Fantasy novels often have maps at the beginning. Sometimes, even if the map doesn’t make it into the final, published book, the author draws one out for reference as part of the world building.
I figured out how to include a map in my ebooks with THE BARD’S GIFT.
It’s not hard. It’s just another step. But it also involves making sure that the illustration (which is what a map is, when you come right down to it) is sized correctly and actually will be readable on at least most readers. (If you’re reading on your smart phone, you’re on your own.)
But, let’s be honest. THE BARD’S GIFT is an historical fantasy. I didn’t have to start from scratch with that map.
Now, I also have a map for the world of the DUAL MAGICS series. But it’s a hand-scribbled-for-my-reference kind of map. Don’t laugh.
I’d kind of like to include a map, though. There is software out there, mostly written for rpg gamers, that will make more professional looking maps. There are two problems with that, though.
The first, of course, is price. I need to decide if it’s really worth it on top of the other expenses. Over the course of the whole series, it might be. Plus, I have other stories, like DREAMER’S ROSE, that also have hand-scribbled maps.
There’s also the question of whether the story really needs it. Beta readers of THE BARD’S GIFT expressed a wish for a map. Beta readers of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE never mentioned it. (Neither actually had a map when they read the stories.) So, maybe it’s not such a big deal.
The second problem is the learning curve. If I started today, it would still likely delay publication of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE just to produce something that didn’t look completely amateurish. But one of the great things about ebooks is that you can go back and upload a newer version. Some retailers, like Amazon and Smashwords, even allow customers to download newer versions for free. So, I could go back and add the map when I finally have one that I think looks good enough to publish.
Maybe I’ll have a map–and an updated version of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE–when I publish the sequel, THE IGNORED PROPHECY.