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.

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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.

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.