Archive for the ‘nonfiction’ Category

True Identity

June 9, 2015

True Identity frnt cvr final webI met author Jennifer Brommet nearly ten years ago through a loosely organized group of fellow graphic designers. She is also the founder and director of the nonprofit True Identity Ministries. Short on time and understanding two design heads are sometimes better than one, Jennifer contacted me to help with the formatting and publishing of her book.

An added bonus for me was learning about Jennifer’s childhood and how her faith has impacted her choices in life. In the book, Jennifer shares her own difficult journey from severe rejection and depression to freedom and joy in embracing her TRUE identity in Christ and how she felt called to start True Identity Ministries.

Born with a cleft lip and palate, Jennifer felt like an ugly duckling throughout her childhood. Her first reconstructive surgery took place when she was seven and her final surgery the year she was twenty-one. Jennifer’s mother told her the story of the ugly duckling becoming the beautiful swan. Since she felt the swan symbolizes her journey, Jennifer drew a beautiful swan that we incorporated into the cover and as chapter headings of her book. Jennifer says, “Swans remind me of how God sees me and they also remind me of my mother and the special love she had for me.”

Continuing the swan theme, I created this graphic of wings that was used to identify a key segment in each chapter. Double wing

I was thrilled when Jennifer’s book was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA). The GAYA ceremony has the distinction of being the oldest literary awards ceremony in the Southeastern United States.

Go here to find out more about Jennifer and True Identity Ministries.  Paperback and Kindle versions of True Identity are available on Amazon.

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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I Did It My Way: The Travel Adventures of Dorothea Bonavito

May 31, 2015

Dot's book frnt cvr webI greatly admire fiercely independent women. So I was thrilled with Sallie Crenshaw contacted me to help publish a book complied of her friend Dot’s travel letters. While I’ve worked with clients in many parts of the United States and several in Canada, Sallie was my first client in Paris, France. (It is a small world after all!)

I Did It My Way: The Travel Adventures of Dorothea Bonavito, 1948 – 2000 is compiled from travel letters begun when the Dot joined the U.S. Foreign Service in post-World War II Occupation Germany. Through select letters and photos, this book offers an enchanting glimpse into how a career in the U.S. Foreign Service enabled a woman traveler to fulfill her dream of seeing the world — her way.

Sallie was a friend of Dot’s for over thirty years. The two met through Sallie’s uncle Thad Crenshaw, a former Foreign Service Officer living in Paris. Dot’s friends and family enlisted Sallie to transform Dot’s archives of travel letters, photos, and travel mementos into this book. Sallie said, “This is not my book. It is your book — Dot’s friends and family. Cousins, childhood friends, Foreign Service friends, friends met during travels, and friends from Dot’s Paris days. For me, it has been a labor of love to celebrate Dot’s travel adventures and her fiercely independent spirit. This is my tribute to Dot.”

Over a span of fifty years, Dot Bonavito visited more than 100 countries and wrote over 100 detailed trip letters home to family and friends. This book exists because Dot documented her travel adventures — in a carefully guarded and organized archive of trip letters, itineraries, photos, and travel mementos. The U.S. Foreign Service gave Dot the life of independence and foreign adventures that she craved.

Retired Foreign Service Officer Patricia R. Clark shared a 50-year friendship with Dot, including posts in Rome and Paris. According to Patricia, “This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the Foreign Service and women travelers. Dot was a true adventurer.”

I had a wonderful time working with Sallie to birth this book. Sallie had these lovely things to say about working with me:

“Vanessa Lowry was recommended as an independent graphic designer who could help me finish and self-publish a book of travel letters. I had absolutely no experience in book layout and design, much less self-publishing — and I live in France. Vanessa was a genius. I sent her via e-mail a Word document/manuscript and scanned photos. She sent me back chapters to comment on and give feedback. Four months later, the book was printed and shipped. Vanessa made it seem effortless. She kept to schedule and costs, gave good advice and feedback, and had infinite patience.  I hope to find another project to work on with her. I recommend her without reservation.”

Go here to find out more about Dot, Sallie, and how to order your very own copy of I Did It My Way.

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.

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.

 

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.

Adventures of a Once Reluctant Sailor

September 5, 2013

Relunctant SailorMy clients inspire me. Especially those who go with their guts, grow in the process, and share it with others.

In 2007, Michele and Wayne Sharp traveled from Bayfield, Wisconsin on Lake Superior to Punta Gorda, Florida aboard their Island Packet 445 sailboat. They chose the long route, which took them through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Canadian Maritime provinces.

