a Kickstarter up and running soon.

One possible stretch goal (if the funds for the basic book are acquired) is a second book with 25 Advanced Quick and Dirty Tutorials (for twice the initial goal), with other stretch goals in mind if that too is exceeded. Goal amounts are yet to be determined.

Thoughts?

GP

Schwarzkreuz
06-14-2013, 01:48 AM
Hi GP,
I had basicly the same Idea, to do a Tutorial Book titled "From Maps and Legends".
Kickstarter ist a nice source for such projects.

Gamerprinter
06-15-2013, 04:03 PM
I've got a bunch of contracts and request documents to fill out and send to Lightening Source as a possible short run or POD printer - they do both. If the quotes and contracts work out, I might be starting this soon.

Gamerprinter
06-19-2013, 05:18 PM
As a preliminary step before getting the Kickstarter going, I've set up a website describing the intended project. I'd appreciate any critiques of the site, not so much for design, rather for the included content. I do have planned changes already, but I like to hear as many suggestions as possible. I appreciate any help you could provide.

Quick and Dirty Map Tutorials (http://www.quickanddirtymaptutorials.com) site.

GP

Schwarzkreuz
06-25-2013, 05:04 PM
The website looks ok and is informative. Maybe some Big Map Samples?

Gamerprinter
06-27-2013, 01:03 AM
It's a template website, so I haven't figured out how to link large scale maps. I can post any image, I just have to figure out how to link a thumbnail to a larger image (in standard HTML, I can do it, but with a template...?)

My Google+ community is growing fast - 200 members over 5 days.

Also one of the members is a blogger, John Large, and he's posted a blog regarding the Tutorials project (woot!) as the first blogger whose done so, and even have experimented by following one of my tutorials:

House of Black (http://wh40krpg.blogspot.com/2013/06/25-quick-and-dirty-map-tutorials.html) (tabletop RPG discussion)

Gamerprinter
07-12-2013, 06:40 PM
Just an update, though I planned to start the Kickstarter today, I only just got verified by Amazon Payments yesterday (the first step in setting up a Kickstarter project). I still want to start the Kickstarter on a Friday, as the optimal start.

That said, I got contacted yesterday by the folks at Gygax magazine regarding their need for a large number of printed maps for an intended box set adventure campaign. Although it's too big a job for my little shop, my contacts in the print industry through my industry association memberships give me access to print company that only do work for other print companies, allowing to get cheaper quotes and still make a nice commission. However just for being able to offer quotes for their print needs, Gygax magazine is giving me 2 free full page ads in their next issue (issue #2). Considering that a full page ad normally runs around $2500 and Gygax magazine is already a collector's item - this is really huge!

So now I want to ensure that the release of Gygax magazine issue 2 would be released sometime during the funding period of the Kickstarter. Once I have firm dates I will start the project then. I will post an announcement in the News boards, when I get this started.

Gamerprinter
07-16-2013, 12:06 PM
I've got a friend who does videography work for Wookiefoot and other hippy bands of the summer concert circuit, who will be shooting and editing a Kickstarter video for me this week - so I can get that out of the way and ready for the Kickstarter. I still need to hear from Gygax magazine regarding when the issue #2 is released so I can finalize the date and get this Kickstarter going.

As an aside Gamer Printshop (my little RPG map printing shop has been getting lots of industry attention of late) with Gygax magazine's print needs last week. Gamerati, the primary marketing firm for the RPG industry is having me create mounted and laminated maps of Frog God Games Razor Coast maps for use at Gencon '13. Actually business has been a bit slow of late, so this sudden attention by major players in the RPG industry is pleasantly strange.

Schwarzkreuz
07-26-2013, 03:52 PM
I am sure the Video will be interesting with some professionals creating it.

Gamerprinter
07-30-2013, 03:34 AM
So after some delay - issues with both Amazon Payments and setting up the Project Location requirement on the Kickstarter setup page, but everything fixed now. The project has been approved by Kickstarter for activation. Shooting for the optimal start and ending dates, I will activate the 25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide Kickstarter on Friday, August 2nd running 31 days to Sunday, September 1st. (I'll post an official announcement in the News Forum on Friday.)

Anyway, Keith J. Davies, a blogger who will be doing some tutorial testing and proof-reading for the project, suggested I create a Stretch Goals Map, which is kind of a "gimmicky" way to chart a Stretch Goals plan flavored for RPG projects. So I created one.

We're so close at starting the project, I'm quite excited!

