Getting Started

Before you get started on your journey, you’ll want to know what steps we’ll take together and how everything fits within the budget you’ve allowed. We discuss this in more detail once we understand your project, but this page gives you a starting point.

You might have read that writing your life stories can cost from the price of a weekend away to a lengthy world tour – but the choice is entirely up to you and the members of your family who want to help make it happen. We work to ensure you stay within the page lengths you decide upon while covering all the stories you want to choose.

The following information takes you through a typical book project process. Please remember that we customize everything to suit you. It’s your story to tell.

Our Process

Call and Consultation

Our first step is to get to know each other and we’ll do that with a phone call and then a meet-and-greet visit. This is when we look at what you’d like to achieve – even in a broad sense – for your printed book or ready-to-print manuscript. Tell Me Again Stories is dedicated to providing our clients with professionally edited written material.

Some people have stories pre-written, others have only the kernel of an idea on what they’d like to do, but once we’ve had a chance to speak you’ll feel more comfortable in planning out your project.

Getting Started

With the consultation behind us, we can schedule our interview dates. Now that you’ve had a little time to think about your storytelling, we can start to plan what book fits your needs and budget. We also begin to work out a table of contents to ensure each story is given sufficient space. This can always change later but it gives us a chance to quote more accurately.

Interviews and Photo Choices

You might have your main stories already in mind, but if you don’t, we have plenty of ways to help get you started. Photos are a great way to twig your memory and our Guidance page goes into more detail.

Interviews are recorded with a small digital recorder in a quiet but relaxing room in your home or other quiet place. Usually we spend an hour or two for each meeting.

As we progress, we make a selection of the photos you like best for the story you’re telling and later we’ll finalize which ones will go in the book.

Writing and Editing

Once the interviews are done, we transcribe the recordings. When we have the transcription in hand we can finalize your table of contents and then we’re ready to write. We work with your text to put timelines in order for the story to flow. Next we smooth out rough sentences. Then we edit the length to meet the number of pages you’ve chosen. Everything is still flexible at this point and you’ll have a chance to review and make changes.

Most importantly, we ensure the story is still in your voice. We want your family to hear you when they read it.

It’s interesting to note that for every recorded hour it can take 15 to 20 additional hours of work to prepare a manuscript for book layout.

Book Design and Sign-Off

As we work together we’ll begin to choose the best book size and shape and how colourful or serious you’d like it to look when it’s done. We’ll go through a few ideas with you and start work on the design. At this point, all the writing and editing is done and the words and photos are fit to the pages. You’ll have a chance to see a draft of a few pages before it’s completed. And when it’s done, you’ll be sent a PDF file to review and sign-off so we can send it for printing.

Book Publication and Delivery to You

This is an exciting time for everyone! The book is printed and bound and shipped to our office, ready for delivery to you. If we have the chance, we’ll deliver your copy (copies) personally – otherwise, we’ll send them over to you straight away.

There’s nothing better to see than the smile on someone’s face as they open up their very own book! We can’t wait to see that smile on yours!

Payment

Once you have approved the contract, we request one-third of the amount before moving onto the interview and planning stage of the project. The balance of the contract amount is due when the final PDF is approved for print and printing costs are due upon delivery of the books.

If you’re not within our area of travel, don’t let that stop you from having your story being heard. We work with clients around the world via phone and Internet. Please contact us for details.

Book Information

Average Book Lengths and Costs

All page and word counts are estimates based on the dimensions of the book, and the quantity and the size of illustrations throughout. In general the number of photos per two-page spread decrease in longer-length books.

Our project costs are quoted after the initial consultation based on the information provided by the client. If changes are requested after that point, we provide the adjusted figures for approval right away. Short projects such as Legacy Letters or editing is based on an $80 an hour rate.

Legacy Letters

Pages: 1 – 5

Photos: 0 – 2

Legacy Letters give your loved ones a chance to read about your hopes and wishes for them along with anything you’ve kept in your heart that you’d like to share. They do not replace a last Will, or have any legal standing, but they can serve to complement them. Writers often like to explain why they split their estate the way they have to avoid misunderstandings or to illustrate why they think a certain item would mean more to one person over another.

Price: Quoted after discussion at a rate of $80/hr.

Editions Booklets

Pages: 10 – 24 (2500 – 4000 words)

Photos: Up to 20

A great size for Treasures and Traditions, Story Nugget compilations, keepsake events, tributes, and pet tributes.

Price: Quoted

Small Book

Pages: 24 – 40 (4000 – 15,000 words)

Photos: up to 30

The perfect size for one or two Major Life stories, Life and Times compilations, and community or corporate histories.

Price: Quoted

Long Book

Pages: 40 – 120 (10,000 – 40,000 words)

Photos: Up to 40

Long books are the perfect vehicle for full length life stories for one person or a couple. Lengthy corporate or community histories can take advantage of the extra room for narrative as well.

Price: Quoted

Your Own Manuscript

We’re happy to bring your partially completed manuscripts to completion. We help with the development of the underlying structure, writing, or stylistic editing for memoirs, business books, or fiction.

All Projects Include These Things…

  • A complimentary consultation and welcome package
  • Recorded interviews – (based on the project you choose)
  • Transcription of interviews
  • Writing and/or editing the text based on interviews or provided partial manuscripts – (keeping the storyteller’s voice)
  • Scanning photos and light restoration work
  • A USB with the transcription, manuscript, e-book, and photos

Have a look at Getting Started for more information on next steps, book length starter points, and a base-line of costs.

Go to Our Guidance (aka…Crossing another one off the Bucket List!) if you’re nervous about getting started. We can help!