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Disrupting Technologies: A Project to Live For (Roy Moëd)

Our founder Roy Moed was interviewed by YPO for their website about the inspiration behind LifeBook. It’s great to see such an amazing organisation showing an interest in Roy’s campaign to help people care for their parents.

YPO Video

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“Whether people say it or not, legacy is really important and fundamental to an elder adult.” Roy Moed shares how his aging parents inspired an innovative book business, LifeBook more than words.

LifeBook Author Derek Abbott Visits The Office

With Christmas and New Year behind us

With Christmas and New Year behind us, what better way to start off January than with a visit from one of our very early LifeBook authors? Derek Abbott and his wife, Ruth, visited the office for a catch up, a cuppa and to sign a copy of his new LifeBook for us. It was a lovely chance to meet one of our former LifeBook authors.

2012 PPC compared to 2018 Mohawk paper and linen-bound

LifeBook has been operating since 2012, when our books were very different from how they are today. In those early days, we printed and bound our authors’ stories into PPC-style books. Whilst this produced a unique and precious heirloom, we wanted to do something different for the final book and therefore changed the style of finish; we want our books to really stand out. Now, when creating our authors’ autobiographies, our bookbinders use Mohawk archival paper to produce hard-backed, linen-bound copies, with an embossed name and title on the cover and spine, as well as a customised dust.


“The Facilitator”

Derek’s original book had been well-received by friends and family, but when he requested a second print run, we thought it was an ideal opportunity to typeset it in our new style. With this new typeset came a chance to revisit the stories that helped Derek to earn the nickname, ‘Mr Facilitator’.

Mr Facilitator Derek Abbott

Within the LifeBook are Derek’s memories of growing up during the Second World War, his military service and his successful career in the independent grocery sector. Also included are the stories surrounding his extensive charitable work, a point that Derek had never considered until he re-read his stories when signing off the print run.

We had enjoyed working with Mr Facilitator back in 2012 and this was repeated once more as we prepared the latest edition of his LifeBook. We now hope that the new-look books will continue to be enjoyed by Derek and his family for years to come. Thank you, Derek!

Tom Harnett – Project Manager


LifeBook are currently experiencing our busiest Christmas

With Christmas rapidly approaching (only three weeks to go at the time of writing!), we here at LifeBook are currently experiencing our busiest Christmas production schedule yet. We’re not just looking to complete projects in the UK for Christmas; currently we have authors in America, Canada, Europe and even Australia all on schedule to receive their books in time for the festive season.

 Founded in 2012

Since LifeBook started in 2012, we have delivered autobiographies to 15 countries across the world, with thousands of family members and friends receiving copies of a LifeBook. Unfortunately, Santa is a little too busy to help with our deliveries this year, but at least we’re now on first-name terms with our local courier.

LifeBook Life Is For Sharing

The LifeBook Individual autobiography package

Every one of our authors receives 10 copies of their book, as featured in the autobiography package, although many order more than that number so that as many family members and friends as possible can be presented with the author’s life story as a wonderful gift at Christmas. As a result, we’re keeping our bookbinders busy with hundreds of books to produce, pack and deliver.

The Christmas rush at LifeBook, like the big day itself, is a flurry of activity. Final edits are returned and signed off, final proofs are checked, double-checked and then checked again, before they are signed off to print.

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With plenty of books being wrapped and prepared as Christmas gifts, we love to hear about our authors’ plans for presenting their books to the family on Christmas Day ‒ a beautiful gift of a loved one’s legacy is something we take pride in producing.

At this time of year, our Christmas authors are rapidly approaching the end of their LifeBook journey. Some of them originally purchased the project for themselves, while others received their project as a gift from a friend or family member. At the start of each new project, we send a LifeBook Journal to the author, thereby providing them with a useful place to make a note of any memories, ideas and general jottings for the project. The LifeBook Journal is produced with the same finish as the final product and this welcome pack is supplied in a beautiful gift box, which itself makes an ideal Christmas present for that special person who already has everything!

To find out more, download our booklet from our website, which contains a detailed description of how the project works and includes some samples and testimonials from previous authors.

LifeBook Booklet

Read genuine author’s stories

Why not share your story with us @LifeBookUK or let us know what you are planning for the festive season.

Meanwhile, on behalf of everyone here at LifeBook, we wish you all a very merry Christmas!


