Where to get maps for your books

Many new authors who contact me aren’t sure what kind of map they want for their books. They may not know what’s involved with commissioning a custom map, so I ask a few questions and perhaps we have a consultation call.

My fee for creating a book map starts at $400, and that’s not always feasible for everyone. I often recommend stock image sites with simple maps, or historical maps in the public domain.

Stock image sites

Here are some sites I’ve recommended to authors who may not have the budget for a custom map. They include photos, illustrations, and vectors:

If you are comfortable editing vector files, some maps are available as Illustrator files (AI or EPS), or SVG files that you can edit in Inkscape (free and open source software).

Free world maps

When your book needs a complete world map, take a look at these great free resources, which allow commercial use. And many are in the public domain.

Digital map collections

Many libraries have digital collections of historical maps in the public domain. Examples are the New York Library’s digital collections or the Toronto Library’s digital archive. Even if you’re not looking for a map for your book, it’s fascinating to peruse those collections!

Copyright issues

When you find a map that you want to use in your book, make sure the terms of use include commercial usage rights. The maps I create use public domain data, or open source data that requires attribution, and I’ll let you know what attribution should be added to your book to comply with copyright laws.

Contact me

If you are unable to find the map you need, or have tried editing maps yourself but can’t get it just right, it might be time to consider a custom map. Contact me to learn more. As many of my clients have said, I make the process easy and you get a map that shows only what you want.

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