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Author Resource Round Table > The Art of Making Maps

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message 1: by Crystal Dawn (last edited Mar 25, 2018 06:14AM) (new)

Crystal Dawn (crystal_dawn) | 51 comments I wanted to open a discussion on the process of making maps for our books.

Our own story started because my husband's first book convention was decided upon last year, and to proceed with such we had to invest in hard copies of his books for the first time. Being an anthology based in a high fantasy world, the obvious choice of creating maps for each book was inevitable (after all, every great fantasy book needs an equally great map). An artist wasn't at the top of our priorities, so we decided to create them ourselves. It was a long process, as my husband chose to proceed with traditional hand-drawn maps, similar to Tolkien, and having not focused on his art skills for many years, there was a stressful period of much trial and error.

He cataloged his entire process for his current three books. I think seeing the journey might prove helpful for other authors who may be considering similar avenues. The first link is to imgur, where he collected all of his images and explained the journey; the second link is to a YouTube video with an abridged account of a single map's process. The third is to his website, where under appendices you can find the finalized versions (the same models we'll be making his promotional posters from).

Images and Descriptions:
Video -

We really would love to hear any positive or constructive feedback, and of course questions, so hopefully we can all help each other achieve our desired outcomes! If you've made maps for your books, what did you do? :)

I'm happy to give free copies of the first three in the series to anyone who would like one in exchange for an honest review. They don't need to read in order or together, each stands alone but has themes that cross each book. Just let me know if you would like them. :) (Strife, The Voice of the Wild, The Sound of Thunder)

Happy Reading!

message 2: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2165 comments Very interesting! I'm writing a horror book that takes place in a large factory so I've actually made maps of the building.

Are your husbands maps in his book or are they exterior to the book? I've thought about whether or not maps should be put inside.

message 3: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 361 comments Also keep in mind that if it's a ebook, your map (or any graphics) has to display on all the platforms.

message 4: by Crystal Dawn (new)

Crystal Dawn (crystal_dawn) | 51 comments That’s actually a really interesting concept Justin. I love the idea of a map (or building schematic by the sounds of it?) in the book. It would be particularly cool, and chilling depending on what type of factory your story takes place. You could definitely work with a blueprint idea of the building which could provide some authenticity. I’d love to see, or know more about what you have planned.

My husband’s maps were created for the release of the hard copies/new editions but didn’t go into the eBooks. We did put them on website (a long with new appendices) and there’s a direct link at the end of the eBook to take you to them. We had a fair amount of difficulty getting them into the eBooks in a way that didn’t throw off the formatting so ultimately, it was easier to go without. A lot of professionally published books have this issue too sometimes, and you’ll find their maps don’t fit or completely throw off the position of consecutive pages. It’s tricky business.

message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2165 comments I looked up map makers on here and got a whole bunch of crappy and confusing sites. :/

message 6: by Crystal Dawn (new)

Crystal Dawn (crystal_dawn) | 51 comments What type of map do you want? Maybe the one you want to design would be ether done by your own hand or a third party who does it for a living? 😕

message 7: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2165 comments A map of the inside of the building that I have in mind, have described and started drawing myself. Perhaps even like a blueprint concept.

message 8: by Crystal Dawn (new)

Crystal Dawn (crystal_dawn) | 51 comments Honestly, knowing the general concept of the story I would go with a blueprint type of map. It would make it very genuine, and if you could do it yourself it should t be too difficult. Could I see your concept art so far? :)

message 9: by Lydia (new)

Lydia MacClaren | 1 comments I can definitely see the Tolkien influence on the maps! They look good, and I enjoyed reading the map making process. I chuckled at the naming of the Ötzi Highroad, we are all influenced by what we learn.

message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2165 comments I'm not a good drawer at all so I only have a sketch on paper and it's not on the computer at all. I want to do a map more now after having seen a womans book where she created a map based off a city she lives in and then put her own spin on it.

message 11: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2165 comments I'd still totally be down to create a map for my book. I still have time before I publish it. I'd need help doing it and a site on which I could do so. I'd love to give people an idea of what the factory looks like. Maybe include it in the book or even include it as a bonus for promotion purposes.

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