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Frequently Asked Questions

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Whatever question you may have about LifeBook™ we can help. If you cannot find the answer to your query below call us now at +44 (0) 20 3291 1169 or click here to leave your details and we will get right back to you.

Here are the answers to some of the questions frequently asked by potential authors and those seeking to gift an autobiography project.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

LifeBook product detail

The Project

How does a LifeBook project work?

How long does it take to complete a project?

Can the author have a project over a different timeframe?

Both my parents want to have a LifeBook. Can they be interviewed together and will the interviewer be the same person?

Who will be the point of contact?

Who comprises the project team?

Can a loved one be kept informed of the progress of interviews?

What happens if the author has concerns about the content or progress of the project?

What happens if the author doesn’t enjoy the process?

Can I cancel the contract in the middle of the process?

What happens if the author gets sick during the process?

The Product

What does a completed autobiography look like?

Is there a minimum age requirement or an age limit?

Can the author get additional copies of their completed autobiography or reprints at a later date?

Can the author have more photos, pages, words or interviews over what is included in the project?

The author has lots of thoughts and written material. How can these be included in their book?

The author has lots of photos, some of which are damaged and fragile. Can these be used?

Do you do autobiographies in different languages?

Can I see a completed LifeBook?

What are Audio Highlights?

The Interviews

Where will the interviews take place and how long are they?

How many meetings are there?

Who conducts the interviews?

Do you have an interviewer available in the author’s area?

How do you go about recruiting?

Can a family member be present during the interviews?

The Writing

Who will be the ghostwriter?

What do you mean by ‘author’s voice’?

What if the author is not sure if they have remembered something correctly?

What is the best way to structure an autobiography: chronologically or by subject matter?

What if there are stories the author doesn’t want to include?

Does the author have to spellcheck the book?

What if the author doesn’t like the writing style?

Rights

Who owns the copyright?

Can the author sell their autobiography to clients and customers?

What guarantees do you offer?

What is LifeBook’s policy on confidentiality?

The Project

How does a LifeBook project work?

The author will have a series of face-to-face interviews, which are recorded. The recordings are passed to one of our professional ghostwriters, who writes the author’s story. The author will then receive regular review copies to read, amend if necessary, and approve.

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How long does it take to complete a project?

On average it takes six months from the first interview to the books being sent to print.

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Can the author have a project over a different timeframe?

Yes, we are able to modify the timeframe to suit the author’s requirements, although our experience shows that a weekly interview timeframe is ideal. Please just ask us. Long delays may incur a re-start charge. Please see our terms and conditions for full details.

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Both my parents want to have a LifeBook. Can they be interviewed together and will the interviewer be the same person?

We have a product called Together to accommodate both partners’ stories in one volume. Each party has their own separate interviews to capture their own memories, and both stories are included in one volume. Give us a call and we can explain how this project works.

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Who will be the point of contact?

From the outset, the author will be appointed a personal project manager who will co-ordinate and monitor the project from beginning to end. They will be on hand to answer any questions the author may have.

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Who comprises the project team?

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Can a loved one be kept informed of the progress of interviews?

Yes. We regularly send out text reviews to keep the author updated on the progress of the book. The author will then discuss these reviews with their interviewer in the meetings. With the author’s consent, the reviews may be made available for family members to read.

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What happens if the author has concerns about the content or progress of the project?

The author’s personal project manager monitors each interview session as well as the ghostwriter’s progress and will regularly update the author on developments. The author is free to discuss any aspects of the book with their project manager.

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What happens if the author doesn’t enjoy the process?

Our interviewers are trained to provide an enjoyable experience and will seek feedback during the process to accommodate the author’s wishes and disposition. If the author is not happy, the project manager should be contacted. If a satisfactory outcome cannot be reached, the contract can be terminated.

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Can I cancel the contract in the middle of the process?

You can cancel at any time with just one month’s notice in writing so that we can notify the interviewer and ghostwriter.

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What happens if the author gets sick during the process?

We will postpone the interviews until the author is well enough to continue and will reschedule the remaining interviews to suit the author’s recovery and availability. Long delays may incur a nominal re-start charge. If the author becomes too ill to continue or does not wish to complete the autobiography project for any reason, the contract can be cancelled. This needs to be done in writing in accordance with our terms and conditions.

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The Product

What does a completed autobiography look like?

The author will receive a professionally printed, section-sewn, hardback linen book, up to 200 pages in length, including up to 60 photographs.

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Is there a minimum age requirement or an age limit?

No. We welcome anyone who would love to turn their memories and stories into a LifeBook.

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Can the author get additional copies of their completed autobiography or reprints at a later date?

Yes, extra copies are available at any time. The project manager will be happy to arrange this.

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Can the author have more photos, pages, words or interviews over what is included in the project?

Yes, we would not want the author to feel they have to leave out a precious story or photograph, but the additional work required to accommodate this will incur a charge. The project manager can discuss this with the author.

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The author has lots of thoughts and written material. How can these be included in their book?

We can incorporate past work or writing for an extra fee. Please let us know as soon as possible if the author has any extra material to be included so that we can accommodate their requirements.

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The author has lots of photos, some of which are damaged and fragile. Can these be used?

Yes. Documents, images and photographs can be included in the book. These will be scanned by the interviewer; they do not need to be sent to us. Where necessary, the scanned images can be digitally remastered and enhanced.

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Do you do autobiographies in different languages?

Yes. To date, we have completed private autobiographies in Greek, Spanish, German, French, Turkish, Italian and Norwegian.

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Can I see a completed LifeBook?

All our autobiographies are private and confidential; therefore, we cannot show you a completed book. However, you can read some approved extracts and author testimonials on our website or request a copy of our free booklet.

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What are Audio Highlights?

This is an audio recording of the author reading aloud some of their favourite stories. The recording is presented in a bespoke, gift-boxed USB MiniBook, along with copies of all the images and photographs used in the book, plus the digital book and copyrighted Word document. Interviewers are skilled individuals who undergo full training. They are also subject to a full a background search, which is called a Criminal Records Check (CRC) in the UK. For interviewers who do not reside in the UK, we will perform the equivalent check appropriate for the country where they reside. LifeBook™ ghostwriters are highly qualified writers with backgrounds in media, journalism or academia. LifeBook™ project managers have extensive experience in project management and co-ordinate between the editing, proofreading and production team members.

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The Interviews

Where will the interviews take place and how long are they?

The author’s children and grandchildren should recognise the author from the writing.

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How many meetings are there?

There are 12 meetings in total:

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Who conducts the interviews?

A locally appointed interviewer who has been specifically chosen, background checked and fully trained to guide the recounting experience and prompt reminiscences.

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Do you have an interviewer available in the author’s area?

The relationship between the author and interviewer is a very important one, so our interviewers are carefully chosen for each project based on the author’s requirements and the personal background information provided to us. We have a vast team of trained and checked interviewers, but if we don’t already have someone suitable and available in the author’s area, then we start the recruitment and training process. In our experience, this typically takes two to eight weeks.

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How do you go about recruiting?

Recruitment is handled by our HR department. We have a large pool of proven interviewers and ghostwriters; however, when we recruit, we carefully select experienced professionals to suit the author and the author’s story. Once selected, each interviewer undergoes full background checks and a bespoke training programme, on which they are tested. Our interviewers’ personalities and backgrounds may vary broadly, but we recruit individuals who enjoy the company of others and possess empathy and active listening and questioning skills. They will be respectful toward an individual’s privacy, they will be open-minded and mature in their outlook and they are required to act within the professional guidelines set down within their LifeBook training.

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Can a family member be present during the interviews?

Each session is designed to fully engage the author with an enjoyable activity, so we suggest that the author has their interviews alone. We have found that additional family attendees, although well-meaning, can sometimes distract the storytelling and thus detract from the author’s enjoyment.

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The Writing

Who will be the ghostwriter?

The ghostwriter will be selected from our team of professional writers. We take great care in matching the author with someone who will write in the ‘author’s voice’.

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What do you mean by ‘author’s voice’?

The author’s children and grandchildren should recognise the author from the writing.

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What if the author is not sure if they have remembered something correctly?

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What is the best way to structure an autobiography: chronologically or by subject matter?

This decision is of course entirely down to the author, and the book will take whatever form they choose. We find that most authors tend to adopt a chronological structure, but, of course, we are happy to offer assistance and advice to help make the best choice.

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What if there are stories the author doesn’t want to include?

This is the author’s legacy, so it will only include the stories that they want written down. Even if a story comes up during the interviews and later in the process the author changes their mind about including it in the book, it can be removed. Nothing goes to print without the author seeing and approving it first.

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Does the author have to spellcheck the book?

No. The project team includes a professional editor and proofreader. They will check not only spelling and grammar but also story consistency and structure.

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What if the author doesn’t like the writing style?

Don’t worry. Because we have the audio recording, we can go back after the first review and re-write according to the author’s preferences.

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Rights

Who owns the copyright?

LifeBook owns all copyright until the book is completed, paid for in full and handed over to the author. Thereafter, the copyright of the text belongs to the author. See our terms and conditions for full details.

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Can the author sell their autobiography to clients and customers?

Once completed, the autobiography belongs to the author. The author is responsible for any libel, breach of privacy, copyright infringement or similar risks. See our terms and conditions for full details.

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What guarantees do you offer?

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What is LifeBook’s policy on confidentiality?

All LifeBook employees and associates are subject to rigorous confidentiality clauses within their contracts. The Author Consent form confirms our commitment to confidentiality.

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