Enjoy!

56486

Schwarzkreuz
07-30-2013, 05:24 PM
Hmmmm. I guess this KS will ahve success but doubt my stretchgoal of 20k will be reached. Well, I dont wnat to be negative but are you sure about this wide range of Goals? Some of the intermediate Goals sounds similar to me, also I would rework the stretchgoal map with some more details maybe.

Do you ahve already a setup for the Pledge-Levels?

Gamerprinter
07-30-2013, 05:33 PM
I'll PM you a link to the preview version of the Kickstarter page. However, I have more confidence in achieving the higher numbers of the stretch goals. In fact, I've left some room at the center of the map to post additional stretch goals in $35,000+ range if there is a need. I have at least 2 major bloggers who tell me they plan to SPAM the world about this Kickstarter and it's updates. Of course, as mentioned previously, I have a full page full color ad appearing in Gygax magazine that is being released on the same day as this Kickstarter, and I believe that will lead to a large number of contributors by itself. I have little doubt that your particular stretch goal will be funded as well.

Consider my Kaidan Kickstarter I ran last summer... Kaidan is Pathfinder, feudal Japan and horror, making it niche-niche-niche, yet it still earned almost $10K in a similar funding period. This Kickstarter applies to most any RPG game and genre - it's far less niche than Kaidan had been. I'd be very surprised if it didn't earn twice what the Kaidan Kickstarter acquired in funding.

Lingon
07-30-2013, 05:36 PM
I think it's good that you are prepared for over-funding, I've pledged on a couple of KS campaigns that got way more money than the creators thought, causing lots of extra work for them and probably, though I don't know yet, delivery delays. On the other hand… maybe it's just me, but when a campaign announces stretch goals before the initial goal is met, it feels kinda like when a game developer announces DLC before the game is released, if the video game metaphor works around here. Not trying to give you advice on something I don't understand, just offering a thought :)

Schwarzkreuz
07-31-2013, 05:22 AM
I think, if he predicts more Stretchgoals to be archieve than the initial Run, than thats fine. I dont think its like DLC for games, but more like a promise, that if people are willing to reach a goal, it shall be rewarded with extra books/chapters/material, instead of *just* sitting and getting the money into the pocket without further benefits for the Pledgers. Also, I do think, a solid plan makes a project attractive and generate a Fanbase. I will prepare some Material for my stretchegoal so the people can see what they will getting.

- Max -
07-31-2013, 06:13 AM
Since kickstaters have one month deadline, I'm kind of suprised that the materials of the stretchgoals aren't ready yet, at the start. o-O

Gamerprinter
07-31-2013, 12:30 PM
Kickstarter funding is anywhere between 1 and 90 days (not just 30 days), but that's funding only, not the time of product release. The scheduled release date of the project for this publication is 1 year from the end of the Kickstarter, and I'm stating August 2014 as the scheduled release date. Some Kickstarters are set up to put up the cost of printing or some other financial need to already finished work, but that's not the case for most projects, nor with this one. Often a Kickstarter can help determine whether a given project should be pursued at all, as if to suggest that if there's no audience to pay for it's creation, then perhaps the interest isn't there and your project shouldn't be created - as to say the idea is just not financially viable. Why spend 6 months writing tutorials if nobody wants it enough to pay for it.

Of course, we can all agree that people are indeed interested in cartographic tutorials - part of the reason for the existence and success of the Cartographers' Guild itself relies on that fact. In my case, I have about half the tutorials for the first book already created in rough draft form. I actually have a couple tutorials done intended for the advanced tutorials book and the other books as well, but no where near completion. I know I can create these tutorials fairly fast, so I'm not worried that they don't currently fully exist with just days away to the start of the Kickstarter. I've participated in a couple Kickstarters as a contributor, and even participated as part of the design team for another, and technically speaking none of the products from those Kickstarters have been released yet.

@Max - I'm surprised to see that you'd think it would already be done prior to the start of a Kickstarter. I know of no Kickstarters where the material was ready prior to the start of a Kickstarter campaign.

I actually plan to be able to release at least the first book in 6 months from the end of Kickstarter funding, well ahead of the scheduled release. though I predict if most or all of the stretch goals are achieved, it will take the full year to release them all.

- Max -
07-31-2013, 12:42 PM
@Max - I'm surprised to see that you'd think it would already be done prior to the start of a Kickstarter. I know of no Kickstarters where the material was ready prior to the start of a Kickstarter campaign.


