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I'm a writer working on self-publishing my four book fantasy series. I've written all four books, the first two are ready for publishing starting in April. The first two books use the original map, the second two use the first map expanded as maps. I like what I did by hand, but it's not professional enough, especially the calligraphy, for a polished look. Because the maps will have to be in paperback books, and paperbacks have relatively small pages, I need to keep this simple so the reader can read the map. Thus, I don't need anything exotic.
I'd like to make the maps myself as this self-publishing has already become quite expensive. I see there is some free stuff on this site somewhere. Is it possible to use that to make a simple map with a decent border and text using that? I'm guessing I will need a pdf file to paste in a MS Word image frame in the book publishing template. Is that right?
Any thoughts and suggestions would be helpful.
Hi there! Congrats on finishing your book(s)!
It's very possible. I haven't gotten the hang of it yet, but there is some great free software used/discussed here, and tons of tutorials, brushes, and templates. I'm sure you could come up with something great :)
Originally Posted by C. Craig
[quote] I'm guessing I will need a pdf file to paste in a MS Word image frame in the book publishing template. Is that right? [QUOTE]
hmmm... suggestions.... it really depends on what you want to use.
I'd start with:
Fast and Easy Artistic Maps
Assorted tips and tricks
Of course, those are just my preferences, as that's what I used when I was confused the most so far :P
I'm sure the other members (who've been here much longer - and actually know what they are doing) can help a lot more!
Welcome to the guild! :)
Welcome. I have been a member for a little over a month and a half. In that time I have learned a great deal. I have been making maps for over 30 years. I still learn something new everytime I log on. Good hunting.
Welcome, C.C. You can definitely get good, publishable results with free software. You note "clear & legible" - it's good you know that. SOme first-time authors seem to want to put artistic masterpieces better suiited for four-color lithography at three-feet-by four into standard paperbacks. Not. Going. To. Work. :-) Beyond clarity, can you give us an idea what style you're shooting for? How much detail are you shooting for?
An option might be to put a bare-bones map in the books and link to better stuff online. Genning up an online community around your work seems an effective way to get repeat business and broader notice. 'Course that takes a whole nother skillset and devotion to ongoing effort - might work though. Might also be a place to host tidbits that don't fit in the narrative, yet which seem too good to bury in your notes :-).
Thanks for the welcome and taking the time to help me out Jalyha. It's much appreciated!
Thanks for the welcome Tracker.
Thank you also for the welcome Jbgibson. Good question. I just want the coastal outline, rivers, site names, border lines, and a few mountains to match story locations. I might put in the compass points thingy if it fits. A bit of shading for seas around the coastline perhaps so long as it doesn't make the site names fuzzy.
I'll need to shrink the first map, as it's part of a larger continent, and add the rest of the continent for the second map. I already have the maps, hand drawn, but the names are not professional and a bit more professional shading the the coast line, mountains would make it professional without too much detail.
I really like the idea of maybe making the maps larger with full color and detail for the website! That would seriously draw attention and lure the website followers to check out the book(s). That can come later when I have a better grasp of technological cartography.
I've spent an entire afternoon and night trying to make sense out of the tutorial about creating a map from your own drawing and only got a little ways into it. Gimp is not simple and I'm disgusted with the complexity of this. I may try to continue with it another time, but for now I'm stuck where it says, "Grab your paintbrush and make it a fuzzy circle 19 and color whatever. Well there is no clue as to how to size the brush or where the color selection are and when I tried to paint in the mountains nothing happened. After hours of working on this, clearing the attempts and redrawing endless coastlines I'm totally frustrated.
Hi there. That drove me CRAZY when I first downloaded GIMP.
Originally Posted by C. Craig
Here, I made my very own tutorial (prepare to be amazeded)
Ain't it purty? :P :P :P
You need some rep for that, Jalyha, but unfortunately I can't give you any more right now. You'll have to settle for a 'Like' instead. :D