Archive for the ‘self publishing’ Category

Improv to Improve Your Business

February 12, 2011

I’m fascinated by what helps entrepreneurs become successful. How they generate and implement innovative ideas, how they communicate with their teams AND customers, as well as what keeps them going in the good and bad times.

When I heard a presentation about using the principles of improvisation in business, I was immediately intrigued. After taking an improv class with other business owners, I knew the principles I learned would help me develop better relationships, generate more ideas and have more fun along the way. Rockin’ cool!

Toward the end of 2010, I approached entrepreneurs and business professionals about sharing stories of how they use the principles of improv in their business. The resulting book, Improv to Improve Your Business: Using the principles of improvisation to foster communication, creativity & innovation, was launched in January 2011.

Who would have thought a film producer, CPA, game developer, marketing consultant, sales professional, actor, business coach and serial entrepreneur would have so much in common? Listen to our 2/2/11 radio interview on Atlanta Business Radio with five of our co-authors. (Scroll down to the Feb 2, 2011 interview in the archives.)

Check out what co-authors Rob Duncan, Deborah Thomas, and Brent Brooks had to say about working with me on this book.

Read a complimentary chapter of the book to find out how I use improv in my work as a marketing consultant and graphic designer.

Vanessa speaking ABWA


I’m often asked to make presentations to business groups on the topic of using improv to improve your business. Here is an Improv Handout that I distribute at these presentations. Organizations that have invited me as a featured speaker on this topic include: ProWin, North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, American Business Women’s Association (ABWA), WOMTEC, Compelling Creations (for their annual conference), and more.

at ProWin

at ProWin

Have an idea for a 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.

Gracefully Written

January 9, 2011


Gracefully Written is a collection of heartfelt short stories, inspirational poems, and biblical narratives written to give you hope and lift your spirits.

Author Melva Walden has led an interesting life. Every time we meet for coffee, she tells me about cool friends she has made over the years. People like NBA players Clark Kellogg and Dikembe Mutombo, Olympian Teresa Edwards and Reverend Andrew Young, former United States Ambassador and former Mayor of Atlanta. She was recently invited to speak at two conferences honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I love working with fascinating people like Melva!

Here is what Melva had to say about working with me on her book.

“I had the pleasure to meet Vanessa at a business seminar where she spoke to the audience about her business.  Shortly, after meeting her I knew that I wanted to hire her to do the design, layout and graphics for my book titled, Gracefully Written.

Vanessa was always available whenever I needed to ask her a question. She would calmly listen and then give her opinion. Vanessa is an excellent motivator and facilitator. She is reliable, very professional and she cares about the work her customers entrust her to do.

Vanessa is a joy to work with. She went far and beyond my expectations and treated my manuscripts with great care and passion. Her enthusiasm for helping up and coming writers and artist, like me, is evident. The compliments I have received regarding the cover, layout and designs for Gracefully Written are astounding and are fitting for every poem or story. All you have to do is visit my website at to see for yourself.

I wish Vanessa the best and I look forward to working with her for my next book.”

You can find out more about Melva and purchase your own copy of Gracefully Written at

Let me know if I can help you bring your book 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.

The RiskADay Journal:28 Days to Being You Out Loud with Courage, Creativity and Confidence

December 18, 2010

The RiskADay JournalLaura Biering practices what she teaches her coaching clients! She is an example of how taking risks can make your life more interesting and your career more fruitful. I had the pleasure of working with Laura as the graphic designer of her book, The RiskADay Journal. Not only does she describe a variety of risks she has taken (or not), she also translates the experience in a way that will help her readers identify and take their own risks to make their lives more fulfilling and fun. The processes outlined in the book are ones Laura developed and uses while coaching her clients in groups or one-on-one. It is empowering to know that following her process for 28 Days can give you the confidence to Be You Out Loud!

Here is what Laura said about working with me on this project: “I have known Vanessa Lowry for many years now, all the while wanting to find a way to work with her. I was delighted when the opportunity arose and I was able to hire her to design my first book, The RiskADay Journal: 28 Days to Being You Out Loud with Courage, Creativity and Confidence. She did an amazing job. It is truly a beautiful product. And not only that, she was a kind, calm and invaluable advisor throughout the process. I cannot recommend Vanessa highly enough!”

You can purchase Laura’s book at or on Amazon. Learn more about Laura’s coaching services at

Let me know if I can help you bring your book 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.

Love Among Enemies

December 18, 2010

Anytime I can learn something while being entertained, it is truly a bonus. Brenda Ledford, writing under the pen name Lorraine Tate, has published two books of romantic historical fiction. These books are part of a trilogy, set in the time of the American Civil War.

