When I get a map project, I'll ask the following questions:
1. What is the title of the map? Even if it doesn't have a title, your description tells me what the map is supposed to show and tell.
2. How big is the map? In a printed book I'll need to know the trim (final) page size, and if it is a double-page spread, an endpaper, a full-page, a half-page, or tiny. For the web or eBook, I'll also need to know relative size so I don't make type or lines too small.
3. What does the book/article/website design look like? Please show me the design I'll need to fit the map into, I can really make them go together. If you have fonts selected, a cover designed, a home page built, please show me the design--even if it isn't final, it is helpful. Send the fonts, send the sample or final design layouts.
4. How is the map to be used? Who is it for? A map tells a story to the reader, and if I know what kind of people are going to read it, and how they will use it, I can make it better. If you have a manuscript for the book or article, please send it.
5. When do you need it? What price did you have in mind? We will work out a schedule and price based on your needs, schedule, and the complexity of the map. If it is an historical map needing to reference primary materials, I will need you to supply what you have and OK the sources I find--these maps are much more difficult to do since older primary resources were less accurate and geography and political boundaries change over time.