Archive for November, 2013

Compelled to Inspire

November 15, 2013

Compelled to InspireI love working with clients who inspire me—especially when that client is already a friend. Compelled to Inspire was a joyful collaboration with Jill Felts, founder and CEO of Compelling Creations.

I helped Jill develop her manuscript from interviews, blog posts, and stories—lots of stories. Jill recorded and wrote stories of her journey as an entrepreneur—challenges she has encountered and the people who have encouraged her. I put my radio host skills to work while interviewing Compelling Creations Consultants from around the United States, then pulled out quotes from the transcripts to intersperse in the chapters. We created an outline . . . then changed it . . . then expanded it. Jill and I wrote and sent manuscript drafts back and forth many times. As we neared completion, we fine-tuned the manuscript with the help of editor Nanette Littlestone.

Jill’s jewelry designs have been central in the evolution of Compelling Creations. The impact of any art has two dialogues: the impact creating the art has on the artist and the impact the art has on the audience who views it, or in this case, wears it. In Compelled to Inspire, we highlighted popular pieces of Compelling Creations jewelry—telling the story of Jill’s creative process in designing a particular piece, how customers respond to it, and how customers and Consultants are able to share their faith and stories of their lives as they wear the jewelry. Compelling Creations trademarked tagline is “Wear It and Share It” and that’s exactly what happens.

Compelled to Inspire is filled with Jill’s reflections on universal issues that often hold us back from reaching our greatest potential. Her experiences, and those of her Consultants, guide readers to expand their view of possibilities and embrace strategies for success. This book is designed not only to share Compelling Creations’ history and purpose, but it also uses personal stories to encourage readers to release and renew their minds and spirits daily, to strive for their goals and overcome whatever is holding them back, and to journal their thoughts along the way.

Here is what Jill said about working with me on her book:

“As everyone can see from the wide variety of books Vanessa has brought to fruition, she doesn’t have a set ‘formula’ for layout and design.  She REALLY feels what the writer is trying to convey through words and matches that feeling with the visual design for the individual’s book.

“Vanessa is easy to work with, on task and on time.  After interviewing all our participating independent sales consultants, she filtered through the long transcripts to find just the right nuggets to include in just the right spots.

“It all made the story flow seamlessly.”

During the course of Jill’s book project, I also had the privilege to assist her husband, David, with the design and formatting of his book Swing Thoughts. Individually Jill, David, and their daughters are amazing, but as a family, they are unstoppable. In her book’s dedication, Jill says her family works well together because “each of us thinks we are the Robin to the other person’s Batman.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jill for my radio show Art as Worship in 2012. Here is the archive of that episode where Jill talks about how her art has affected her spiritual evolution and how her spiritual evolution has affected her art. During the interview she said, “Some people write out their prayers and I kind of draw them out.”

Find out more about Compelling Creations, see a catalog of their inspirational jewelry, and purchase your own copy of Compelled to Inspire. www.compelling-creations.com

Contact me to discuss how I can help bring your book from concept to creation. Or, let’s talk about your marketing and graphic needs. Call me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile.

Advertisements

Stop Doing That!

November 8, 2013

OA Stop Book Cvr final webMy friend Essie Escobedo owns a company called Office Angels. Her “angels” help small businesses with administrative support, marketing assistance, bookkeeping, event planning, follow-up, and more. With Office Angels taking care of these essential tasks, the owner and key staff members are able to concentrate on selling and delivering on what they do best.

When Essie and I met to discuss ideas for her book, I recalled an e-newsletter she had sent with the title “Stop Doing That!” Brilliant! The title had captured my attention and prompted me to read the full article. After deciding this was the perfect book title, the manuscript came together easily.

Essie gathered content she had written previously for newsletters, brochures, her website, and other marketing materials. Then, with the help of writing coach Dr. Tim Morrison, they developed the manuscript for Stop Doing That! 21 Activities Critical to Business Success That YOU Shouldn’t Do. I designed the cover and formatted the interior. The result is a pocket-sized 5.5″ x 5.5″ book that is easily read by even the busiest entrepreneur.

