One of LifeBook’s clients and a close friend of our founder, Mr Ariel Eckstein has kindly shared with us one of his ‘greatest regrets’
As the founder of LifeBook, I regularly hear the remorseful words, ‘I wish I had my […]’s memoirs, but it’s too late.’
LifeBook talks to thousands of people every year about capturing a loved one’s life story to produce a memoir for future generations. However, one of our biggest frustrations is when someone definitely wants the memoir but wants to ‘think about it’, and then, for whatever reason, they leave it too long and end up regretting it when either their loved one’s memory has faded or they have passed away and it’s no longer possible.
On one such occasion, a close friend, Ariel Eckstein, had for over a year been saying to me, ‘Roy, I really want my father’s autobiography and must get around to commissioning LifeBook to do it for me.’ He eventually placed the order over a year later. It was too late …
It wasn’t the price; it was because he had been just ‘too busy’ to pick up the phone and order it.
Ariel very kindly and very bravely tells the story of his regret in this short interview to help others avoid making the same mistake. If you want a loved one’s autobiography, just do it.
Before It’s Too Late …
‘… so I don’t have the LifeBook, which is one of my greatest regrets’
I first heard of LifeBook when I met Roy Moëd, its founder, and it was intriguing to me, particularly on a personal level. I was living in London, my father was living in Mexico City, and we never had enough time together. I had a young family and I was always so busy, so I would see Roy and he’d suggest I’d start, and there was always a reason why not. Finally, I bumped into him about a year later, and I said, ‘I’ve got to stop procrastinating. Please call me tomorrow, I’ll give you my credit card and let’s start.’ He did it. We did it, and LifeBook was able to get a local interviewer in Mexico City to get in touch with my father immediately to set up a date for the first interview. Unfortunately, just three days before they were about to interview, my father did pass away, and so I don’t have the LifeBook, which is one of my greatest regrets. It’s such an amazing gift for me and for my children; having had that, I’d encourage everybody to explore LifeBook and get going with it today.
To start your LifeBook autobiography call us on +44 (0) 203 291 1169 or e-mail us at email@example.com
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.
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.
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’.
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!
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.
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.
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 Moëd LifeBook Founder
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.
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 Moëd: Institute of Directors member for more than 30 years.
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’.
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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 Moëd. “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.”
Roy Moëd’s home office is rich with history: there’s the Wurlitzer jukebox in the corner, blaring his mother’s crackly opera 45s; his grandfather’s leather-bound South African passport in a glass case; and a bookshelf that is slowly filling with memoirs.
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.
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.
An interesting discussion from the editorial team of the Reader’s Digest podcast about the transition from childhood to adulthood, plus contributions from a best-selling novelist and a debut novelist.