So, how does it work?

[NOTE: We call our clients “Authors” since they will be credited for writing their books.]

The process can be broken down into four phases:


1. The Interview Phase

Life Writers will set up an interview time and location with the Author (the person telling their life story). Interview time lengths depend on how much the Author wants to include in their book. Interviews are ideally done in-person at the Author’s location of choice. They can also be done via video conference (using software such as Zoom) or by telephone.

2. The Writing Phase

Our writing team creates the first draft of the manuscript, which is the written text that will go into the book. They transform the audio recording into written chapters with the goal of readability and logical flow, as well as spelling, grammar, and clarity.

The first draft manuscript is delivered to the Author for review and editing. This is where the Author can add, change, delete, reword or re-articulate any of the text. The Author collaborates with the writing team, so the story is written exactly how the Author wants it.

Once the second draft manuscript is complete, the Author can make any final changes, additions or deletions they desire. When all the changes are dialed in and the Author is satisfied with the manuscript, we have the final draft. Then we move on to the next phase … the book design.

3. The Design Phase

Once the Author is 100-percent satisfied with the manuscript, we send it to our design team to create the book layout. This is when we will ask the Author for all the personal items they want to include in the book. These items are typically photographs, but they can also be handwritten notes, letters, poems, designs, recipes, awards, song lyrics, artwork, journal entries, newspaper clippings, or other personal items.

The design team interweaves the photos and personal items within the manuscript. They also design the front and back covers according to the Author’s preference.

Once our design team is finished with the layout, we send it to the Author for final review. We then make final changes until the Author is completely satisfied with the text and book design.

4. The Printing and Delivery Phase

Based on the chosen package (see the Package Costs and Comparison section of our website) the book’s characteristics are specified for the printing phase. Add-ons and custom packages* are available in case one of the packages does not satisfy the Author.

Once the files are sent to the printer it takes about a month and the book of your life will appear at your door.

[*Please contact us for a cost estimate for your own custom package.]

How long does the process take?

The timeline of the project will vary depending on the Author’s responsiveness and availability, as well as the size of the project. Please see our Package Costs and Comparisons page and scroll down to the bottom to compare estimated project times in accordance with the size of the project.

The Author may take as long as they need to get their book exactly how they want it. There are no deadlines for the Author.

Do I have to do any writing?

No. We do all the writing for you. All you need to do is tell your story — which we record during the interview — and our writing team takes care of the rest. We do encourage you to be involved in the editing process, but no writing is necessary on your behalf.

Nevertheless, the Author can add their own writing without limit. This is your book, and you are the Author. We are your facilitators.

Who gets credited for being the author?

You will be credited as being the author. Although we do the actual writing, the front cover will have your name below the title. For example, if your name were “Jamie Smith” and you would like the title of your book to be “My Incredible Life Story,” the front cover would read:


By Jamie Smith

Created with Life Writers

Furthermore, once the project is complete and final payment is made, Life Writers releases all the copyrights to you (the Author.)

Who owns the rights to the book?

Life Writers maintains the rights until the final payment is received, at which point the Author and Life Writers execute the “Final Sign Off,” and transfer the copyright to the Author.

The Author then has total ownership of the rights to the audio recording(s), manuscript(s), and book’s contents. This is all outlined in our Services Agreement (our client-service contract).

Can I include photos in the book?

Absolutely. A picture is worth a thousand words. We highly encourage photos to be included and there is no limit to the number of photos you want to have in your book, although printing costs may vary.

Can I include artwork, poems, letters, or images I created?

Yes, you certainly can. These can be digital scanned with a high-resolution scanner or captured by a camera. Including original artwork, poetry, letters, song lyrics, journal entries, and items of the sort are all highly recommended. The more personal items you include, the more the reader gets to know you.

Is the process kept confidential?

Yes. The entire project is 100 percent confidential — the Services Agreement includes a clause that guarantees that all work materials (audio files, manuscripts, photographs, etc.) are kept confidential during the process.

How many copies of the book do I get?

As many as you want. You may order one single copy, several dozen copies, or a thousand copies if you’d like – just keep in mind that printing costs will vary. The Author will receive an estimate for printing costs* and will decide on how many copies they would like before any printing occurs.

[*NOTE: The total price of our individual packages already includes the cost of printing and number of copies (see our Package Costs and Comparisons page of this website).]

What size is the book?

Our preferred book dimensions are 5.5″ wide by 8.5″ tall, and 6″ wide by 9″ tall. However, if the Author would like a different book size, we do offer several other options.

So, how much does it cost to have a book written about my life?

We offer several packages to choose from, but you may also create your own custom package with your desired specifications. To get a cost estimate for your own custom package, please fill out the form below with your requests, and expect a response within 1 business day.

    More frequently asked questions:

    Do I have to pay upfront?

    No, you do not pay for the entire project upfront (unless you want to).

    We provide a free estimate for any custom package – please fill out the contact form below. You may also select packages from our Package Costs and Comparisons page.

    Once an estimate is provided, we ask for 50 percent of the cost upfront and 50 percent upon completion of the writing and designing phase. Once the final payment is made, the files get sent to the printer and we release all copyrights to the Author.

    How are the interviews conducted?

    Ideally interviews are done in-person, one-on-one. This gives us the chance to truly get to know the Author and the Author’s story. Nothing compares to a deep conversation between two individuals in the same room, where the Author has the total undivided attention of the interviewer. Non-verbal cues — the kinds that can’t be detected by phone, or even live video feed in some cases — can tell the interviewer a lot about what the Author is conveying.

    Interviews are typically conducted in a quiet, distraction-free space where the Author is most comfortable. Our interviewers’ recording equipment is compact, discreet and easy to manage.

