Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I need your help?

An ancient philosopher said that the longest part of the journey is the passing of the gate. At the most basic of levels, simply making a commitment to work with a personal historian means that you are on your way to achieving a meaningful goal. Just by carving out time in your schedule to dedicate to a memoir project, you are taking concrete action to honor your experience.

For some, the process of creating a personal history project can be daunting. We provide the professional resources to enable you to distill, articulate and share your life lessons and memories. Our goal is to significantly facilitate what might otherwise be an overwhelming creative task. It is our sincerest hope to join with you in creating a life enriching experience.

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Writing a memoir feels overwhelming. How do I know if I am up to the task?

We offer a wide array of products and services and our initial free consultation is designed to determine which best suits your desires and needs. We can offer as little or as much input as you require. Our level of guidance can range from periodically reviewing and editing your writing on an hourly consulting basis….to ghost-writing your book-length memoir. For more in-depth projects, we will collaborate with you to develop an outline of key events, then conduct a series of interviews with you to capture the setting, details and mood of each significant experience. Transcriptions of these interviews will be edited, reviewed with you, and revised as you would like. Our goal is to assist you practically, emotionally and creatively in a transformative pursuit.

You are in charge of your project. You can decide, at any point in time, to alter its direction or scope. We will work with you to ensure your satisfaction.

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How do I get started?

Following your free consultation, a contract is signed and a deposit is made. We will then set up a series of interviews to assist you in accomplishing your project’s goals. We strive to be flexible with scheduling and duration of meetings; we suggest that each session not exceed two hours in length. We encourage you to select a time when you are typically well rested and in the mood to talk.

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What kind of time and/or financial commitment is involved in a personal history project?

According to the Association of Personal Historians and other sources, each hour of client interview involves approximately 10 -15 hours of work by a personal historian for transcription, editing, revisions, and so forth.

Shorter-term projects such as an Ethical Will, Letter of Wishes, Celebratory Tribute or Focused Narrative involve a minimum commitment of two hours of your time for interviewing purposes, at a base fee of $1,200 with additional time billed at an hourly rate of $75.00 per hour.

Longer-term and more complex projects such as a Life Narrative, Mini Memoir, Home Tribute, or Family Cookbook would involve a minimum client commitment of five hours, with the overall investment of time commensurate with the undertaking. The base fee for these products is $2,400 with additional time billed at a rate of $75.00 per hour.

As each life is unique, so too is every legacy project. Our goal is to collaborate with you and determine which product best suits your desires and budget. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your objectives, our process and the type of memoir product that best meets your needs. We invite you to contact us for a free consultation: [email protected]

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Will my story be kept confidential?

Everything you share with us is confidential. You decide how and with whom information is shared. We will keep all interview recordings, transcriptions and any submitted materials in secure locations. An agreement documenting this will be signed before the interviewing process begins.

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What kind of questions will I be asked during an interview?

Approximately one week prior to each interview, we will provide you with a topic of discussion along with related questions to contemplate. You can make additional notes as you wish. It is our goal to make this creative process as seamless and fulfilling as possible; as your guide, we may gently interrupt and request that you clarify or elaborate upon your thoughts.

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Where do the interviews take place?

Interviews are conducted at your place of preference; typically we meet in our client’s homes. Interviews are best conducted in a private, quiet, and comfortable place.

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Who owns the copyright to my book?

You, as narrator, are considered the “author” for copyrighting purposes. However, if the project is published and sold commercially, either in print, film, or electronic media, we fairly and reasonably ask that we receive 10% of any royalties received.

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Do you offer discounts?

Certainly! We often offer discounts during holiday months such as in May for Mother’s Day or December for Christmas. Our discount selection varies year to year so feel free to inquire.

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Can I receive an audio copy of our interviews?

We love providing an audio copy to our clients. There is no better way to enliven one’s story than through true voice. Simply request that a copy be made. It is important to note that interviews are not edited; you will hear all dialogue between the Interviewer and Narrator as well as all emotions expressed such as hesitation, joy, humor, and sorrow.

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What if I forget, get stuck or become flustered during an interview?

We are all human and occasionally lose our train of thought or become emotional at recalling at a particular memory. It is our goal to make this a seamless and enriching experience. We will assist you throughout the process to make sure your goals are realized.

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I would like to honor a deceased individual. Is that possible?

Yes, honoring a loved one is a privilege for us. We can help you craft a tribute that compiles treasured photos and the voices of those left behind.

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How far into the project can I make edits?

You have complete control over the content of your project and can make changes at any point. Understandably, if changes go beyond the initially agreed upon project scope, a surcharge will be added.

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Are any of your products legally binding?

No, none of our products are legally binding. You may however, wish to ask your attorney how he might retain your product in your overall portfolio. We would be happy to speak with your attorney, if you so desire.

 

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