Reading these novels brought to life the devastation, the hope and perseverance our ancestors lived through during that time in history. It also made me appreciate more clearly things like electricity, running water and having ample food readily available. I can’t wait to read the final novel to see how the love story of Faith and Jonathan evolves.

Love Among EnemiesWorking with Brenda on Love Among Enemies was creative collaboration at its best. One of the elements she wanted to use on the book cover was a Rose of Sharon quilt which is referenced in the novel. She also wanted to incorporate a rifle from that time in history.

I used lo-res stock images to create a design that Brenda approved, but we didn’t have access to high resolution images and the quilt design I found wasn’t ideal. Sometimes a custom photo is the best solution.

Brenda sewed a quilt section using the Rose of Sharon pattern she wanted. She borrowed an antique rifle that would have been typical of those used during the Civil War. I was shocked at the length and weight of that rifle. It made me appreciate the physical strength of the men and women during that time to not only carry that heavy rifle for miles of military marches, but also to be able lift and shoot it with accuracy.

Marti Griffin, a friend and extraordinary professional photographer, shot the photo while I had fun art directing. Luckily, Marti also knew how to make fake blood! We shot all of the elements separately and I combined them in Photoshop to create the book cover. Here is a photo of that cool rifle with the antique bone powder horn. Civil War era rifle

This is what Brenda said about working with me on Love Among Enemies which included designing her book cover and formatting the book interior: “It has been great working with Vanessa. She’s a wonder of information and talent when it comes to proof reading, book layouts, cover design, printing, promo ideas and more. I love working with her.  Best of all, she’s a delightful person, organized, fast and a lady of her word.

My hat’s off to you, Vanessa. Much Thanks.”

You can purchase Brenda’s books on Amazon. Going Home is the first of the series and Love Among Enemies is next. The final book of the series, Blood in the Coosa, is anticipated for release in 2011.

Let me know if I can help you bring your book 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.

Writing Secrets: Essential Steps to Discover How to Start

October 27, 2010

I love helping people move their dreams forward. So, it is a bonus when I have the opportunity to work with a client who also has that same passion. Tim Morrison owns Write Choice Services and he coaches writers through the process of getting their book out of their head and onto paper.

It was fun collaborating with Tim to create a strong marketing hook for his book, Writing Secrets: Essential Steps to Discover How to Start. His book outlines a specific process for writers to determine their book topic. Here is what he had to say about working with me.

“I retained Vanessa to design the cover for my newest book and to do the layout of it. In our initial meeting, we discussed the book’s contents. Vanessa offered some suggestions to generate a connection between the cover and content. I listened. I pondered. I implemented her suggestion which included a rewrite of the introduction and addition of some material in a couple other chapters. Vanessa subsequently designed an amazing cover that connects many elements of the book’s contents and intentions. Vanessa met all deadlines. Her energy and determination were infectious as I worked more diligently to ensure that the book’s contents matched the quality of the cover. Vanessa listens well and offers wise suggestions. I will continue to turn to Vanessa for book covers and book layout.”

I was recently a guest on Coach Kimberly’s radio show where we talked about publishing a book to attract ideal clients. I discussed one of the chapters in Tim’s book where he outlines seven benefits to writing and publishing a book. You can listen to the interview here.

Let me know if I can help you bring your book 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.

I Love Books

October 26, 2010

I love books. I love the ideas I get, the things I learn and the adventures upon which I embark just by reading a good book. Books

My love affair with books started very young. I remember being thrilled when I could read a book by myself. I have many fond memories of carrying an armload of books home on the days the book mobile stopped at the top of our street during summer vacation.

My husband loves to read and we often share ideas or read passages to one another from one of the several books we are each currently reading.

I’ve taken my passion for books a step further. I now help authors transfer their knowledge, expertise and imagination onto the printed page and create their own book. I have nearly 30 years of experience as a graphic designer and marketing professional. In addition to my own expertise, I’ve accumulated many contacts who assist authors every step of the way, including writing coaches, editors, print-on-demand vendors, video production companies, PR firms, web designers, virtual assistants and more.

I’ve co-written a book called 30 Days of Gratitude and was the designer for both the e-book and the printed version. Download a copy of the free e-book at

Improv to Improve Your Business is an example of another collaborative book project from idea through completion. I assembled nine authors, interviewed and ghost wrote the chapters, designed the cover and formatted the interior of the book. Through my connections, we had our first radio interview to promote the book a week after it launched. The book is now available on Amazon.

Contact me if you want to talk about your book. You can call me at 678-521-8820. I look forward to seeing how I can help you! You can find out more about me on my LinkedIn profile or check out my video profile.