When an old person dies, it’s like a library has burned.
Alex Haley, author of Roots.
Few life stories become bestsellers, but that’s not the point. No life story will mean more to your family than yours.
We will ghostwrite your biography, so that it appears to any reader as if you did it yourself … an autobiography!
You can say what you like, and include genealogy if you wish, but mainly it’s your life story, told your way… for your children, grandchildren, and future descendants.
In addition to ghostwriting life stories, we also:
* Produce Videos with your photos, music in background
(see description/price at bottom of this front page)
* Produce PhotoBooks
(see description/price at bottom of this front page)
* Edit manuscripts or other written material
(write us for an estimate)
But mainly, we ghostwrite the life stories of individuals or couples for the enjoyment of their kids and future generations of the family, as follows:
#1 THE OBJECTIVE
Tell your life story your way. We will produce a book about your life, as told by you, but using our professional writing skills. This is for your children and for future generations of your family, to be given to them now … or perhaps later. If you wonder whether they will value such a book, consider what a treasure it would be if your parents, grandparents and so on, going back ten generations, had all left their full life stories so that you could really know your roots! In short, of course your kids and their kids (etc.) will value it, greatly, and all the more as the decades and centuries go by.
#2 THE PROCESS
Life Profiles has two principals, Jim Stark and Earleen Devine. Both are professional writers. One or both of us would interview you (or the “subject,” if that might be your parent or grandparent). The taped interviews are done in person, if possible right in your home, but taping can be done over the phone (even long distance) if there is a reason to proceed that way. However, we prefer to come to where you live to do the interviews. Either way, we record the interviews, then we transcribe the tapes onto a computer, and edit from there. The total time of interviewing is usually about eight or nine hours, but no session lasts longer than two hours. We never do more than two sessions per day, and usually only one.
We have used and refined this system for many years, and not only does it work extremely well, it makes the process very comfortable for you. Every person is a talker … we all do it every day of our lives, and most of us are rather good at it. Writing, however, is a professional skill. Our company builds the bridge between your relaxed chatting and story-telling and a bound book that gets it all, gets it right, reads well and looks great. Anyone can talk into a microphone without our help, and if you can do your life story on your own, well … go ahead and do it. But if you want our involvement, we would be happy to help. (Many of our customers are people who tried to do it on their own, and found out the hard way how difficult this is.)
During the transcribing and editing process, we convert the natural “question and answer” format of the interviews to a “narrative,” so that it appears as if you sat down and wrote this book all on your own, without anyone interviewing you. It hardly matters how it got done, when you think about it … what matters is that it did get done. (We include a small note in the bound book explaining that it was written by you “with the assistance of Life Profiles,” which accurately describes what actually happens in these projects.)
#3 THE PRODUCT
What we produce for you is a polished manuscript telling the story of your life in your own “voice.” The contract price includes 15 copies of your bound book in softcover, or 5 copies in hardcover format. Each book includes 30 or 40 of your favorite family photos.
The books we produce can be softcovers, 6″ x 9″, and these have a colored cover and a glossy color photo section in the middle. Softcovers tend to be 125 to 175 pages long. If you prefer, we can produce your book as a hardcover. These are 8.5″ x 11″, and have a burgundy leatherette cover with gold lettering, a thing of beauty, to be sure. Hardcovers tend to be 100 to 125 pages long, and include a glossy color photo section in the middle. Extra books in either format are available at additional cost.
* * * *
Your Family Video
Find a copyright-free song that you like (or we’ll choose one, if you wish) to serve as background (it should be 3 to 4 minutes long). Then you would send us (by email attachment) 100 of your favorites photos in digital form. We will assemble a video from these elements, where the photos move in different ways as the music plays. We will post Your Family Video on the Internet so you can tell friends and family members where to go to see it.
Cost of photo preparation and video creation process: $199, which includes up to 100 digital photos. (Note: we can’t guarantee to use all 100 photos – but that’s about the proper amount for a 4 minute video.)
In the event that you wish to order CDs with the video on it, the cost is $10 per CD order + $4 for each copy of the CD (US or Canadian funds).
Most people have hundreds of photographs in boxes, drawers or albums. We suggest that you get them out, pick 100 of your favourites, date them on the back, organize them by decade, and write a caption for each selected photo. We will scan them, resize them (we use only one photo per page), enter all of the captions and produce a bound PhotoBook (8½ x 11 inches) for your kids and grandchildren (or others).
Cost of document and photo preparation: $100 plus $4 per photo.
Cost of printed and bound 100-page books: $25 each + any shipping costs or applicable duties (US or Canadian funds)