Below are some of the books I have worked on for authors, from occasional consulting to full projects. My main objective is to produce the best book possible while respecting the author's goals. After all, it is their book and they have to be happy with the results. The majority of the books featured on this page are published through CreateSpace. Since CreateSpace is owned by Amazon, it becomes a very seamless process to publish and distribute online. Click on a cover to link to the book on Amazon.
Pretty Small Beginnings
~ Julianne Svingen
Preserving family history is essential if we want to have stories to pass down to the next generation. This author had personal interviews and many photographs that she wanted to turn into a book.
Many of the photos were from decades ago so they needed a fair amount of digital cleanup which I did. The interviews had been recorded and transcribed to preserve the words as they were spoken but the author asked me to proofread and correct any typos as I formatted the interior pages.
The family provided me with a photo of their farm which they wanted to use as the cover. The image wraps around to the back cover with a beautiful silhouette of an old windmill.
We were on a tight deadline but the book was done in time for their family reunion as requested.
Gus the Goat Goes Gluten Free
~ Rebecca Champlin
A wonderful story to help families and friends of children who have food allergies.
The author sent me her manuscript for editing but she also had some rough sketches that her niece had drawn. She was excited to have her niece do the illustrations so I coordinated and helped the young artist produce the right images for the book.
I formatted the interior pages and designed the cover, using one of her illustrations. I continued the landscape to wrap around the back cover and then created a cute image with Gus overlooking the summary text in a speech bubble effect.
Counting is Fun
~ Rachel M. Sparks
A cute collaboration between a husband and wife which was inspired by their grandchildren.
Even rhyming stories need editing so the author hired me to pull the manuscript together. I worked closely with the author so the illustrations were appropriate for the text and target audience. Once those were complete, I formatted the interior pages and created the cover.
The Adventures of Darcy & Oliver
~ B.L. Riblett
A fun adventure on a train when the girl's doll and stuffed dog come to life.
A step up from picture books, this was a 122-page chapter book so it didn't need full-color illustrations. However, I suggested we add B&W spot illustrations at the beginning of each chapter so the author gave that opportunity to a talented high-school art student. He also drew the cover image which wraps around to the back. When I was designing the cover, I used the train tracks for the subtitle and then took the artist's images of the doll and dog to place inside the D and O in the title. The author loved that small touch.
It took several months to edit the story but the author said he learned a lot and that I made the whole experience fun and educational.
Kevin and the Tooth Fairy
~ Georgina Olivas
Inspired by a true story about her son, the author was excited to turn it into a published book. This was the first of two books that I worked on with her.
Being from Nicaragua, the author wanted to preserve her heritage and language so she asked if there was some way to make the book bi-lingual. I accepted the challenge and started editing the English version. Then she translated it and the Spanish version was edited by another editor.
I formatted the interior pages and incorporated a few B&W spot images. A high-school student was hired to draw the cover image.
The Perfect Christmas Gift
~ Georgina Olivas
This was the author's second book that we worked on together. It was inspired by a story she used to tell to her children.
The interior format is text only with a few B&W reprints of letters to Santa that her children wrote. She hired the same student to draw the cover image to give it a similar feel, even though they were not part of a series.
It's Always Somethin'
~ Nancy O'Neill
Although my name is on this book, it's all about my dad, who is pictured on the cover walking through the pasture on his ranch.
This book is a fun collection of 101 sayings that we heard many times over the years growing up. I tried to convince him that his name should go on the book but he was a humble man and wouldn't hear of it. As he used to say, "I don't have letters behind my name and I only finished the 8th grade. Who would want to read anything I had to say?" As it turned out, many people bought his book and wanted him to sign it, which he happily did. The book also includes his philosophies on work, health, money, humor, learning, common sense, and life.
Sadly, he died on January 21, 2017 but his wisdom will live on forever.
The Parents' Guide to Raising CEO Kids
~ Dr. Jerry Cook & Sarah L. Cook
A great guide for parents who want to encourage their children to experience entrepreneurship. Stories about real-life, young entrepreneurs are also featured in this book.
I'm always happy to assist authors in any way I can. I met Sarah when she was getting ready to design her book cover so all she needed was a little advice and consulting now and then. She already had a clear vision of what she wanted with her book.
Fun Facts: DOGS
~ Robin Akawi, Ph.D.
This was a collaboration between mother and daughter.
As a professor and entrepreneur, the author wanted to work through every aspect of the book process herself but she called on me for advice and technical help on occasion.
She designed the cover herself as well as the interior.
Bitten by the Business Bug
~ Jason O'Neill
Yes, I am the proud mom of this young entrepreneur who started his business at age nine and "retired" at age sixteen.
As he spoke at many events and conferences sharing his business experience, he kept getting requests for a book so this one was finally published when he was fourteen.
I helped him write it since he was still in school and busy with homework. I formatted the interior and designed the cover with tips from a graphic designer we knew.
Bikes, Trikes, Toads, and Roads
~ Betty L. Smokov
A collection of stories from the author's childhood to parenthood and beyond.
Writing personal stories can seem easy for the author but sometimes they can be so full of non-essential details that only family would understand. Even though these are my mom's stories, I spent many months editing them, going over details with her, and rewriting them so that they would appeal to a wider audience. It was important to preserve the integrity and accuracy of the stories so I edited very carefully.
I formatted the interior which includes 70 original photos that correspond to many of the stories. She had this vision for the cover of looking back on her life in the mirror so I created this composite.