Wayne had long dreamt of such a trip, but Michele, who didn’t even feel qualified to call herself a sailor, was content to cruise Bayfield’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Even her longest voyage of 100 nautical miles caused her great anxiety, so making the 5,000 mile trip was out of the question . . . initially. Michele recounts how she got from “NO” to “GO” in a few short weeks, and speaks honestly and from her heart as she works through her fears and inexperience to become a real sailor.

On their voyage, Michele took photos and kept a detailed blog throughout their trip, which became the basis of the book. It includes over 170 photos. (The artistry of Michele’s photography made it easy to design a beautiful book!)

Michele said this about working with me on Adventures of a Once Reluctant Sailor:

“Today Vanessa completed her work on my book, a week before deadline, and I couldn’t be more pleased with her. Vanessa’s design work is masterful and gives me a level of professionalism that exceeds my expectations and merit.

“Formatting of my book was more complicated than most, due in part to the inclusion of over 170 color and black and white photos, but Vanessa was undaunted. I am a perfectionist with an eye for detail and had countless edits, but Vanessa was unflappable. She was always professional, always positive, and always a pleasure to work with.

“I am in Minnesota and Vanessa is in Atlanta, but distance was no impediment. We conducted our business through email and a couple of phone conversations, and not once did distance become an issue.

“Thank you, Vanessa!”

Listen to Michele’s interview on Write Here, Write Now as she talks about her journey of guts, growth, and grace — both on the Lena Bea and through publishing Adventures of a Once Reluctant Sailor.

Find out more about Michele and purchase a copy of her book at www.reluctantsailor.net.

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.

The Chattahoochee Review

September 27, 2011

Friends sometimes become clients and my clients often become friends. And best of all is when a client becomes a friend and then becomes a client again!

I worked with Anna Schachner more than 10 years ago to create a logo and business card for her side business as a designer of beautiful bead jewelry. As long as I’ve known her, she has been a talented writer and a professor teaching creative writing at Georgia Perimeter College.

Anna was named editor of  The Chattahoochee Review, GPC’s literary journal, a few months ago. This respected literary journal is celebrating thirty years in publication and is known for publishing new and established authors from the South and around the world. They even have an annual contest, the Lamar York Nonfiction Prize, that awards $1000 every year. (Submission guidelines are here.)

I was excited when Anna contacted me about helping design and format the first issue of The Chattahoochee Review published under her editorship. It has been great fun to reconnect and have a chance to work with her and her team, including Lydia Ship, the Review managing editor.

In addition to this issue of the Review, I helped them update their logo and designed bookmarks, signage & ads.

This is what Anna said about working with me, “When we hired Vanessa Lowry to do the layout and graphic design of The Chattahoochee Review, a literary journal whose editorship was given to me just a few months before, I already knew that Vanessa was a great designer. What I would learn, however, was that in addition to her design skills — the logo she did for us is so perfect — she brings a kind of intuition that we desperately needed. In other words, being new editors and new to the publishing business, we didn’t know what we needed, but she did! She was patient, insightful, and always very quick to remind us of how changing one element of a design changes the entire thing. She even caught some typos that we didn’t. Her ability to be accommodating under our very tight deadline also meant the world to us. I can’t say enough good things about her. 

All you have to do is look at the cover of the latest issue to see what I mean. All the other literary journals are jealous. Enough said.”

This issue of The Chattahoochee Review launched over Labor Day weekend at the Decatur Book Festival. Anna was interviewed at the Write Here, Write Now radio remote on Saturday of the festival. Listen to interview number 5 to hear more about the writers featured in this double issue.

Subscribe to The Chattahoochee Review for only $19 for one year or $36 for two years. They accept submissions of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Check out their website for full details.

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 or watching my video profile.

Recipes for Life

September 26, 2011

I love collaborating and it’s fun to work with others who also embrace that idea. Cathy Horvath gathered stories and recipes from over 100 contributors to create her book.

Recipes for Life: Food for the Body and Nourishment for the Soul features stories about overcoming depression, grief and financial ruin, navigating change and returning to joy. Special recipes from many contributors are scattered through the book, along with stories of why these foods and memories are important. After reading Cathy’s book, you are likely to feel more hopeful, more thankful, more passionate, better about life and possibly a little hungry.

