Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Including maps with requested pages

Dear Janet,


The question is regarding maps in novels and sample pages (In usual fashion, my cart is bopping along the rocky road pushed by the nose of my weary horse. This is for my next and as yet unfinished novel). 


I did read your old posts regarding graphics and maps and understand why graphics are generally frowned upon for debuts and that illustrative maps are typically outsourced. 



However, I do actually have the skillset to do this (the map illustrations, I mean. Jury is still out on the writing bit). I was in a graphics heavy profession in my formative years and can more than competently do black and white line art. 


The actual question: Hypothetically, when an agent requests sample pages, would one include a sample of said map graphic as an embedded image in the word or PDF document if it’s relevant to the submitted pages? The book does not specifically need maps, though it would be delightful to have them, as there is a bit of wandering. 




 I love love love maps in books, and I'm not alone. Maps, even of "real places" like St. Mary Meade, are fun to look at. 



And of course fantasy maps are just the cat's pjs. Even ones that are more art than informational.









However, when an agent requests the manuscript, including art is not implied. 


What you can do is put the maps on your website and reference that in your query.

You have a website right? (no, you don't, I checked). 

You MUST have a website, and being able to include maps is just one more reason to get cracking. 

I've gotten on my soapbox about the value of websites in previous posts.

Also the jury is NOT out on your writing skills. You ARE a good writer, and I have the flash fiction entries to prove it.


  1. OP, I have nothing useful to say about this except that I adore maps! At home, we had a whole magazine rack that was just full of them, 1:50,000 scale Ordnance Survey. My dad would get them out and look at them for hours, and so would I. It was an ideal rainy day activity. Later on, I did a job that (partly) involved making data-overlaid maps, and also checking them for errors. It wasn't the most exciting work, but I did discover some wonderful place names. The absolute best was Moralee Backwood, which was a small wood near Moralee, in Scotland. (Of course, there were also plenty of places with names like Scraggy Bottom. But Moralee Backwood just took the biscuit.)

    Needless to say, I never skip the maps in books.

    1. Oops, I checked and Moralee is in Northumberland, not Scotland. My bad. (In fairness, they were probably on the same map tile.)

  2. I adore maps. I was so happy to see the map in my debut. I had tons of maps for my world, but not one agent was interested in seeing one. Not even my editor. Not until the final steps did any of the graphics get talked about. And my book was blessed with loads of them.

    I do believe that once you get your book to the point where it is being edited, you could offer your maps. No one will know your world like you do after all. And I think maps are pretty standard in fantasy.

    Although, not sure how the big publishers operate. They may insist on doing it their way though I really can't imagine them not looking at your work first. Especially if you have the skills. I have no graphic skills. I needed all the help I could get. Just keep pushing, OP. You'll get there. Nothing like seeing your book in print. Opening my box of ARCs yesterday was incredible.

  3. E.M. Goldsmith, could please refresh our memory of the title of your magnum opus? Also, congrats!

  4. I agree with your writer, I too love maps (why I hate GPS)A whole box of ARCs? OMG I figured I'd get one and the publisher would send out the others to their secret list of reviewers. Steep learning curve, this business is but I'm learning to be more shameless about self-aggrandizement.

  5. I am suffering from horrible imposter syndrome with this whole book thing. I can't believe this is really happening after all these years.

    My book is Salvation Taverns It is up for pre-sales on all the big sites. Release date is Jan 30 for hardback, Feb 27 for paperback, and Mar 26 for eBook.

  6. Hooray for map dads! They are the best.

  7. In case you missed it, E.M. has a novel coming out. It's available for pre-order here (among other places):

    Click here right now, pre-order E.M.'s novel and wait with bated breath for its release!

    I know y'all don't like to self-promote. That's what I'm here for. ��

    Also, there's a mostly page in the Treasure Chest featuring the Published Works of Janet's Blog Readers. It's been a long time since people have sent me updates, so if you have published anything (novel, novella, short story, flash fiction) and you want it to go on the list, drop me an email (see my Blogger profile for my address).

  8. "a mostly page"??? What's that?! :)

  9. Oh, and here's Yvonne Osborne's web page linkified to save you some keystrokes. Lots of them actually. You just need to click and BAM! there you are! Isn't the internet marvelous? Try it! 😁

  10. AAAAAND... while we're talking about web sites, don't forget the List of Blog Readers and Their Blogs! There's a link to it on the top right of the blog, above the search bar above the pretty little sharky picture.

    If you want to be added to that list, or you need your info changed, or the FBI have finally tracked you down after all those strange Google searches and you need to be removed, I maintain that list too. Send me an email with the info I need.

  11. Elise! Pardon my shouting, but I'm just so happy for you. All the years and the work and everything else you put into this, and here you are. Congratulations! May you bask in the opening-the-box-of-ARCs wonderfulness for a good, long time. Truly, so very happy for you.

  12. I love maps too. I always draw a map of the fictional town I set my books in, although mine looks like the dog drew it. I envy your mapping skills, KAClaytor!

    And E.M., you know what a fan I am of your work. Beyond thrilled your book is up for pre-order. For those Reiders who are Aussies like me, the link to buy is:

  13. Ugh, that link didn't work. Not sure what I did wrong...sorry!!

  14. Actually Colin, I meant to thank (checking your site out) but congrats again to your preorder E.M.

  15. Exciting news all around. I do love that opening map/machine in Game of Thrones, and I love the idea of a maps on the author webpage. Colin, thanks for the links. Can't wait to read EM's brilliant story.

  16. Love maps!!

    Maps in the query? Nope. That's a word space.

    Maps on the website before the books is even sold? Sure!! Maps are cool, we all agree. Because of this, you can use said maps to create interest in your books and your brand as an author. Eventually this book will make it to publication one way or another. Maps for your BookTok, your YouTube promo videos, or simply IG posts. I'll definitely click on a map that grabs my interest.

    Even before that book is published, if you've posted interesting maps and have caught our interest, you're on our radars. You can start building fans before the book comes out.

    Correction: you should be building fans before the book comes out.

    Colin: Sorry, I've been slack in updating info for your marvelous pages. I have updated things, changed things, and have had things published.

  17. Map lover! Another kindred soul (or, rather - souls, as evidenced by all the comments)!
    Anyone else invented countries and drew elaborate maps of them in their youth? I mean - not like fantasy-world lands, but actual countries that could belong in our world?
    I had three such countries - and spent many days drawing maps of their provinces & cities, along with their currency, trade routes, bits of history, etc...


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