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  1. #1

    Question Questions about Cost

    I am writing a book which involves a large and complex world. I would like to make a map. These are my specifications:

    -roughly 30 cities
    -black and white

    Having looked at all the info on commissions, I notice none has anything about cost estimates. Given the above specs., could someone give me a rough price range? Then I'll consider whether it's worth it to commission one.


  2. #2
    Guild Adept
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Rome, Italy - New York, USA


    It is not entirely clear whether you want a world map or 30 city maps. If the former, then the number of cities is not exactly the most relevant metric to assess the complexity and scope of the project (I mean, on Tolkien's own map, cities are just dots and squares... you can make 30 or 300 of those, it's just the same amount of work, it's the rest of the map that counts).

  3. #3


    1 world map. Sorry for the confusion. To clarify, the drawing would be a about half, if not less, than the detail in this (Refer to image). There would be a lot less names. I already have every detail drawn out, just need someone to make it look good.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	middle-earth-map.jpg 
Views:	234 
Size:	2.35 MB 
ID:	62790
    Last edited by PUMPIKA; 03-30-2014 at 04:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Guild Adept Slylok's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Georgia, USA


    It kind of depends on the cartographer you choose. Some can perform faster than others and have different skill levels and skill sets. If you look around the forums or browse the galleries for a mapper that has done something in the style you like then your best bet may be to contact them directly with your guidelines. They can then in turn give you their estimate.

    Some helpful information to include is how big the final product should be, Whether its for print or not, Time frame if any, stuff like that.

    I usually base my price on how many hours i think it would take me to finish the original request with the information given then add a few more hours for corrections and adjustments. That's just me. Others may have another method.

    Hope this helps you out in some way. Good luck
    Our sense of the stability of the earth is an illusion due to the shortness of our lives.
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson

  5. #5


    Time limit: None. You can take weeks.
    Print: Sort of. Not for sale, if that's what you mean.
    Size: Big enough so that you can fit everything in. Probably one sheet of printer paper.

  6. #6


    Also, I am not looking for a good estimate. I'd just like to know if these things typically go for: 0-20, 20-100, 100-200, 200 plus.

  7. #7


    Okay, guys. I just saw on one of your other sub-forums a sticky about commissions. Very informative, they should post it here! Anyways I saw that many of you charge about 50 bucks, so thanks for the help.

  8. #8
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor - Max -'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by PUMPIKA View Post
    I saw that many of you charge about 50 bucks, so thanks for the help.
    Oh really?

  9. #9


    Personally, I wouldn't start up my computer for less than $300.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't start up my computer for less than $300.
    Ouch. If only there were some sort of a...mapmaking sweatshop where cheap "creative" types could purchase poorly crafted, tear-soaked maps from enslaved cartographers for our equally poorly written epic fantasy novels. When will Drake Dragonblade finally be able to wander the misty vales of the Firedeep forest, or run along the coast of the Pyrian Fire Sea! Curse you professional artists demanding a professional wage!...curse you. :,(

    Edit: I should mention that if you don't mind a drop in quality that you can usually find cheaper mapmakers at deviantART, BUT from what I've seen, the fine cartographers here are significantly more skilled. In my opinion, they're usually worth it. But if you don't need that level of polish then a DA artist might be a better fit and who knows, they may even throw in a free erotic sketch of your map. Imagine the generous mountain ranges!
    Last edited by AuthorParmain; 04-14-2014 at 04:32 PM.

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