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.

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.

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.

Publishing as a Marketing Strategy

September 2, 2013

Publishing a book is becoming an increasingly popular way for business professionals to position themselves as an expert in a particular industry or niche. According to R.R. Bowker, the number of non-traditional titles published since 2002 has increased 8,460%!

Publishing as a Marketing Strategy provides the reader with a practical guide for their own publishing journey along with stories of how other business professionals have used a published book as a successful marketing tool. Publishing Marketing cover web

I love collaborating with others so after envisioning this book concept, I invited collaborators Joan Boneberg, Bonnie Daneker, Robin Hensley, Ahmad Meradji, and Anita Paul to join me in sharing their personal stories of publishing and describing business benefits they have seen as a result. I also designed and formatted the interior of the book.

Listen to the Write Here, Write Now interview where five of the co-authors talked about this book and the process of publishing in collaboration.

Here is what one of my co-authors said after being part of this book project:

Joan Boneberg said, “Vanessa Lowry is not only an incredibly talented graphic artist, writer and writing coach, she is a class person. I had the privilege of being a co-author on her recently published book, Publishing as a Marketing Strategy. Working with Vanessa was a joy because she was an excellent project manager and she set a tone that was absolutely stress free. If you have a project that she maybe able to assist you with and want to work with a talented person, contact Vanessa.”

Here is an article I wrote outlining 5 Whys and 10 How-Tos for publishing a collaborative book. If you would like to be part of a collaborative book project, contact me to see what book is in the works or to suggest a topic.

Publishing as a Marketing Strategy is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, and through the Connect 4 Leverage bookstore. Also available in e-reader formats for Kindle, Nook, iPad.

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 Original MBA – Succeed in Business Using Mom’s Best Advice

January 9, 2012

For many years, I’ve believed that I have the most fun and creative mom in the world. When I read the manuscript for The Original MBA, I realized that Sandy’s mom personified those qualities as well. I was so honored to help Sandy turn her manuscript into a beautiful book that shares her mom with the world, along with important lessons for life and for business. 

This book began as a gift for Sandy’s late Mom, Eileen Weaver, who was losing her battle with breast cancer. Mother’s Day that year was tough, and Sandy gave Eileen a printed and framed list of the lessons her mom had taught her. Some of those lessons are in the book, complete with the stories of how Sandy first learned them and how they helped her succeed. Hear more about Sandy’s mom and her journey of publishing The Original MBA on this Write Here, Write Now radio interview. The watch a video review of the book by professional speaker Terry Brock.

Here is what Sandy said about working with me: “Vanessa is the most delightful woman to work with. She did the cover design, interior layout, bookmarks, business cards and one-sheet for my book, The Original MBA – Succeed in Business Using Mom’s Best Advice. Not only were the results wonderful, the process was, too. Vanessa is a talented designer, yes, but even better, she’s responsive, on-time, and provided superlative work at a very reasonable price. I would recommend her to anyone needing graphic design and layout work, and will be using her services again in the future.”

It was wonderful collaborating on this project with Sandy. Anyone working with her can tell she learned from her mom how to channel her creativity and have fun!

Find out more about Sandy, hire her to present a workshop or keynote or contract her to turn your audio recordings into products. Oh, and buy a copy of The Original MBA for your very own. A percentage of all book sales are donated to breast cancer charities (in honor of Sandy’s mom) and University of Georgia’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital (in honor of her Siberian Husky, Billy). Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback, as well as e-reader formats.

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.

Musings on Major and Minor Matters that May or May Not Matter

January 8, 2012

I have really fun clients. And one of the most fun is Myra McElhaney. The recent project we completed together is her book, Musings on Major and Minor Matters that May or May Not Matter by Myra McElhaney. The title makes me laugh out loud and her poetry caused me to run the gamut of emotions from laughter to tears.

Here is a description of this book:

Sometimes a poem seems to be the best way to capture the snapshot of a feeling. Whether it’s an observation of life, happiness, grief or simple silliness, author Myra McElhaney writes poetry to express her feelings. Many of the poems in this book were a result of a ‘poem du jour’ challenge with her mentor and friend Russell G. Hood. She found that writing poetry was a fun, creative outlet and later discovered that when her heart was breaking after the death of her husband Phil McElhaney, she could put the pain on the page. Myra’s hope is that you have a laugh, relate to a feeling or find an insight from these Musings By Myra.

Myra was my guest on Write Here, Write Now radio to talk about her book and how her network of contacts has helped her in gathering information and publishing her books. Myra also describes how how this book came into being.

Myra calls me her “Graphic Design Goddess Extraordinare.” Just one of many reasons I love working with her!

I’ve worked with Myra on several other projects included her book, Mama Always Says, and the McElhaney Pub t-shirt design. (The proceeds from t-shirt sales are donated in Phil’s memory to organizations for brain cancer research.)

Myra’s books are available on Amazon. Contact her to order McElhaney Pub t-shirts.

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.

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.

Take Me To TEXAS

September 26, 2011

I’ve worked with Walter (aka TW) Lawrence on many projects and was thrilled he asked me to design his book cover for Take Me To TEXAS. It is an anthology of short stories… all with a Texas theme. Although, one story takes place in my current town of Roswell, GA.

Walter has a great marketing mind and is promoting his book in interesting ways. He launched the book over Labor Day weekend at the Decatur Book Festival in Atlanta, the largest independent book festival in the United States.

He posted this comment on his Facebook page after the festival: “Vanessa Lowry is the graphics designer for the book cover, front and back. She interpreted my vision for the artwork in a way that made it better and in the process made it FABULOUS. An independent bookseller told us it was ‘the best cover he’d seen in the entire festival.’ WOW.”

At the Decatur Book Festival, Walt was interviewed by Tim Morrison as part of the Write Here, Write Now radio remote. You can see how Walter took the audio and combined it with photos to make a YouTube video. Very smart!

Walter had posters printed of the front cover art as another item he can sell along with his book. He also had shirts embroidered with the headline type of Take Me to TEXAS to wear when he is out promoting the book. He has developed a 20 minute business presentation on the topic of the importance of creativity in business to share with business professionals at groups such as Rotary. He is an alumni of Emory University and they are listing his book in their newsletter with other published alumni. Walt’s joining groups in Atlanta that have Texas roots to network with others who love all things Texan.

The front of the card is just the book cover. This is the back of Walt's business card.

Walt was my first client to use a QR code on his business card. He tells me many stories of how that creates a conversation with the people he meets while networking.

He and two other fellow authors will have a booth at the Texas Book Festival in October 2011 representing the Atlanta Writers Club while each promoting their own newly published book.

Walter is using this book to build an audience for his upcoming novel, Texas Cool Million.

I guest host the radio show Write Here, Write Now once a month. Walt was my guest on August 9th when we talked about using the power of your network when writing, publishing and promoting a book. Walter’s interview starts at about 20 minutes into the show.

It is fun for me to work with creative clients like Walter. We learn new things together.

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.