We’ve been selling books in the marketplace for five years this month, and I’ve been collecting publisher resources for much longer. At some point, every game designer considers publishing their own work, a few that have done it told me it was harder than they thought. Everything is hard the first time and gets easier with repetition. Same as I’m putting out game design articles, I thought there should also be some publisher-facing resources.
Until this particular post gets more organized, it will seem like random tips and trivia, I apologize.
The received wisdom from the publishing business is that one page of double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman is 600 words. That’s going to change with two columns, it will change with different fonts, and it will change with the addition of headers and artwork. You buy words from writers, but publishers must also think in pages.
The old hands say you need one piece of art every four pages, that could be a full page, half-page, a 1/3-1/4 page character illustration, or even a small piece of filler art.
Raster Images are measured in Dots Per Inch (DPI) and can’t easily create more detail later if you didn’t specify the resolution upfront
Artwork needs to be 300dpi or higher for printing
Artwork needs to be between 72-96dpi for the web
Virtual Tabletop (VTT) maps work well at 70dpi in Roll20, but other VTTs, Fantasy Grounds and Foundry, work closer to 100dpi some folks release their VTT maps at 120dpi to allow users to resize at their convenience without losing quality.
If you are commissioning artwork, ask the artist to put the image on a transparent background this makes it easier to drop into the layout later. If you get stock art that comes with a white background, get familiar with the magic wand tool in Photoshop
Photoshop works in RGB, InDesign, and printers work in CMYK, the colors you use in publication might not look like the ones you use for teaser images on the web
The Print on Demand service that DriveThru and Amazon both use has an ink limit of 240%, there is an InDesign driver plugin for their printer model that handles some of this work for you
DriveThruRPG.com has a lot of Stock Art, and Rpgstockart.com has some artists as well.
This site has free-of-charge images you can use without royalty and without even giving the author credit. The images are limited to whatever folks have posted photography or clipart. Folks are encouraged to credit the authors and a tip system is present but not required.
Like Pixabay, the art is free of charge, royalty-free, and crediting the author isn’t required. Their selection is a lot larger than Pixabay and contains a lot of the same images.
All the art here is licensed for a fee, lots of genre art.
This is the brainchild of Nate Piekos he does a lot of comics lettering work and has created hundreds of fonts over the years, many of them are free for indie use, and others have a modest license fee.
Free and paid for fonts on the same site, free fonts to get you in, paid for fonts to keep their lights on. There are a lot more fonts here than Blambot, but they are more traditional fonts and fewer genre or comic book style fonts.
Your preview image in a search will be the size of a postage stamp, your title will probably be unreadable
Your title preview will be limited to so many characters, don’t use too much of a book’s title with branding, or all your titles will seem identical
If you have any feedback about this post or our books please feel free to contact us.
Evilrobotgames at Gmail.com