Roy Moed: : LifeBook Founder

Roy Moëd LifeBook Founder

LifeBook – Tour of McLaren Technology Centre

Our founder Roy Moëd was out and about today on a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre as part of an IoD event aimed at inspiring businesses in Surrey. It was held in association with Driving for Better Business.

IoD Logo

The day included presentations by Simon Turner of Driving for Better Business and Rob Melville, McLaren Design Director, plus a fantastic tour of the factory.

The whole event allowed for a fascinating insight into the world of McLaren and the efforts made by businesses such as McLaren to improve the standard of driving on the roads of Surrey. Our authors often have stories about their first car and of passing driving tests several decades ago. Maybe some of you can remember the classic racing McLarens?

“As a long-term member of the Institute of Directors, I was excited this week to be invited to the McLaren facility in Woking, Surrey.

“The visit began with an excellent presentation from Simon Turner of Driving for Better Business. He spoke about the opportunities available to all businesses for better driving and the effect this has on the workforce, on safety and on economy within companies – and, therefore, on the profitability of those companies. I asked Simon about the implications for charities when using volunteers to drive vehicles that have been donated to the charity. This is a very complex subject and trustees are often involved in responsibilities that would normally only apply to commercial enterprises.

“Following on from the presentation, the Chief Executive of McLaren Automotive, Mike Flewitt, was presented with a Business Champion Award from Driving for Better Business. McLaren has been striving for some time to involve all their employees and dealers in the Champion scheme. This covers all sorts of topics, from carrying out test drives to the attitude of McLaren staff when out on the roads.

“Personally, I was very excited to hear the story of the McLaren journey from Rob Melville, McLaren’s Director of Design. He explained the ways in which the company’s designers are motivated to incorporate the ethos of McLaren into the design of their vehicles. My day ended with a tour through the entire McLaren boulevard and factory.

“The story of Bruce McLaren, who started McLaren in 1932, and the way in which the company has grown over the years, strongly lends itself to the LifeBook ethos of producing corporate stories, capturing them to turn them into precious legacies for future generations.”

Roy Moed: : LifeBook Founder

Roy Moëd: Institute of Directors member for more than 30 years.

Roy talks about LifeBook to Alara Kap of BASED ISTANBUL

Jules on his bike

Jules Moed


LifeBook is a project I came across and fell in love with during a family gathering where I found myself listening closely to the story of Roy Moed, a man who founded a company that transforms life stories to life books, immortalising memories in the most nostalgic way possible. After a well-though process of 12 weeks, one’s words are translated into written ones, and a LifeBook is born. From first words to first heartbreaks, unkept promises to kept secrets, LifeBook reveals as much as one is willing to; without any judgement or prejudice … (Alara Kap)

What is the process of writing one’s story?

There are 3 steps:
1. 12 meetings are done whereby the subject is interviewed and recorded.
2. The recorded interviews are written by a ghostwriter.
3. The finished book is edited and typeset.

Following on from this, the books are printed and handmade in London on archive paper and stitched and bound.

Do you interview other people related to the person who is writing their story? After all, some stories need double-checking …!

No, the stories are purely the author’s stories, and we say it is the ‘author’s version of the truth.’ None of the stories are researched or fact-checked. After all, they are not for sale and are for private consumption by the family.

Once the book is written, the person is asked to come up with a title. Why do you think it’s important for a person to come up with a title themselves?

Sometimes the author has a title before they start. I also think the title in some way defines if it is aimed to be a serious autobiography or an amusing look back on one’s life. We are often asked to help with the title.

However, I have tried to ban ‘My Life’.

If you want to read the rest of the article please click here.

Forgotten war stories brought alive with the help of autobiography company


The best history books are packed with first-hand accounts, detailed anecdotes and unique perspectives that reveal real human life stories from a distinct period in time.  

As  Remembrance  Sunday  approaches  (13th  November),  the  memories  of  those  who  have  lived  through times of war are firmly at the forefront of the nation’s minds.

While thousands  of people have incredible stories to share of their experiences  of these times, many keep these tales to themselves or fail to document them so they can be passed on to future generations.

Although 64 per cent of Brits admit to being told war stories by their parents or grandparents* only eight per cent of these storytellers have managed to write them down. In fact, one in five of those who experienced theSecond  World  War  first-hand  has  forgotten  many  experiences  completely,  meaning  they  have  already missed the opportunity to document these important pieces of social history.

The  importance  of  preserving  these  informative  and  irreplaceable  insights  led  entrepreneur,  Roy  Moëd  to create  LifeBook –  a  bespoke  autobiography  service –  which  he  set  up  in 2012  after  encouraging  his  own father to document his memories.

