Archive for the ‘business’ Category

The Adventure of an Ingenious Life

May 31, 2015

Ingenious cover final webI love putting together collaborative books. Coming up with an interesting topic and then gathering a group of fascinating people to share their stories and perspectives. The Adventure of an Ingenious Life: Follow Your Creativity Through Doors of Opportunity is filled with stories from some very cool people.

Readers will learn from the experimentation and reinvention shared by eight authors, Traci Long DeForge, Robert David Duncan, Rebecca Ewing, Jodi Hersh, Vanessa Lowry, Ricia L. Maxie, Andrea Schlapia, and Renee Seals, along with more than forty additional contributors with diverse careers and interests. Each walked through a door—or several—to fashion the life they each have chosen.

Nearly twenty years ago, I clipped an obituary eulogizing a woman I didn’t know. The headline described her, in her eighties, as an “adventurer.” That spurred my imagination to live life as an adventure—one where I followed my creative curiosity and personal passions to connect with intriguing people and to use my experiences as stepping stones. I believe life is filled with opportunities to choose. Whether your current road is one of ease or lined with difficulty, it will soon fork. You’ll have the chance to opt again.

The book is dedicated to all who have chosen to live an ingenious life . . . and those who are just realizing they have the power to choose. In addition to author and contributor stories, the book includes an extensive section of resources to inspire readers with listings of books, blogs, articles, podcasts, videos, and social media links.

Buy your very own copy of The Adventure of an Ingenious Life here.

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.

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Swing Thoughts

May 31, 2015

Swing Thoughts front webIt is fascinating how unexpectedly an idea for a book can emerge and evolve. Sometimes the idea comes from something we love so much that we feel compelled to share it.

David Felts, author of Swing Thoughts, says, “The original inspiration for my book occurred on a Saturday around midnight, when it first dawned on me that I was scheduled to teach a class at my church the next morning.  I quickly reviewed a few Christian-related books, and found nothing particularly inspiring.  At the point of minor panic, a stream of observations entered my mind regarding some interesting relationships between our Christian faith journey . . . and the game of golf. One thought followed another in fairly rapid succession, and soon I had a collection of scribbled notes that would become the basis for my one hour lesson.  Many of the chapters in Swing Thoughts are direct descendants of those original notes.”

When I met David, he had already been through several rounds of editing and rewrites of his manuscript. I was honored to provide design expertise and offer advice through the final stages of publishing. On the Swing Thoughts acknowledgements page, David says, “Vanessa Lowry took the reins and brought Swing Thoughts to life with cover design, layout, production advice and contacts. Her job was literally to drag me over the goal-line. And she did that exceedingly well.” Who knew dragging someone over the goal-line could be so much fun?!

Before the first copy of Swing Thoughts came off the presses, David was thinking of how to sell his book in bulk quantities of 10 to 100 to his contacts who might want to share with their family, friends, and clients. Check out how bulk quantities can be ordered directly on his book website with just a few clicks. The majority of the profits from the sale of Swing Thoughts are donated to ministries encouraging, empowering and restoring men.

Find out more about David and read an excerpt of Swing Thoughts here.

Kevin Latty, co-founder of Souly Business says, “Swing Thoughts is a remarkably concise, yet comprehensive observation of the parallels between the game of golf and a well-lived Christian life. With refreshing humility and transparency, David Felts takes us from the links of Saint Andrews to the marshes of Harbour Town while helping us understand and apply the fundamental principles of the Christian faith. It’s a ‘must read’ for anyone with a love for the game of golf and a desire to pursue more meaningful relationships with others along with a rich and abundant life in Christ.”

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.

 

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.

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.

Collaborative Intelligence

October 8, 2013

Collaborative Intel cvr for webIt is such an honor when a client asks me to work with them on another project.

I was thrilled when Dr. Rob Duncan asked me to assist with the book he envisioned which expanded on research completed for his doctorate. Rob had an outline in place, but needed to get the information out of his head and into a written form. I added questions to his outline and interviewed Rob over multiple weeks. After having the recorded interviews transcribed, Rob decided to first publish a condensed version of the interview transcripts as a free e-book. With a careful edit of the transcripts and a cool cover design, Rob was ready to upload it to Scribd. As he mentions in the quote below, the book has been downloaded thousands of times.

