Friday Write-Day: I Need A Map!

I realized this week that I don’t have a nicely illustrated map of my fantasy world.

For anyone familiar with fantasy novels, having a beautiful map for the reader to reference as they journey through this fictional world is, like, where 60% of the enjoyment of fantasy stories comes from.

Okay, maybe not 60%.

But every great fantasy story I read as a kid came with a map, whether it was of Mossflower Woods, Middle Earth, or Westeros.

I have sketched dozens of maps of Everfeld and Úr’Dan over the years as I have built this world, but they were all just basic references for me to use when laying out my story ideas. I’ve never taken the time (or the budget) to either make or commission a professional, authentic-looking map.

A map just seems essential for any decent fantasy story, and The Warden of Everfeld: Memento would not feel complete to me without one.

So, let’s add that to the list of things I need to complete before publication. I’m going to talk to my illustrator and see if he has any experience/skill in drawing maps. Otherwise, I will probably end up commissioning someone through Upwork.

Book Design Troubles

I’ve emailed four or five book designers this week about quotes and questions regarding their services and my project. It’s been difficult for me to parse through all of the options I’ve found, because prices for such services seem to vary wildly, from as low as $250 to as high as $1,800.

Now, I’m definitely on a budget, but I also recognize that paying a “standard” price of $250 for the difficult and arduous process of formatting a manuscript for publication probably will not give me the greatest result.

So I’m querying as many companies as possible to find someone within my budget.

This has raised another concern: how long will it take someone to complete this project? I will allow whatever amount of time is reasonable, but will I need to push back my intended publication date?

I haven’t heard back from any book designers yet.

If I have to push my publication date back, so be it. But these are bumps in the road to publication I was vaguely anticipating, but still unprepared for. We’ll see how it goes.

Goals for 3/23
  1. Continue read-through of Manuscript: Charlie for consistency
  2. Communicate with book designers and narrow down the pool
  3. Decide how to proceed on my fantasy map
  4. Wake up earlier – this has been a real struggle this week

Steve D

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