Imagine holding the story of a life in your hands. Imagine opening to the first pages and seeing photos from your, or a loved one’s, childhood. Imagine being able to pass the story of a lifetime on to your children and grandchildren; your story told in your own words.
Some people tell of their accomplishments; some of their struggles. Some tell the stories of parents or grandparents who are no longer able to tell their own. Some stories are profound, some are tales of everyday life. Some cover the span of a lifetime, others focus on a significant moment in time. Everyone has a story inside of them.
Telling a life story has strong therapeutic value for older adults; knowing the stories of their families helps children to feel a part of something larger than themselves and gives them context for their lives. Having the family story, or a loved one’s story, becomes increasingly important as we reach middle adulthood and beyond; by that time, however, it might be too late to ask the questions.
Whether you want to tell your own life story for your children, grandchildren or others, or whether you want someone else to share theirs, remember that a family or personal story will only grow in value as time goes on. Memories fade; the printed page doesn’t.
Give someone you love the gift of a told story.
The process of producing the final narrative will be a collaboration between the interviewer and the narrator; the content of the final product is the narrator’s.
Create your personal biography of a loved one or write your own autobiography. You talk, I’ll do the rest.
The Narrative: Production of your personal or family history narrative, which includes consulting, five hours of customized interviews, transcription, editing, formatting, and photo placement, is priced at $2,000. Extensive work goes into the narrative production process. Each interview must be transcribed, edited, re-arranged, revised based on narrator’s review, and integrated with the other interviews to create a cohesive narrative. This process requires judgment, skill, and time. The price also includes scanning photos or documents, choosing the photo size and location in the text to achieve the desired effect, and formatting of the final work. Generally, each hour of interview time results in 10-15 hours of background work.
Life stories are rich and detailed. Narrators vary in their ability to recall and relate details. Therefore, some people may want additional interview hours while others may want fewer. Projects can be arranged to include more or fewer interview hours, with the price adjusted accordingly.
You can get started for an initial deposit of just $500, and we can schedule your interviews over time. Why not start today?
A Note About Pricing: Most people have no experience with hiring a personal historian, nor do they have friends who have done so. This means that the price of a personal history can be somewhat of a mystery. How much does it cost? How much should it cost? What goes into determining the price? Why so much?
Remember that, as with hiring many other professionals, you are hiring skill, talent, and expertise. You are purchasing value; you are documenting a lifetime for posterity. Dan Curtis explains it well: http://dancurtis.ca/2009/07/08/how-much-should-you-pay-a-personal-historian/ I am happy to work with you to find a project size that will fit your budget.
The Book: You will have the choice of a variety of bindings for your book. My aim is to keep the product affordable and accessible while also allowing options for those who wish to pay more.
Copies can be purchased in any quantity and combination of the formats available, from spiral bound volumes with a clear cover to hard-backed leather covered books. Some families choose to order a combination of formats. The choice is yours. Three spiral-bound books are included in the base price.
Printed copies of the narrative are priced on a per unit basis. Prices will vary depending on the total number of pages, the number and color of photographs included, and type of binding chosen. Prices currently range from $14.00 per unit and up for spiral-bound copies to $80.00 per unit and up for a leather-bound book.
Appendix & Photo Material: Photos and other documents are an important addition to each story. These are included with each project; the number varies according to the number of text pages. Additional items might incur an additional charge. By submitting this material the client vouches that he or she has rights to the material and is responsible for the content.
Create a book! The technology never needs to be upgraded.