“It was great to work with Vanessa on my book Collaborative Intelligence. The book is based on my doctoral research into how individuals and organizations are using social media to be more collaborative and innovative. Vanessa and I had already had the experience of working together on our collaborative effort Improv to Improve your Business so I knew I could count on her enthusiasm and professionalism!

“Vanessa was terrific in working with me to master the material and present some alternative ideas on how we might best get my ideas across. In the end, we have ended up with several components that can be released over time. We have decided to go to market first with the free e-book Collaborative Intelligence: Conversations with Dr. Rob Duncan on tapping into the power of online social networks. The book has now been viewed by thousands of readers, and the feedback has been very positive.

“I am looking forward to collaborating on future projects with Vanessa, and recommend her very highly!”

Rob is a business consultant, speaker, author, sailor, actor, screen writer, and film producer. He joined a crew to sail around Cape Horn—joining a small group of fewer than 500 living Cape Horners. Based on that experience, he published Haul Away! Teambuilding Lessons from a Voyage Around Cape Horn. In addition to his doctoral thesis, Rob is the author of four books in area of business.

Rob helps organizations build better performing teams. More than just an effective speaker, Rob is also a Certified Management Consultant who can roll up his sleeves and get actively involved in improving an organization’s performance. Featured talks and seminars: 1. Team Intelligence; 2. Competitive Intelligence; 3. Collaborative Intelligence; 4. Social Intelligence. Read what participants learn through these presentations.

Find out more about Rob, including his newest creative project—a film that he wrote and is producing called Fat Punk.

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.

The 28-Day Thought Diet

October 3, 2013

28Day cover final webWe have 12,000 to 70,000 thoughts each day. For the majority of people, up to 80% of these thoughts are negative.

For many years thought leaders have taught that choosing positive thoughts, regardless of the circumstances, can lead to a more joyful and fulfilling life. I’ve been inspired by authors including Florence Scovel Shinn, Napoleon Hill, Viktor Frankl, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and more. In gathering the collaborators for this book, I hoped to encourage readers to experiment with their own choice of thoughts and notice how their future reality is affected.

The 28-Day Thought Diet encourages readers to choose thoughts that grow their life in a more fulfilling and joyful way. Each day, for 28 days, readers are prompted to choose a thought that energizes and supports their life.

These 24 authors joined me in the collaboration of The 28-Day Thought Diet: Christian Belz, Sandy Weaver Carman, Kristin Colier, Martha Forlines, Betty Humphrey Fowler, David Greer, Kelly Greer, Andy Greider, Patricia Hayes, Jim Hogan, Dr. Robin Kirby, Ginnie Faye Liman, Nanette Littlestone, Traci Long, Cheryl Anne McGill, Laura McGill, Tricia Molloy, Jennifer Moore, Monserrat del Carmen Pineda, Kathryn Sener, Sharon S. Smith, Mindy Strich, Jeanie Ward, and Kyle Young.

I interviewed several of the first-time authors on Write Here, Write Now radio to see how participating in a collaborative book provided an easy first step into the world of publishing. Hear what Kyle Young, Jeanie Ward, Cheryl Anne McGill, and Andy Greider said about the benefits of being part of this collaborative book.

Co-author Nanette Littlestone had this to say, “I had the pleasure of editing The 28-Day Thought Diet, a collaborative project with 25 authors conceived by Vanessa Lowry. In addition to overseeing the project, Vanessa designed the book and liaised with the publishing company to turn out the finished product. The project began with an idea in October and was completed by January 25th, a quick turnaround time for any book, especially a collaborative one. Throughout the process we were in constant communication, which made it possible for the project to maintain its speed and efficacy. Vanessa was easy to work with, always responded quickly, and asked insightful questions. Her gorgeous designs, inside and out, and her intuitive organization of the chapters make this book a memorable experience for all of the contributing authors. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Vanessa for any book project and look forward to our next effort.”

I provided the authors with a press release template they could customize to announce the launch of the book and send to their contact list. Here’s a short video that I created and provided as a template to the authors so they could create a similar video to promote their own chapter and website. This article tells you how to create your own 30-second book trailer video.

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

Enough is Enough, Get Control of Your Stuff

October 3, 2013

Wendy Ellin is passionate about helping people “Get More Life out of Life!” Her book Enough is Enough, Get Control of Your Stuff provides a simple system for getting control of your time and your daily work in order to succeed with efficiency, energy, productivity, balance, and joy. Enough is Enough

As Wendy began expanding her career to include professional speaking, she realized she needed a book to position her as an expert in this field of productivity and organization. She wrote the book based on content from her Productivity Workshop. The manuscript came together quickly . . . at the same time Wendy was recovering from an arm injury and helping plan her daughter’s wedding.

