I had basicly the same Idea, to do a Tutorial Book titled "From Maps and Legends".
Kickstarter ist a nice source for such projects.
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.
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.
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 site.
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 (tabletop RPG discussion)
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.
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.
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!