That's probably because working as graphic/layout designer for a RPG company, I'm used to work on short deadlines after some announcement. Usually when we announce a game release, we'll publish it in the next month., but that's probably different for kickstarters indeed.

Gamerprinter
07-31-2013, 12:56 PM
That's probably because working as graphic/layout designer for a RPG company, I'm used to work on short deadlines after some announcement. Usually when we announce a game release, we'll publish it in the next month., but that's probably different for kickstarters indeed.

Which is the difference between a Kickstarter and a product release - they are nothing like each other. A Kickstarter is not an announcement of a game release, rather it's an announcement of initial development of a project. It's stating, "I have a cool project I'd like to produce, but I have no idea if there really is a market for it. So in order to know whether there is, we've set up a Kickstarter with a goal of several products for X dollars to be collected within a specific funding period. If it's successfully funded, then we know you want it, so now it will be created."

A product announcement means you've got a production process already in the works, or even the bulk of the work complete, and we expect a release date on such-and-such a time. A Kickstarter is nothing like that.

I create plenty of low budget products out of pocket with no need nor intent of using Kickstarter to fund it. I only use the patron funding system for projects with high dollar costs involved. Printing full color 250 books is expensive, and part of my goal is to see these products being sold in chain book stores, individual bookstores, in addition to Amazon, DrivethruRPG and the usual sources.

- Max -
07-31-2013, 01:50 PM
I wouldn't say that our RPG book prints is some kind of low budget products lol but I get your point about the kickstarter.

Gamerprinter
07-31-2013, 02:21 PM
Low budget doesn't mean 'cheap', it means I can afford to create something and pay for it in-house. Anything that is under 30 pages, even with full color illustrations and maps in print and PDF falls under low budget to me. A full adventure of 96 pages or more, setting guide, or as in this case, several full length manuals is too costly for me to risk as out of pocket expense - anything that costs $1000 or more is too much for my budget.

kjdavies
08-06-2013, 01:13 PM
Which is the difference between a Kickstarter and a product release - they are nothing like each other. A Kickstarter is not an announcement of a game release, rather it's an announcement of initial development of a project. It's stating, "I have a cool project I'd like to produce, but I have no idea if there really is a market for it. So in order to know whether there is, we've set up a Kickstarter with a goal of several products for X dollars to be collected within a specific funding period. If it's successfully funded, then we know you want it, so now it will be created."

Hi, Keith Davies here (mentioned earlier in the thread). I've seen both, actually. It's not uncommon that the (core) product is ready and just needs funding for production. It's not uncommon that it still needs to be written. It's also not uncommon that the bulk of the writing is done and they're looking for funding to get the layout, graphics, printing, and so on done. It all varies.

This one, you started with about half the book drafted and know how to do the rest. I'd consider it roughly in the third group -- it's not entirely written, but it's clearly not just getting started. You've got most of your production chain in mind, you've got realistic goals even if things get blown out of proportion and you do all the books rather than just the one. I have quite a bit of confidence you'll not only get funded (four days in and you're already about 75% funded, that's a pretty safe guess) but that you'll be on time or early, depending how many volumes are needed.

Gamerprinter
08-07-2013, 05:40 PM
I just posted the first Kickstarter Update. It includes a free preview PDF download of the intended first guide book. It's open to all viewers, not just backers... check it out!

Update Link (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/615795674/25-quick-and-dirty-map-tutorials-guide-book/posts)

Edt: Day 6, 85 backers, 93% to goal, only $259 left.

Strangely there's double the number of $25 backers vs. $15 backers, additionally strange there are 2 more backers at $70 than there are backers at $15 (I'm more familiar with the bottom tier as having the most backers, my current Kickstarter defies these odds.)

Gamerprinter
08-09-2013, 10:28 AM
Goal met! We've funded the 25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide, now on to the first stretch goal, 25 Advanced Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide Book. Thank you, everyone for your support!

Schwarzkreuz
08-09-2013, 10:33 AM
Congratulations! Its good to see projects evolving. Any Idea for new advertising the project? I had the feeling your interview pushed the Funding a lot.

Gamerprinter
08-09-2013, 11:41 AM
I'm supposed to do a podcast sometime next week with G*M*S online gamers magazine. I'm looking for other advertising sources though.