    If the Author is not comfortable with a live in-person interview, then the second preferred method is through video conferencing software such as Zoom. However, in-person is preferred to avoid technical difficulties (and for the reasons mentioned above).

    It comes down to comfort for the Author. So, whether it’s in-person, by video, or by phone, we are flexible and accommodating.

    What if I don’t have a computer and am not comfortable letting anyone in my house? Can I do the interview by phone?

    Although an in-person interview is preferred, we can conduct the interview by phone. First, we schedule a time to call and do a sound check to ensure that the telephone sound quality is adequate. We will not conduct the interview if your cell service is inadequate.

    Next, we will schedule a time to do the actual interview. Since the interview is going to take some time, all we ask is that you are somewhere quiet, free from distractions, and, most importantly, comfortable.

    Do I get an audio copy of the interview?

    Yes. Once the book is printed, we mail you a USB flash-drive of the entire unedited interview at no extra cost.

    I sometimes forget details about the past. What if my memory is fuzzy?

    It is recommended that prior to the interview, the Author brainstorms and writes down the key elements of their story they want to include in their book. The interviewer will also give prompts during the session to help you remember details.

    If there are things you remember after the interview is finished, you will have the opportunity to include them later. We can either incorporate stories you’ve written down or schedule follow-up phone interviews to get the details you’d like to include. You have until the final proof of the book is ready to go to the printer to add or make changes to your story.

    How does the writing and editing collaboration work?

    Once the interview is complete, the writing team may ask for further details in order to paint a more vivid picture of your story. Below is an example of how an interview transcript is developed into a more reader-friendly and interesting piece of writing:

    1. Author’s original words in the interview:

    We spent six months in Louisiana on the bayou with no money.

    2. The writing team asks the Author for a few more details: “How much money did you have when you got there? Please describe the climate and living conditions.”

    3. The Author emails the response to the questions.

    4. The text is rewritten based on the additional information provided:

    I had $100 in my pocket. The four of us got down there at the worst possible time. There was just no work. We sat down there in our four-bedroom trailer out in the bayou for six months with no income or credit. Our trailer had no air conditioning, and the humidity was 100 percent. Snakes would come into the trailer through holes in the floor. Lucky for us, we had a blind albino cat that would hunt them down while we slept.

    5. The Author approves of the changes.

    6. The writing team continues with the manuscript.

    How much of a say do I have in editing?

    You have 100-percent control of the outcome and final product. This is your book about your life story. Nothing will get printed unless you are completely satisfied with the manuscript (the words) and the layout (the design) of your book.

    Do I need a computer for the editing process?

    The collaboration between the Author and the editing team ideally is done through email. However, we can use any other means the Author prefers: US Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, or simply by telephone.

    What if I remember things I want to include after the interview?

    During the writing and editing process, you have the chance to add to your story as much as you want. It’s not always easy to remember all the details and interesting side stories when you’re on the spot (being interviewed.) We give you as much time as you need to gather all the details — the more vivid a picture you paint, the more powerful your story will be to those reading it.

    What if I decide I want more copies of the book at a later time?

    No problem. We keep your entire project on file for 3 years (or longer if requested) from the printing date. If you would like more copies, simply let us know.

    I’d like to be interviewed and recorded, but don’t want my story to be made into a book. Can you help?

    Yes. We provide what we call an Audio Time Capsule, a 2.5-hour audio recording of an interview, which we conduct based on what the interviewer wants recorded. This could be a general life story, a specific story, a will or testament, a confession, or a simple light-hearted interview with the purpose of preserving the sound of one’s voice … the way they laugh, speak, etc.

    We transfer the audio files onto 6 USB flash-drives and mail them to you in 10 days or less. We also provide an audio “highlights reel” which we edit with music and showcase the best portions (highlights) of the recording.

    Please see our Package Costs and Comparisons page and scroll down to Audio Time Capsule.

    How do I know you aren’t going to steal my story and make money off it?

    Before we get started, the Author and Life Writers execute a Services Agreement, which includes a clause that guarantees your information will be kept 100-percent confidential, and that we cannot use any of it for commercial or marketing purposes, unless agreed upon in writing.

    Is Life Writers a ghostwriting service?

    Yes and no. Although we do act as ghostwriters in the writing phase, Life Writers is more of a one-stop-shop for manifesting one’s life story into a unique and personalized book. We are not a writing service for fictional stories or novels. We write stories from your perspective, in your “voice,” always keeping in mind that you are the Author.

    What if I want a book that includes my spouse, not just me?

    We write life stories of couples as well, not just individuals. As a matter of fact, there is nothing more powerful and precious than the story of two loved ones, sharing their adventures over a span of time.

    In the interview phase, you have the choice whether you want to be interviewed separately or at the same time — just be sure that both agree before we get started.

    Aside from married couples, we can also write the stories of two individuals who shared the same experiences; for example, two business partners and the story of how they started their company, or two friends who want to preserve the memory of their shared adventures. We can accommodate groups as well.

    Please fill out the form below for more details and costs about groups or couple’s books.

    What if I want to get my book professionally published?

    Life Writers is not a publishing company, but we will help you in any way we can if you’d like to take your book to the next level. Because you own the rights to your book and the materials used to create it (audio recording, transcript, manuscript, art, photographs, etc.), you can bring your story to any publisher you want, and Life Writers will provide full cooperation with the publishing company.

    You may decide to self-publish your book (i.e., on and Life Writers can also assist you with. Wherever you want to go with your life story, we will help you.

    For any other questions or inquiries, please fill out the contact form below, and we will get back to you within one business day.