“My  father  was  nearing  the  end  of  his  life,  was  almost blind  and  felt  he  didn’t  have  much  to  contribute anymore,” comments Mr MoëdJules Moed LifeBook. “I wanted to find him a project to work on, something he could look forward to.

“I knew there would be stories from his past that he might feel a little uncomfortable sharing with me so I sent a friend to meet with him once a week so he didn’t have to hold back or have the worry of telling me a story he had already told me a thousand times.”

Forgotten war stories brought alive with the help of Surrey autobiography company

Mr  Moëd’s father  passed  away  before  they  were  able  to  finish  the book  completely  but  provided  the inspiration  to  set  up  LifeBook.  The  aim  was  to  encourage  other  people  to  start  the  journey  of  storytelling, share their life stories and leave a lasting legacy.

LifeBook sends an interviewer,  weekly for a period of 12 weeks, to interview and record a person’s stories. After  each  session,  their verbal  recollections  are  turned  into the  written  word –  in  the  author’s voice –and then amended and edited as the author sees fit.

Once  the  chapters  have  been  written  and  approved,  they  are  then  typeset  into  five hand-crafted,  stitched linen-covered, 160-page hardback books, including up to 60 photographs.

To date LifeBook has helped several hundred people across 15 different countries document their stories for family and friends – many of them First and Second World War veterans.

Mr Moëd adds: “Although these books are very much something for the family of the authors to treasure for years  to  come  they  are  often  shared  with  friends  and  kept  for,  as  yet,  unborn  grandchildren  and  great grandchildren.” 

A LifeBook Record

We were very pleased to be visited by our LifeBook author, John Franklin, this week. He popped in to sign our office copy, after a long day of signing copies for his friends and family!

John worked with LifeBook’s bespoke service to complete a manuscript into which he had put many years of hard work. Whilst our normal autobiographies are usually around 160 pages long with 60 photographs, at 608 pages and with numerous photographs, letters and documents, The Weaver and His Crinoline Lady is our biggest LifeBook yet! This beautiful large-format book with a custom designed cover was finally completed in just five months with LifeBook’s help.FRANKLIN copy

Mr Franklin said: “Amazing what the end product has turned out to be. Something LifeBook can be proud of! A very big thank you to my project manager, Caroline, for the great effort and professionalism she brought to making the tome the fine end product it is.”

Congratulations to Mr Franklin; you and your loved ones are now in possession of a legacy you can treasure forever.

BBC Feature on LifeBook: Memoirs are no longer just for the rich and famous

Recording your life story in a book just got easier. Here’s how …

Ali Hall struck upon the idea of her elderly father turning his life story into a book as a way of helping lift his spirits.

‘Angel-haired’ aid worker memoir ridiculed

Be warned, penning your memoirs can leave you wide open to criticism. Actress Louise Linton found herself at the centre of a social media storm this week after publishing her recollections of a student gap year trip doing aid work in Zambia as an 18-year-old. The hashtag #LintonLies has been used on Twitter more than 7500 times.

A distinguished endocrinologist and academic, Robert Levin, now 82, from Boston, Massachusetts had Parkinson’s disease and his faculties were fading. “His profession was his purpose in life,” said Hall, a leadership coach in her 40s, who lives near Oxford in England.

Across the Atlantic from her father, Hall was saddened that their telephone conversations were tending towards small talk. “Our conversations were more and more about sport and less and less about things I thought were really meaningful or interesting. At the same time there was more and more I wanted to know about his life.” Through word of mouth she heard about a biography writing service.

It was an opportunity for him to reflect and tell the story he wanted to tell about his life

“When I mentioned the idea to him he really lit up,” Hall said. She entrusted the project to LifeBook, a company which has produced more than 400 personal memoirs since its launch in 2012. Over about eight months, her father confided his memories to an interviewer who visited him regularly at home. “Dad would review his notes, go through pictures. It was something he could think about and engage with,” she said.

The recordings were then crafted into a narrative by a ghostwriter. The result was Dancing with the Doctor, a hardback book with photographs and letters which Levin gave to family, friends and former colleagues.


“The process really gave my dad a sense of purpose again,” said Hall. “It was an opportunity for him to reflect and tell the story he wanted to tell about his life.”

