FAQ

 

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"...You did an excellent job of capturing and organizing Dad's life. It is classic Dad through and through!" 

Requently Asked
Questions

  • How long will it take to write my memoir?

From the first meeting to having a book in your hand, the process may take a year to two or three years or more, depending on the scope of the project.

  • How should I prepare?

If you wish, you can jot down notes regarding events, turning points, and experiences you want to make sure to include. However, no preparation is necessary. We’ll have a series of easy, comfortable conversations, and out of that will come your book. Telling your life story is a journey you take, with the writer as a guide.

The process is one of reflection, and the product is a priceless treasure for the family, one which becomes more precious with the passing of time.

  • Will the book include my whole life?

A memoir or biography can include your whole life, or it can be focused on a certain time period or experience, such as growing up years or experience in the military.

  • How soon can we start?

We make every effort to begin your project as soon as possible.

  • Can I include photos?

We can scan photos, military documents, wedding invitations, and even objects, like a favorite quilt, a piece of lace, or a medal.

  • What if I say things that I later decide I don’t want included in the book?

You are the final editor. You’ll see drafts throughout the project and can add, subtract, or delete as we go along, right up until production.

  • Is it vain to spend all this time writing about myself?

Quite the contrary. Knowing our family history gives us a sense of continuity and belonging. Telling your story is an act of generosity to your family, including descendants you may never meet. If you can imagine what it would mean to you to have your grandfather’s life story in a book, or your great-great grandmother’s, then you’ll know what this book might mean to your own family. It’s a gift of history and connection, a way to share your traditions, your knowledge of your ancestors, and your wisdom with your children. You don’t have to be brilliant and eloquent in what you say. Rather, you’ll provide a glimpse of your life experience and the times that shaped you. That is the legacy. 

  • What is the total cost of doing a book project?

Your investment in writing a book starts in the double digit thousands, but it's hard to be more specific than that until we have a chance to discuss your project. Writing your life story is a significant investment with a profound value. The experience is rich and meaningful and the product is a priceless gift to the family.

I very much want you to be able to complete your book project. To that end, if I know your resources at the outset, I can let you know what we might be able to accomplish within that framework, and we can focus on what’s most important to you. There is no cut and dried formula here; we are taking a journey together and neither of us knows where it will lead. However, I will do all I can to respect your budget, and at any point we can decide to wrap things up and move on to production.

  • Will I sign a contract?

No. You can start/stop the process at any time for any reason. This gives you the chance to get your feet wet without risk. I'll begin giving you drafts early on so you can see the "bang for your buck" and determine if we're a good fit for your project.

  • Must I produce the book through Write for You?

Not at all. If you wish, you can produce the book yourself through an online print-on-demand company. Or you may have family members who would like to contribute talent to the project and handle production. Write for You is happy to produce your book, but it's not required.

  • How do you bill?

I will invoice you monthly throughout the interviewing and writing of the book. Since you will see drafts frequently, you always know how the project is progressing in relation to what you’re spending. We’ll take a small deposit at the outset.

  • What is the cost of the production phase?

This varies according to length of the book, the number of photos, how we bind the books, and how many copies you order. All books must be proofread several times and all books must be designed and laid out. Invoices are larger toward the end and come closer together. Knowing this, you can plan for it from the start.

  • Can I purchase a life story project as a gift for a relative?

Yes. If you hire us to write your own story, it’s a gift to your family. If you hire us to write your loved one’s story, the experience is a gift for the loved one and the resulting books are a gift for the entire family.

  • Is there a minimum or maximum number of books I must order?

No. 

  • Can I order more than one type of binding?

Yes. Any combination is possible, including leather, premium and classic hard bound, and soft cover.

  • Is my book available to others?

Only if you want it to be. I keep a copy of each book I write, and unless you tell me otherwise, I may show it to a future client as an example of my work. However, I do NOT lend books out. Someone may flip through it to see what a finished product looks like, but they won’t be able to keep it and read it. Again, if you prefer your book not be shown to anyone under any circumstances, you can let us know.

  • Why should I write my life story?

For yourself, because the experience is extraordinary. You’ll revisit memories and experiences that you haven’t thought about in decades, and in the process of reviewing your life as a whole, you may see unexpected meaning.

For your family, because they will be forever grateful that you invested the time and resources to do this for them. Your story is a treasure for generations hence as well as the loved ones you have in mind as you write. Your family will learn the stories you haven’t yet told and be reminded of the stories they have forgotten.

You are giving your family a one-of-a-kind gift. Recent studies show that children who know their life stories are happier and more resilient emotionally. There was a time when families could tell their stories, in person, around the fire or around the kitchen table. Now families spread out all over the country and all over the world. A book about your family's history and your own story is grounding and reassuring: This is who we are, this is where we come from, this is what we've faced, this is how we overcame it and what we've learned along the way.