Thanks for the clarifications.
With that said, I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to go about publishing short scenarios, adventure sites etc?
Is there a resource for using free artwork, layout design etc?
I know it seems relatively easy to get something listed on DriveThruRPG or similar sites but they seem to take a pretty hefty % for their cut. Any ideas on places that are a little more forgiving in terms of commission?
I kind only comment on my own experiences as I prepare my own Year Zero hack this year.
I'm figuring out the layout / design elements myself by looking at other RPG books I like and trying to emulate them in Adobe InDesign. You could try Scribus, too, but I really didn't get on well with the UI. I also know some people have used Word to good effect. Depends on how fancy you want to go, and how big your document will be, I guess.
As for art... You can use old artwork, but need to check the laws in your country for how long the artist had been dead before the art enters the public domain.
Some (but not all) of Dyson Logos' maps are free to use commercially, though you need to check the details of his licence (it should be in each blog post with the map.
Personally, I've approached a bunch of artists on ArtStation to commission quotes for cover art, and have had a lot of mixed responses. I plan on spending my own money (between $250 and $600) on a great piece of cover art, and then having no art inside and giving the PDF away for free.
If the book proves popular, I may go to Kickstarter in future purely to fund interior art and maybe some professional layout.
As for selling, if I ever want to make money, I plan on using DTRPG. Its just too popular to ignore, despite their commission. You could also try Lulu, but it's a lot harder for people to find your stuff. I'm not really aware of other storefronts.
Honestly, though, everyone seems to agree that it's hard to make money on roleplaying games. I think the smartest thing you can do is get your content out there cheaply (ideally for free) to get people playing your stuff and to start making a name for yourself with actual published content. Then someday commissions may start coming in from publishers or for for help on Kickstarter projects. One for name is known, maybe you can then get really successful with a big project yourself, like John Harper or Vincent Baker or Kevin Crawford.