Gamerprinter
08-10-2013, 10:23 PM
A Quick Overview on the Stretch Goal Products:

25 Advanced Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide is really the second half of the first book. I originally planned on writing a 50 tutorials guide, but after I figured out the page count to do 50 tutorials, plus sample maps and all the discussion chapters that would have been a huge book (500ish pages) and if that were to be sold on a bookstore shelf as a full color interior book, it would cost like $80 which is too much, so I split the concept into 2 books.

Hand-Drawn Map Tutorials Guide is less quick and dirty, my plan is to offer hand-drawn work on 3 different map types - regional map, city map and an encounter scale map (castle or something) and as many steps as necessary to present them - perhaps 20 or more steps each, using my digital-to-hand-drawn to digital workflow technique. Then several tutorials for hand-drawn detailed map objects.

Using 3D Elements in Mapping Guide - I often use 3D to create detailed map objects, detailed portrayal of complex shadows, use to prepare an isometric/orthographic view map, and rarely 3D terrain. To give you a better product I may add a couple additional authors to write a chapter each. I invited Anna Meyer who uses Bryce 3D to create her 3D versions of the domains of Greyhawk, as Greyhawk maps is her productline. Anna is the one of the few pro female RPG cartographer I know - most cartographers seem to be guys. Waldronate is a software developer. He created Wilbur and Fractal Terrains which is an extension of Fractal Mapper, Wilbur is the more complex version of that. He's an expert a true 3D terrain - a real techie. But I think he can bring something good to a book on 3D mapping.

While I have a couple more stretch goals, the above is the main stretch goals.

I really, really want to fund these stretch goals at least! Let's see what we can do to get them into pledger's hands.

Gamerprinter
08-12-2013, 12:03 PM
Here's a sampling of the map objects included in the $25 backer level - also posted as part of Update #3 of the Kickstarter.

56822

Gamerprinter
08-16-2013, 08:07 PM
FYI - nothing official yet, it depends on which books get funded by this Kickstarter. But for additional content on GIMP specifics, RobA is going to write some of the material for the guide books, Waldronate and Anna Meyer are going to write chapters in the 3D Elements in Mapping guide, and if we can fund it, Schwarzkreuz is writing a book as the last stretch goal.

So this is a project for you written by more than just me - many other favorite CG members are part of this project too!

Gamerprinter
08-20-2013, 03:20 PM
Thank you, thank you - all you wonderful pledgers! We've hit the first stretch goal in the creation of 25 Advanced Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials. Now on to the next stretch goal for $3000 more, and my favorite kind of mapping: Hand-Drawn Map Tutorials Guide!

Map Tutorials Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/615795674/25-quick-and-dirty-map-tutorials-guide-book)

Jaxilon
08-21-2013, 01:46 AM
Congratulations GP, awesome going!

Gamerprinter
08-26-2013, 11:57 AM
Thanks, Jax!

OK, Kickstarter Update #11 - Stretch Goal #2: The Hand-Drawn Map Tutorials Guide Book has been funded and UNLOCKED!

We've got less than 6 days left and 2 more stretch goals we like to get funded. The next book would be Using 3D Elements in Mapping Tutorials Guide Book. If we fund this one, I will not only provide all my 3D in mapping techniques, but there will be 2 chapters written by other Cartographers' Guild members. Anna Meyer of Greyhawk Maps who extensively uses Bryce 3D in her work, and Waldronate the developer of Wilbur will bring their 3D expertise into this guide.

Please join us to fund these guides, and thank you for those who already have!

Michael

Gamerprinter
08-29-2013, 07:08 PM
Only 65 hours left until end of funding, we are just less than $1000 to the 3rd stretch goal, and less than $3000 from the 4th - all still within reach! Remember the 4th stretch goal is in support of another CG'er in Schwarzkreuz. Also our 3rd stretch goal includes chapters written by Anna Meyer and Waldronate, both long time members of the Cartographers' Guild, just like myself. Supporting this project supports the cartographer's here. So join us, if you haven't already. A $15 pledge gets you PDF files of all funded guidebooks and for just a little more, there are tons of map objects ready for your mapping.

Thanks, CG'ers for supporting this project!

Michael "GP" Tumey

Gamerprinter
08-30-2013, 07:23 PM
Pledging exploded today, with the day not over yet, it was the single most profitable day with over $2500 in pledges from 52 backers. It looks like Schwarzkreuz's book will make it by deadline as well, only $722 to hit that stretch goal with 41 hours left.

Thank you everyone who has joined in - you guys are great!

Schwarzkreuz
08-31-2013, 01:42 PM
I can anounced, my book is funded!

006
08-31-2013, 10:16 PM
This looks pretty interesting, keep us updated if you decide to start it!