I interviewed Cathy on the Write Here, Write Now radio show that I guest host once a month. Our show topic was about writing and publishing after retiring. Hear what Cathy has to say about this NEW career she has embarked upon.

Recipes for Life is available on Amazon or you can purchase multi-packs of books at a reduced price on Cathy’s website. This book makes a perfect gift… I even gave one to my mom.

This is what Cathy said about working with me, “If it weren’t for Vanessa Lowry, my book would not have taken form as the beautiful presentation that it is. It was her creativity and skills that have impressed me from the first proof for a cover and interior design that she offered. She listens, she has patience, and most importantly…she cares for her clients.”

In addition to her book cover and the interior book design, I also designed Cathy’s business cards, bookmarks, a speaker one-sheet and her website.

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 or watching my video profile.

Improv Co-Author Rob Duncan

March 16, 2011

It was so exciting to meet Rob (via my LinkedIn network) and have him become a co-author of this collaborative book. While we were putting the book together, he was defending his dissertation for his doctorate— all about how businesses are using social media for business. He actually gathered all his data for his dissertation from his connections on LinkedIn.

Rob’s chapter in our book talks extensively about using the principles of improv to expand your social network. His involvement in Improv to Improve Your Business made our book an international project. How cool is that!

This is what Rob had to say about working with me on the book:

“I was one of the contributing authors of the book ‘Improv to Improve your Business’ which was developed by Vanessa. I was completely impressed by her ability to conceive of the project, find a great group of collaborating authors, and deliver a fantastic product with lightning speed. As an author, the process was completely painless for me, as Vanessa took the lead on all the necessary tasks to be completed, allowing me to focus my time on my strengths. I recommend Vanessa most highly, and would enjoy doing another project with her in the future.”

Rob is in demand as as trainer and keynote speaker. Check out his website to learn more about his programs and his other books. He has made it easy … just click on www.RobDuncan.com.

Other co-authors of this collaborative book include: Brent Brooks, Rick Crain, Leah Henderson, Jim Hogan, Deborah Thomas, Scott Williford, Mark Wyssbrod, Rob and myself.

Have an idea for a collaborative book? I can help you bring it from concept to creation! Contact me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile or watching my video profile.

Improv Co-Author Brent Brooks

February 12, 2011

Brent Brooks is a man of many talents including film director/producer and improv instructor. The Art of Suicide, winner of Best Underground film at INDIEfest in 2007, was produced by Blank Stage Productions and directed by Brent.

Join Brent and other improv players every Monday night from 7pm – 9pm at Blank Stage in Marietta, GA for Improv Dojo … learn, laugh and have fun! Beginners are welcome.

Here is a comment from Brent Brooks about working with me on our book, Improv to Improve Your Business.

“Vanessa is a joy to work with and a great improviser! She was able to work with me and several of my students in the successful creation and now distribution of the book, Improv to Improve Your Business. Doing the book really allowed me to appreciate all that Vanessa did and what the work is now doing for my career.  Vanessa worked with me in pulling out the best ideas rumbling in my head about my past experiences and current philosophies of improv. She has since then looked for more opportunities for all of us to leverage the success of the book in various and positive ways.”

Other co-authors of this collaborative book include: Rick Crain, Rob Duncan, Leah Henderson, Jim Hogan, Deborah Thomas, Scott Williford, Mark Wyssbrod, Brent and myself.

Have an idea for a collaborative book? I can help you bring it from concept to creation! Contact me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile or watching my video profile.

Improv Co-Author Deborah Thomas

February 12, 2011

Deborah Thomas is widely creative and owner of Silly Monkey International, a boutique training company specializing in innovative training games and business simulations.

Here is a comment from Deborah Thomas about working with me on our book, Improv to Improve Your Business.

“I worked with Vanessa on her brain-child the Improv to Improve your Business book. Her management role on this project was highly professional and she made sure the process hummed like a well-oiled machine. She also managed the artistic and creative branding of the book, scouted for exciting co-authors and initiated the marketing with a radio interview. She started the process with a kick-off meeting that would get anyone excited. She has an incredible process in place to pull these books together. It was a pleasure to work with her. And I am excited to see what she does next. And would most definitely work with her again.”

Other co-authors of this collaborative book include: Brent Brooks, Rick Crain, Rob Duncan, Leah Henderson, Jim Hogan, Scott Williford, Mark Wyssbrod, Deborah and myself.

Have an idea for a collaborative book? I can help you bring it from concept to creation! Contact me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile or watching my video profile.