Doing these life story books more than a few times (40 to be exact!) has created some efficiencies but I’m proud to say that this is very much still a personal business. My first book in 2015 was for my dad, and each life story we’ve told since then has been handled with the same personal care and attention. In no way has a “one size fits all” template emerged, and I’m proud to keep it that way.
However, I do use a common process to create these special books. I often get asked, So… how does it work?
This is how it works.
Step 1: Define your book. Tell us who we are celebrating and why! We treat every client like family and vow to give you or your loved ones a gift they will never forget.
Step 2: The personal interview. We will book interview time at your convenience, and can conduct sessions in person or over the phone. It’s like having a chat with a friend you’ve never met! We ask the questions that uncover stories from you or your loved one’s past, perhaps never discussed or documented. Our interviews have been called therapeutic, enlightening, and a lot of fun. This is the heart of our process. Mp3 recordings of all interviews are included in our packages.
Step 3: Time to write. No templates found here! Each story is written from scratch and includes plenty of direct quotes from you and your loved ones. Stories are curated thoughtfully from our recorded interviews.
Step 4: Photo collection. Time for you to pull together photographs or other mementos to accompany the stories discussed during our interviews. We can take digital or hard copy photos via Dropbox or physical pickup.
Step 5: Story review. You get a sneak peek at the narrative before it goes into layout to ensure 100% satisfaction. We will incorporate any requested changes because this is YOUR story.
Step 6: Photo retouching and layout. This is when the story and the pictures come together! Each page and spread is personally designed to create a one-of-a-kind album. Image restoration is included in all our packages. We will make your pictures look like new again and optimize them for print.
Step 7: A final sneek peek. You get to review a digital copy of the book before it goes to print because we want to be sure every story and picture is exactly the way you want it. Then it’s off to print! All our albums are printed here in Chicago, complete with high-end finishes—leather bound or photo wrap covers, lay flat pages, and high gloss polish for added protection and visual impact.
Step 8: Delivery day! Each Memoir for Me album comes delivered in a beautiful gift box and truly showcases all the love that went into this present of a lifetime. Grab the tissues because you and your loved one will probably shed some tears—and kids and grandkids will love looking through this special book for years to come. You will also receive a password-protected digital flipbook of your story perfect for sharing with friends and family.
Does this sound like a process you can get behind? Email me today to get started on this gift of a lifetime—the gift of a life story.
Nora Kerr is the owner of Memoir for Me, specializing in memory and story books filled with the life stories that matter.