I interviewed Wendy on Write Here, Write Now, just a few days after the wedding. Here is what she said about being able to accomplish more in less time when you’re focused and organized!

Find out more about Wendy’s book and download a free chapter.

This is what Wendy said about working with me. “If you are even remotely thinking about writing a book, you want to look no further for help than Vanessa Lowry.  I could not have done it without her.  She sets you up to really make it a reality by sticking to your own self-imposed deadlines, and then once the writing is done, she essentially takes it from there.  That means coordinating with editors, designing each page, laying out each page, designing the front and back covers, and making sure it is ready for printing.  She is nothing less than professional, delightful to work with and exactly the support needed to make this experience a positive one.”

I’m sending kudos right back to Wendy. I had so much fun working with her. It’s a pleasure to work with an author as in “control of her stuff” as Wendy!

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

Write a Book – Change the World

September 4, 2013
l-r: Deborah Schwartz Griffin, host Dr. Tim Morrison, host Vanessa Lowry, Essie Escobedo, and Linda Zuk

l-r: Deborah Schwartz Griffin, host Dr. Tim Morrison, host Vanessa Lowry, Essie Escobedo, and Linda Zuk

I was honored to be the permanent guest host of my friend Dr. Tim Morrison’s radio show Write Here, Write Now. During the two years the show aired, we interviewed 250 people — primarily authors or business professionals — about the book they had written or hoped to write someday. Topics discussed on the show ranged from writing challenges, the benefits and joys of writing, collaboration, publishing, marketing, and the impact a published book had on the author’s business or career. We also delved in the motivation that spur authors to write, some of which included: to inform, to educate, to share family stories, to examine faith and spirituality, to deal with pain or trauma, and to inspire. WHWN cvr front web

At the end of 2011, Tim and I chose ten of our best interviews from the year and published them in Write a Book – Change the World, Volume I. In the introduction Tim says, “Think of the books you have read that have led to a change or shift in your life: how you approach your job, your belief system, relationships, etc. A change within you impacts all of your relationships — your world.”

Write a Book – Change the World can be purchased from the bookstore on this website and from Amazon.

The archives of the Write Here, Write Now shows are free to download or you can listen online at Business RadioX. Here are several interviews I hosted where guests discuss marketing and promotion for authors.

Write Here Radio

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

CEO’s Secret to IT Success

September 2, 2013

Know your niche — I tell authors that regularly. Linda Hughes KNOWS her niche. She works with C-level executives and wrote her book to target that niche, especially the Top C of the C-Suite. Her book, CEO’s Secrets to IT Success covers everything from hiring your CIO to learning the secrets your CIO may not share with you. CEO Secrets front cvr web

Linda Hughes’ career has uniquely equipped her to author CEO Secrets to IT Success. Linda’s past roles include divisional CIO for The Coca-Cola Company and Vice President of the Technology Practice and CIO for The North Highland Company (an international management and technology consulting firm). Most recently she held the position of CIO for AIG Agency Auto. Currently she is the President and CEO of The Great Ridge Company, which provides consulting services focused on improving the operational and growth capabilities of businesses.

Knowing a busy CEO has a limited amount of time to gather information, Linda’s book uses custom icons to identify key segments as well as charts and graphics to visually illustrate the written text. Each chapter recaps the “secrets” explained at more length within that chapter. One of my favorite features of Linda’s book is the fictional short story she wrote to begin each chapter. The story sets the tone for the reader to absorb the nuts and bolts style information that follows.

In addition to my work on the cover, formatting the interior and creating print-resolution art for about half of the charts, Linda also worked with two other designers on the icons and additional charts.

It was a pleasure working with Linda and with Bonnie Daneker, CEO of Write Advisors, to publish CEO’s Secrets to IT Success. I invited Linda into the Write Here, Write Now studio to talk about her book. My other guest that day was horse farrier Sarah Hunt Engsberg. The discussion took an unusual turn comparing the similarities between working with horses and working with corporate employees.

Check out a free preview and purchase CEO’s Secrets to IT Success at www.demystifyingitforexecutives.com.

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