The information below outlines the process and pricing for work on memoirs. For information on editing services, please see Editing Services
Initial Consultation: Free
Our initial consultation will preferably be in-person, but it can also be by email, telephone, or Skype. I will listen to what you have in mind. Then, I’ll show you some samples of my work, and explain what I have to offer. We will discuss how we would work together, and, if you are interested, I will prepare an estimate for you on the cost of my services. Click here to email Acorn Memoirs.
Quotation, Contract, and Schedule: Free
When you decide you wish to work with me, I then draw up a contract for you to sign. This indicates what services Acorn Memoirs will provide, and outlines cost by service, and/or by hourly rate, depending on what we have decided. At that time, I will also give you a schedule, outlining our process, and including a timeline of deliverables and payment dates.
You will be asked to provide a mutually agreed-upon downpayment. The contract also stipulates that you can terminate work on the project at any time, paying only for work completed up to that point, calculated at an hourly rate.
Project Stages for a Memoir, Family History, or Special Occasion Book: From Interviews to Publication
We will establish timelines for these stages together. The process varies depending upon the type of project you choose to do. For example, a memoir usually only involves interviewing the subject, or narrator, of the book, whereas family histories and tribute books often involve interviewing several people.
Step One: Interviews
Interviews: We will meet for sixty minute sessions for the interviews. For a full-length book, eight to ten interviews is usually what is required. Ideally this will be once a week, but we will work this out according to what works for your schedule. The interviews are a pleasant experience, and are recorded using professional-quality digital equipment. During this stage, we also select photos and documents to include in your book.
Step Two: First Draft
First Draft: Working from transcripts of the interviews, I organize and shape the interview material into a first draft. If desired, I do supplemental research to add context to your stories, and incorporate this into the manuscript. Typically, your manuscript is written in the first person, so that it is your story, told by you, in your voice. Once completed, the first draft is submitted to you for feedback.
Step Three: Second Draft
Second Draft: After I have received feedback from you on the first draft. I prepare the second draft. This draft incorporates your feedback and makes further improvements to the manuscript. I also scan your photographs with a professional quality scanner, and optimize the quality of the photos in preparation for print, if you desire this service. In this draft all elements of your book (preface, table of contents, appendices, etc.) are in place according to book publishing standards and the text has been laid out to indicate placement of photos and illustrations. This draft is submitted to you for feedback.
Step Four: Final Draft
Final Draft: All requested changes have been made and the entire manuscript is copy-edited and proofread to professional standards. You receive the final draft for approval and sign-off.
Step Five: Book Design and Cover
Book Design and Cover: We discuss book design options and book cover design. I provide you with several options, and you select the one you like the best.
Step Six: Final Preparation for Printing
Proof and Final Preparation for Print: The proof is created by the printer, and the final technical edit and proofread is done by Acorn Memoirs.
Step Seven: Project Completion!
Once the final proof has been perfected, your books are printed and delivered. Time to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of what will have been a meaningful experience. Your story has been preserved in a beautiful, quality book and is ready to share with family and friends. Your family, now, and in the future, will appreciate the gift you have given them in preserving your stories.
Communication takes place throughout the process, as you provide feedback on the first, second, and final drafts. This is an open and friendly process, which ideally takes place by email, but can also be done by telephone, and in-person.
The confidentiality of your material is of paramount importance to Acorn Memoirs. No information from your project is shared with anyone, except by your request, or with your express permission.
Each project is different in terms of the amount of time it takes to complete, depending on the amount of material provided and used, and what services you require. For example, photo-scanning and supplementary research to enhance the text of your story are services that some people want, but others don’t. My priorities are the quality of your experience, and the quality of my work. My expertise in structuring your memoir, and perfecting the language, enables me to create a flowing narrative that really captures the narrator’s voice. The quality of the manuscripts I create is one of the defining characteristics of my work, and I take the utmost care at all stages of the process so that I create the best possible book for my clients. In other words, I work efficiently, but I take the time that is necessary to do quality work.
It is generally agreed that for every hour of interviewing, it takes 15 to 20 additional hours of work to prepare a manuscript for printing. In my experience, it takes at least 20 hours per hour of interview material for a project that includes multiple photos, or requires developmental editing. Another way of looking at the cost of a full personal history is that the investment you make in your personal history project may be considered as on par with the cost of a vacation. Just as you may plan a simple vacation, or an elaborate one, so with the book you wish to create. A number of different options are available in terms of how long you want your book to be, what you wish to include, how elaborate you want the design to be, what type of book you want, etc. This is something we will discuss. My goal is to create a quality product for you, whether it is short or long, simply presented, or of archival quality.
Once we discuss your needs, I will create an estimate for you, based on the projected number of hours required to complete your project. For clients who wish to have editing services only, I simply bill by my hourly rate. Please contact me if you have questions about this, or to discuss your project.