Just like trust services are not exclusively for the wealthy, memoirs are not just for the famous. Every family has a story. One of the longest-lasting legacies you can leave your descendants is a memoir that can let your loved ones continue to connect with you after you’re gone. Or you can encourage parents or grandparents to create one to connect you with them — and your family’s history.
Of course, this can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Fortunately, there are many memoir-writing services than can help you write your memoirs and even create copies the extended family can share.
Below are just a few of the options you have for creating a memoir:
McNair Writes. Clarissa “Cici” McNair has written memoirs for clients in Paris, New York, Houston and Miami, among other places. A former journalist with CBC-TV in Toronto and Vatican Radio in Rome, she has also written novels — and her own memoir, “Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts.”
Real Life Stories. Sheridan Hill has 25 years of writing experience with a wide range of publications, including Reader’s Digest, and was featured in the AARP Bulletin. She works with a team of publishing professionals.
The Story Scribe. Amy Woods Butler has handled stories from Latin Americans, Midwestern grandmothers, Southern gentlemen, a Cherokee state trooper and a refugee from Hurricane Katrina. She has been published in a wide variety of newspapers.
How does it work?
Each service has a different way of working, but there are some similarities, and most of the services offer a variety of options. Typically, the writer will interview you in person, if feasible, or over the phone. The end product is a digital manuscript, although most can also arrange for it to be printed and bound for family members. They may also help you sort through family photographs for inclusion.
How much does it cost?
Many services offer a la carte options, so you pay for what you want. Or they may offer an all-inclusive package. Costs range wildly — you can pay as little as $1,000 or as much as $75,000. Don’t assume more money always leads to a better product: You need to find out what you get specifically, how in-depth you really need, or want, to go into your family’s history, and how well you connect with the writer.
What should you ask the writer?
When getting pricing, find out what you’re getting — what is included in a specific package and what extras are available.
- How does the writer work? What is the interview process like?
- What is the final product, and are there various options?
- How long will it take?
- Are there samples the writer can show you? Can you get testimonials from past clients?
- Will you be working just with the writer or with a team? Both can be good options, but be sure you know the deal at the outset.
- Can you see early drafts to make sure you’re in agreement on how it’s going?
Good luck in creating what could be your family’s most treasured legacy.
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Enjoy Reading “Another Kind of Legacy: The Memoir”? Check out our previous post: Don’t Give Your Adult Children Your House
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