To start your memoir or autobiography, we’ll send you a welcome letter explaining the process; basically, it’s as follows:
1. Welcome eMail
We want you to start to spend some time thinking about your life and what you want from your book. We encourage you to:
- Dig out the old photo albums & take a trip down memory lane.
- Speak to relatives or old friends and get reminiscing.
- Look for old correspondence… you’ll be surprised what you find.
- Keep a notepad next to your bed. Jot down your thoughts – even if they come at 2am!
2. Ghostwriter Introduction
Your ghostwriter will call to introduce themselves and we’ll schedule your first interview date. This may be in person by phone or via a video link such as Zoom.
As your primary point of contact, the ghostwriter will ensure the project is well organized, runs smoothly, and that the creation of your autobiography is the experience of a lifetime.
Our ghostwriters are cultured, good listeners, personable, patient, open-minded, and skilful. They are empathetic and can easily put themselves in your shoes… they are taught to capture your ‘voice’ and convey the feelings associated with your stories. To assist in this process, the ghostwriter records your interviews.
As per our welcome pack, we will ask you to dig out objects such as photo albums that will help you recall events and memories. We will walk you through the chronology of your life and your important experiences while recording it so our editors can start to create a transcript for your personal story.
This intimate process will run across multiple sessions depending on the package you purchase. For our most in-depth packages, you could be spending more than 12 hours together across multiple sittings. Everyone is different but during these sessions we will encourage you to:
- Try to recall how you felt at particular times in your life.
- Try and recall smells, colours, sounds, textures & tastes.
- Do visual walk-throughs in your head.
- Open-up and share! Your story WILL be interesting to future generations.
Our questionnaires are designed to jog your memory and provide a structure for your interviews. They’re easy, fun, and bring back memories you haven’t thought about in years or even decades!
You can also choose to purchase an additional interview session and forego the questionnaire.
4. Interviewing Schedule
In-depth interview sessions with your ghostwriter form the backbone of your story. Typical interview sessions are 2 hours long. If your package includes more interview time than this, it will usually be spread out over multiple sessions.
Your editor will ensure that spelling, names, and stories are clear and consistent. The editor will also flag any areas requiring additional clarity or revisions by the ghostwriter.
6. Cover and Book Design
While your ghostwriter is working on the text, you’ll work with our designer and decide which chapters any photos, documents or graphics are to appear in. You’ll also be able to select a cover image and customize the appearance of your book.
7. Read The First Draft
Once the interviews are complete, our team of writers and editors will work with your words to create an initial draft and structure of your book. We give you the opportunity at this stage to read our work and make a list of any corrections, additions and new memories it may have prompted. This is a great time to start considering which images and documents might complement the memories and events in your book. We will encourage you to:
- Find all the photographs you can and consider the captions.
- Consider what other items, documents or memorabilia will appear in the book.
- Start to think about your cover image.
- Detail your family tree to not miss anything out.
- You may wish to also record yourself reading the book.
As your story emerges from your interview sessions, your ghostwriter will begin working on the text of your book. You will have regular opportunities to review and comment on the book as it progresses.
Your ghostwriter will catch up with you again and check with you about any new memories or events, starting to fill in any gaps in your life story. Your book is close to being finished by this stage.
We will then call you and meticulously walk through any final changes. We’ll then repeat this process until you are 100% happy with the final product.
8. Proofreader and Typesetting
Before going to print, a fresh pair of eyes will look over your story. Their job is different from the editor’s, as they concentrate solely on ensuring the grammar and spelling are perfect and that there are no typesetting issues. When complete, you will receive a proof copy so you can evaluate the text layout, photographs, and captions. Once the proof is approved (text and photographs), your manuscript will be assigned to one of our in-house typesetters. Before printing, every book must surpass our rigorous aesthetic standards.
Once we’ve got all the last details right, our designers will lay out your book’s cover and interior. You will have the opportunity to sign off on the PDF proofs before your book goes to print.
Your beautifully bound, hardcover books will be printed and delivered to your home. From beginning to end the process normally takes eight to twelve weeks, depending on the length of your book.
10. Watch for the Delivery Van!
The exciting bit! Our printers will have been working hard to get your book ready; we’ll deliver copies to your home by special delivery. This is a truly exciting day. You can then unveil the work to friends and family or give your story out as a gift. Many new ‘authors’ even organise a little party to celebrate the great unveiling.
Congratulations! Your autobiography is complete… future generations will now understand what your life was like and the highs and lows you lived through.
(Optional) Your Voice Recorded
It’s very special that your friends and family will be able to read your autobiography, but hearing you read some of your most treasured stories is truly amazing. If you choose this option, we will record approximately 60-minutes of you reading these stories and then we’ll save them on a USB drive along with any photos you choose from your book. The USB will be included and shipped with your completed books.