Memoirs are most often written by well-known personalities with book deals from traditional publishers. But now, companies specialising in producing biographies in small print runs are allowing anyone to share their memories in print. While the rise of e-books has allowed anyone to write a book and publish online, the quality can vary a lot. Unlike self-publishing, these biography providers are producing books crafted by seasoned professional interviewers, editors and publishing professionals.

Unlike bestselling celebrity autobiographies, these are stories of ordinary people, told in their own words, using private photographs, with print runs limited to a few copies. Demand is spreading throughout English speaking countries in particular. A growing number of biography makers are catering to people prepared to pay for professional help to capture precious memories before they are lost.

Capturing life experience

Each author’s motivation is unique. Ichko Gombodorj, 39, wanted to map the rocky path she has travelled since leaving post-Soviet Mongolia. “I wanted to close a chapter in my life and move on to new opportunities,” said Gombodorj. “I’m not 100% Mongolian or 100% English. That’s the idea I wanted to share with the rest of the world. I want to create a bridge between east and west.”


After settling in southern England 18 years ago, she found her Mongolian qualifications were unrecognised in the UK. So she studied for a master’s degree in finance at Henley Business School, University of Reading, while coping with single motherhood and holding down a job.

After graduating, she felt compelled to document her story. Online she came across Story Terrace, a biography writing service, and in 2015, over a period of around six months, she worked with one of their professional ghostwriters to produce her memoirs, Rising Butterfly.

She said the book was an extension of her CV, a way to thank people who had helped her over the years, and a way to inform them of Mongolia. “People only know of Genghis Khan. I wanted to update them about 21st-Century Mongolia.”

How it works

The memoir makers quote from 10 weeks to six months for the full production process, but it often takes longer, depending on how long the customer needs to track down family photos.

LifeBook USA charges $6,000, paid in instalments, for five hardback copies of an individual autobiography of up to 160 pages and 60 images.

Story Terrace offers three packages, of which the most popular costs between $2,250 and $3,150. These include four hardback copies and a digital copy of an autobiography of up to 90 pages and 30 photos.

Those who decide to try and sell their books have to accept legal responsibility for risks such as defamation, breach of privacy and copyright infringement.

Telling your story

As well as leaving an heirloom, many people find the process of telling their life story therapeutic. It’s a benefit LifeBook founder Roy Moed witnessed first-hand after devising the concept to cheer up his own father Jules, who in his later years had become blind.

My parents live on because of this book

Moed had his secretary interview his father every week about his life, and the stories were brought together in a book, with photographs. “My parents died within six days of each other. It was quite a traumatic time.

“For me, my parents live on because of this book,” Moed said.

The book had been a one-off idea to bring comfort to his father. But Moed, a serial entrepreneur, realised that many people might welcome the opportunity to set down their story in print.

“The major breakthrough was when I realised that the interviewer and the ghostwriter didn’t need to be the same person,” he said. “We could find someone within 30 minutes of where a client lives, train them in our methods and in how to keep an interview log.” This raw material could then be transformed into biographies by professional ghostwriters.

Originally set up in the UK, LifeBook has crafted biographies for clients in 15 countries and in March 2016 launched LifeBook USA in Florida. Most books are in English, but the firm also works in Spanish, German, French and Greek.

Moed said he had seen “huge growth” in the US. “Since we launched trials for LifeBook USA six weeks ago, we’ve had several hundred enquiries.”

Meanwhile, Story Terrace launched in Holland in 2014, moved into the UK in 2015 and this year into the US. It has created more than 100 memoirs, mostly for grandparents keen to pass on their stories and mid-lifers curious about their parents’ experience. Some are commissioned by entrepreneurs who want to record the development of their business alongside a personal narrative, as well as charities and sports teams looking to document their stories.

Finding a writerBut whether it’s the history of a business or of a life journey, for Story Terrace, the most important part of the process is finding the right writer — unlike LifeBook, the company uses the same person to conduct interviews and write the story. “The whole experience and how the voice of the customer is captured is driven by that,” said London-based Rutger Bruining, founder of Story Terrace.

The most important part is finding the right writer

“We want people to feel as comfortable with their writer as they would sitting at home chatting over a glass of wine with family and friends.”

Family treasures

Although it is possible for people to sell these books, most of the memoirs are intended purely for family. That was certainly the case for Hall. Her father’s hardback memoir Dancing with the Doctor is a treasure to be passed down through the generations, revealing his “great spirit”. But the process was also a heartening experience for both father and daughter.

“Some people go their whole life without being able to tell their story and to be able to give that as a gift is amazing. One hundred percent it gave dad a new lease of life.”