I’ve known Essie for many years, but I learned a few things I didn’t know through her author bio in the book—that she has a degree in physics and a black belt in karate. I already knew she was kick-a** smart. . . I just didn’t know how she got there!

It’s a treat when I have the opportunity to work with a friend and help them shine. This is what Essie said about working with me:

“My book would not exist had it not been for Vanessa.  She is a marketing genius and a phenomenal graphic designer—a unique combo!  Vanessa helped me understand the value of writing my book.  She held my hand throughout the entire process, making it easy and ensuring that the end result would be the hugely successful marketing piece that it has proven to be.  Anyone who is serious about growing their business needs to work with Vanessa.”

Dr. Tim and I had the pleasure of interviewing Essie for Write Here, Write Now radio. Essie tell how Stop Doing That! serves as an expanded business card to highlight activities critical to business success that Office Angels provides for clients. Listen to the archived show here.

Find out more about Essie, about Office Angels, and purchase her book at www.officeangels.us.

Contact me to discuss how I can help bring your book from concept to creation. Or, let’s talk about your marketing and graphic needs. Call me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile.

Keep Going

November 8, 2013

Keep Going book coverI trained in martial arts for twelve years and multiple times in every class we said the Japanese phrase Osu, which I was told means “never give up.” When researching the background of the word, I found this article which clarifies what my sensei was really teaching was to “verbally remind yourself to breach your comfort zone by putting your physical/mental limits to the test every time you say Osu.

It has been my experience that, at times, the circumstances of life becomes the test. Sometimes, I’m too exhausted to summon the strength for Osu. If you’ve been there, consider substituting this term—Keep Going. Even though an event or situation causes a direction to change, you can still choose to take a baby step forward. Keep Going feels hopeful and proactive.

That is what Aimee DuFresne’s book titled, Keep Going, is about. The first chapter begins with the shattering news of police officers coming to Aimee’s door in the middle of the night to tell her that her beloved husband Ben had been killed in an accident. Subsequent chapters intersperse the story of how she and Ben met, fell in love, and married, while concurrently sharing the shock, despair and rediscovery of her new life as a chef and coach as Aimee chooses to keep going. The subtitle says it all—From Grief to Growth.

I’m grateful that Aimee chose me to design her book cover. Here is what she says about working with me.

“After writing my first book, I was excited to get it published and share it with the world. But when I got my first draft of the cover from the publisher, I was devastated to see our visions for the project did not align. As such, I started looking for an outside cover designer. In my search, I found a lot of people who were interested in my business but not the vision or energy behind it. My book was my baby and the cover the first impression to the world. After hearing from a designer my project was ‘doable’ in an email, I was about to give up hope. Then I met Vanessa.

“Vanessa took the time to talk to me on the phone and get a real sense of the message I was sharing. She followed up when she said she would and kept me informed of her process and progress. She let me know when she was, and was not, available. She was a joy to work with as we went through drafts and revisions. She made everything easy.

“Then I got the final copy. I cried.

“It was the most beautiful cover I had ever seen. My vision had become a reality. Thank you, Vanessa.”

 My pleasure Aimee! One of my favorite parts of being a designer is helping a client bring her vision to life. Here is a link to purchase your own copy of Keep Going. You might also need a box of Kleenex handy… just sayin’!

Find out more about Aimee and join the “Keep Going Movement” at www.aimeedufresne.com. Sign up for her email list and receive a complimentary checklist, “9 Winning Ways to KEEP GOING (Even When You Don’t Want To or Don’t Think You Can).” Aimee also hosts a radio show, Vital Lessons: Feeding Your Body, Mind and Soul. Aimee and her guests—leading health, wellness and lifestyle experts—guide you to clear the clutter from your outer life and calm your inner chaos.

Contact me to discuss how I can help bring your book from concept to creation. Or, let’s talk about your marketing and graphic needs. Call me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile.