The Autobiography Step by Step
Once you’ve purchased the LifeBook product you feel best suits you, our consultants will send your details on to your assigned project manager. We’ll also send you the welcome pack.
- Welcome letter from our founder, Roy Moëd
- Your LifeBook journal
- Sample booklet
The journal will introduce you to the whole LifeBook experience in detail and is typical of how your finished LifeBook will actually look and feel. It’s also a great tool for prompting memories and jotting down ideas before and during the interviewing stage.
Project Manager Introduction
Your personal project manager is the glue that holds the project together; they will be on hand at all times to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that your LifeBook is everything you want it to be.
They will remain in regular contact with you to keep you updated on anything you might need to know. If you have any questions about your project, you can contact your project manager at any time.
As all interviews and meetings are recorded from beginning to end, your project manager is able to listen to the recordings and feed back to you or the interviewer, and liaise with your team, in order to allow you to relax and enjoy your experience.
Once we know a little bit about you, we will carefully select an interviewer who lives within a reasonable distance to you and who will make sure your LifeBook experience is as enjoyable as we know it can be. Before starting, they will have undergone background and reference checks and they will have had the full LifeBook training. We do ask you to be patient as, in some instances, this process can take from two to eight weeks. Our interviewers are cultured, good listeners, very personable, patient and open-minded. Once we have found the right interviewer for you, your project manager will put you in contact with each other to allow you to arrange a mutually convenient date for your first meeting and interview. It is fine if you would like a friend or loved one to be there at that first meeting but it is not necessary.
The interview schedule is arranged between you and your interviewer. The standard structure is as follows:
- Interview 1 – Setup (you can discuss the book’s structure and plan the rest of the sessions)
- Interview 2 – Plus photo selection for inclusion in your LifeBook
- Interview 3 – Review 1 (this is the first opportunity to assess, amend and discuss the writing)
- Interview 4 – Plus photo selection
- Interview 5 – Review 2
- Interview 6 – Plus photo selection
- Interview 7 – Review 3
- Interview 8 – Plus photo scanning (we never take your precious photos away from your home)
- Interview 9 – Review 4
- Interview 10 – Plus photo scanning
This is a major review of the whole book and your chosen photographs. You can make final changes if needed.
Audio highlights recording
This is made from a 60-minute recording taken once the manuscript has been completed.
Sign-off to Typeset
You can review the final text and photographs before confirming you are happy to move them on to typesetting.
Sign-off to Print
After typesetting, you will receive a proof copy of the book’s pages in order to sign them off for printing and binding.
We are equally careful to select the most appropriate ghostwriter to bring your story to life. While our ghostwriters are certainly very creative, they also possess the skill of being able to put themselves in another’s shoes to keep the story as close to the author’s ‘true voice’ as possible. You can trust our ghostwriters to uphold LifeBook’s standards in confidentiality, as well as quality. As professionals, our ghostwriters welcome feedback from you – via your interviewer and project manager – and from your LifeBook editor in order to incorporate it into your text so that your autobiography is exactly as you would want it to be. Simply discuss with your interviewer in your review sessions any ideas and alterations you may have and your ghostwriter will be able to pick this up in the recording and make the changes accordingly.
The text of your autobiography will be carefully monitored by a LifeBook editor. They will ensure that spellings, facts, names, stories etc. are clear and consistent. They will also flag up any areas that may need a little more information from you or a bit of reworking by the ghostwriter. Once you have answered any questions from the editor or ghostwriter, you can then focus on whether the tone of the writing truly reflects your personality. Although each review copy you receive will have been seen by your editor before reaching you, it is only after the 11th meeting that your book will be fully proofread.
Audio Highlights Recording
Now included in your LifeBook project is an audio recording (audiobook) of you reading out your favourite stories from your own book at your final review. Made from a 60-minute recording taken during the 12th meeting, your LifeBook USB stick contains your Audio Highlights and all your photos, as improved by us for printing. This is presented in a beautiful presentation case for you to enjoy and share. It’s very special for friends and family to be able to hear your voice telling your stories.
Once you have signed off the text and photographs, they will be handed over to our typesetter. Setting the book involves placing the text into a LifeBook template and then manipulating and working that template to ensure the text runs smoothly between pages and meets our high aesthetic standards. It is at this point that the photographs – already scanned by you and your interviewer – will be incorporated into the book, either at the end of each chapter or as one photograph section at the end or middle of the book.
Your text gets a fresh pair of eyes in the form of a proofreader. A proofreader’s job is different from that of the editor, who reads the text carefully for sense. The proofreader instead concentrates solely on ensuring your book’s grammar and spelling is perfect and that no errors have been introduced during typesetting. Due to the time and care taken by the typesetter and proofreader to ensure that each word and image falls in the correct place, it is not possible to add or remove large sections of text once it has been typeset (this is why the Sign-Off to Typeset meeting is so important). You will then receive a proof copy of the pages of the book so that you can see the layout of the text, photographs and captions. Once you have confirmed that you are happy with the look and content of your book, we will move it on to the final, exciting stage: printing.
Printers and Binders
We entrust the task of printing, stitching and binding your LifeBook to specialists skilled in both traditional and modern printing methods. The bookbinders use a long-lasting and high-grade archive paper and stitch it in small sections. They then add your hardcover with your chosen linen and embossed lettering colour combination, and this artisan process can take up to three weeks. As soon as they’re ready, the books will be sent directly to you so that you can start enjoying, sharing and treasuring them.