Archive for the ‘writing’ 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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Joy Factor Recipe Book

September 2, 2013

Joy Factor book graphicIt is a joy for me to help an author bring her vision to life. And working with Wendy Watkins on her book, The Joy Factor Recipe Book, was one of the best ever! In addition to illustrating the cover art, designing the cover, and formatting the interior of Wendy’s book, I was also a contributor with both a recipe and a joy-filled doodle.

Here is what Wendy said about working with me:

“I love the cover and inside layout that Vanessa created for my book, The Joy Factor Recipe Book – A Common Sense Approach to a Delicious Life. From the beginning to the end of the project, Vanessa was an excellent guide, providing me with wonderful ideas and honest feedback on my concepts. She was very open to the adjustments that I wanted to make to her designs and did them in a timely manner. I would highly recommend her if you are looking for an innovative designer, who does what she says she will do in a timely manner. You will also have to be prepared to have fun with Vanessa. She has a wonderful way of making what could be a stressful process, quite enjoyable. Thank you Vanessa for raising my Joy Factor and creating the beautiful vision I had for my book.”

Wendy was my guest on Write Here, Write Now radio sharing ideas for raising your joy factor before you write. Hear about Wendy’s process of writing and her journey to publishing The Joy Factor Recipe Book.

Download a tasty sample of Wendy’s book here.

flip_flops_joy

You can also order flip flops featuring the Joy art that I contributed to Wendy’s book.

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.