I need a cartographer!
I've been dabbling in this map stuff for a bit and it's definitely an exacting gig. I've made some progress, but with my current projects mapping just isn't a priority, though I just purchased Fractal Terrains (shoot me for being a dummy!). Anyway, I'm also in the process of launching Polyhedron Games LLC. The papers are being filed and I'm producing. Trouble is, so far, this has been a one-man show and I'm a one-trick pony. I can write and I'm pretty good with graphics, but I have no artistic talent at all and the learning curve on these cartography programs is quite steep for me. I'm getting some coaching on getting this business going and one of the key points is that I produce. I have planned the publication of The Ertian Chronicles for Spring of 2014, a good bit of it already written. One of the techniques I've learned is to publish a large work in smaller parts, in this case, to issue gazetteers. To do that, I need some cartography. I have a hand drawn map of the world. Eventually, that would need to be rendered professionally, but for now, the need is for regional maps.
So here's the deal. I'm the manager/member, sole member of this LLC. I declared in the paperwork that I was funding it with $1,000. Now, with the expenses I've already incurred, I'm into it for more than that, but when I open the business account (waiting for my federal tax ID), I'll put $1,000 into it. Now I'd like to recruit at least three other members, one in cartography, one in art and one in layout. Two others might be in editing and one in finance and that would be maxed out. I'm not looking to stuff the membership. Now, I could pay a flat rate for your work (eventually, I'm on a fixed income) but I'm really interested in someone who wants to be part of a new force in the industry. The LLC will not have employees. We will work solely on a member or contractual basis, outsourcing where needed. As a member, you would be recompensed at a certain percentage of the total income of the LLC. You would also have editorial control over the "cartography department." Becoming a member takes an investment of time and talent, though you're free to work as you please as long as we can make deadline (that 2014 date is the only deadline I've set, so far, and it's not set in stone) and you'd need to match my $1,000 in financial investment to the company.
If interested, please email me at gameguru/*at/*polyhedrongames.com. I'll also entertain notions of piece work, but you'll need to be flexible.
Wow, I've never actually seen a map-making request that asked the cartographer to pay money before.
EDIT: Sorry, that was flippant. It sounds like you're pretty invested in creating something, and I shouldn't be so strident. If you are actually willing to pay flat-rates for individual pieces (which is closer to what this board is set up for) it might be a good idea to figure out exactly what work you need done, read the sticky post about necessary information, and post individual requests. I'm not certain, but I'd imagine you're going to be hard-pressed to find someone here who is willing to invest a grand in a start-up, especially given the tough market for RPG materials.
So, in short, this forum is for requesting specific maps. For the broader business venture pitch, you might consider applying for the "publisher" permission group and posting to the "Industry Professional" sub-forums.
Didn't even know there was a publisher option. I'm new at this so I'm still learning the ropes. Thanks for the heads up.
I'm also pretty crummy at finding my way around websites. Where might I post such a notice?
In my limited RPG publishing experience, money doesn't come in front, rather from behind. Writer and editor is generally paid in-a-rears, once a product is released the initial profits go to pay the writer and editor - they aren't paid in advance, nor at completion of work, rather they are paid when the publisher has received enough profit in sales (this will be your largest expense). Artists and cartographers on the other hand are generally paid upon completion of work, so this is where your expense lies. I have never seen a publisher looking for a partner online. Also most publishers do the page layout themselves - Steve Russell of Rite Publishing does his own page layout, except for Kaidan productline (my line) where I do all my own page layout. If you do any advertising that's a cost too. Beyond art/cartography and advertising, I wouldn't worry about start-up capital - that money will come only if you successful sell any product.
Because I started developing Kaidan, before I got hooked up with Rite Publishing, I indeed incurred some artist expense in cover designs and interior art - something like $400 is what I spent over 2 years. Since freelancing and imprint publishing under Rite Publishing, I haven't spent any money at all. Although I'm only earning about $100 per month based on sales, at least I'm turning a profit.
Good luck finding that $1000 investor - though as I'm saying above, I don't think you need any upfront capital beyond what covers art, maps and advertising. Most RPG publisher's capital comes from sales of product, not from any initial capital investment.
Well, like I said, it's an investment, same as I'm making and I haven't gotten the LLC papers yet and the operating agreement, but my understanding of the proper way to go about it would be that members share more or less equally. I say more or less, because my position is manager/member and that might be worth a smidgin more. That however would be on the floor for discussion amongst the members. I might add that the LLC protects your personal liability, so nothing beyond that initial investment would be required.
I have to do things this way because I live a hermit's existence, but I'm trying hard to break out. I'm waiting for acceptance into the publisher's limited group, so maybe I can make a more appropriate pitch there.
I just re-read my post and maybe I need to make something else clear, or maybe state it more clearly. Any members are independent professionals. Sure, you produce for Polyhedron Games, but that doesn't mean you can't freelance out or work for someone else.
I posted in the publisher's forum concerning this and maybe, as I said there, I might be going at this in some dunder-headed way. It may be that I'll need to pay up front and that's OK as long as I have some flexibility. I'd really like to deal with just one cartographer, because I only have one copy of my hand-drawn world map and the regionals need to be taken from it. The cartographer might have good bit of influence on the particulars of geography in the setting because I haven't done much in localizing the elements of the setting. I have settlement names and their placement, regional feature names and so forth, but nothing graphic. So, that gives the cartographer a great deal of creative latitude that would be incorporated into the product. If my geography doesn't make sense, I'd want to know about it. Given this, it might be possible to pay an advance with royalties possible as a contributor. I haven't poked around here much with my time being at a premium these days, but I saw one request for $80. Dunno where in the ballpark that is, but I need to save as much up front as possible since I'm still on a shoestring budget. Rather than replying to my company e-mail, send responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: If I'm missing something here, please let me know.