Schwarzkreuz
09-01-2013, 04:27 AM
25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide Book by Michael K. Tumey — Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/615795674/25-quick-and-dirty-map-tutorials-guide-book)

Its allready 20K$ + and still 7h left, this is realy crazy.

Jacktannery
09-01-2013, 05:36 AM
Congratulations guys that's fantastic.

vorropohaiah
09-01-2013, 06:57 AM
nice to see something like this get so much funding!

Korash
09-01-2013, 09:01 AM
I would have loved to be a backer of this great project, but RL rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times...:(

Congrats GP and SK. :D

Lightminder
09-01-2013, 09:17 AM
Wow! serious covetousness here! I regret that i have no disposable cash flow today or i would be in on that in a hot minute, please offer the books when they are ready for sale! that kickstarter page was really excellent at whetting the appetite. cool way to fund. congrats on more than making the mark!

Schwarzkreuz
09-01-2013, 11:59 AM
Only 10 minutes left and it had raised more than 10.000$ over the last 3 Days of the campaign. This is far beyond my hopes for the Project, and I am happy to see so many people interested in Mapmaking.

vorropohaiah
09-01-2013, 12:38 PM
SK: were you part of this KS in an y way? the way youre referring to it it seems as though you are.

Gamerprinter
09-01-2013, 01:52 PM
@vorropohaiah - the 4th stretch goal was for the creation of Maps and Legends: a Guide to Fantasy Cartography by Josephe Vandel (which is SK's name or pen name), so indeed he was a part of this Kickstarter project. Also, in case you didn't look up thread, I've recruited RobA, Anna Meyer, and Waldronate to write sections, chapters and/or appendices to several of the guides. And since the project funding exceeded the last stretch goal by nearly $7000, I plan to commission a few more CG member authors if I can - they will be paid of course. I also plan to place a nice donation to the CG, once I figure out all my costs and fund requirements (just a little while).

It's amazing, the funding beat my original goal by nearly $20,000.

Final results:
Original Goal: $3750, All Stretch Goals: $16,500, Pledged: $23,289.10, Backers: 456, Funded: 621%.

Thank you, everyone who pledged or even just helped spread the word - you guys are awesome!

Michael

vorropohaiah
09-01-2013, 02:06 PM
that's really great! congrats on exceeding the original goal by so much

Korash
09-01-2013, 03:43 PM
....please offer the books when they are ready for sale! that kickstarter page was really excellent at whetting the appetite.....

DITTO...I do hope to be wee bit (more) fluid by the time this is done. I wouldn't mind paying a higher price for this package at all. ;) PLEEEAASE say you will be making this available for purchase later... **begs**

Gamerprinter
09-01-2013, 05:18 PM
DITTO...I do hope to be wee bit (more) fluid by the time this is done. I wouldn't mind paying a higher price for this package at all. ;) PLEEEAASE say you will be making this available for purchase later... **begs**

Yes, of course! The intent of the Kickstarter is not to provide "preorders" of products which are being provided, but as seed capital to getting the books into the book distribution system to be sold in bookstores worldwide. I have arrangements with US, UK and AU printing houses. The hope is the project leads to volume sales in the book market for potentially a much more profitable venture. That's the ultimate goal anyway. I've had a plan since the beginning, tweaked along the way - I didn't do this whimsically. :D

So yes, you will be able to purchase these when finally released.

Midgardsormr
09-02-2013, 12:42 PM
Congratulations on such a successful campaign! And good luck getting them into the wider market; I hope I see the books on the shelves at my local B+N (assuming they're still in business in a few months)!

geamon
09-02-2013, 04:37 PM
Congratulations & big props on the success of your project.

Just wanted to let you know if you have any need for extra hands on deck or any assistance needed let me know. I know I may not be the most experienced or skilled on cartographer here at the CG. But if there's anything within my skill set that you can use let me know.

Hoping the projects progress well and is released on schedule.

Gamerprinter
09-02-2013, 06:27 PM
Well, I will eventually needed testers to use the tutorials in various graphics applications and discover if I missed anything and get it corrected before publication. I already have an army of editors and proof-readers volunteering, but I can always use more testers using Photoshop, GIMP, Illustrator, Inkscape, etc.

Jaxilon
09-07-2013, 09:29 AM
What a great campaign. Grats again on the success.

jigsawman
09-19-2014, 04:25 PM
Has anyone even taken possession of their book or pdf files yet?