Do you need help to get your life story or memoir written?
Everyone has a story, but not everyone is a natural writer or wishes to write their story down themselves. Some people are better at talking than writing, so they want to tell their story and get someone else to write it down for them. And some people may have started writing their life story but have hit a brick wall and need help, either to continue writing it, or someone else to write the rest for them.
That’s the type of people who hire a life story writer to document their story, memoir or autobiography, and help them self-publish their life story.
How our life story writers can assist you
This is the way Sally-Anne and the team at On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading work with storytellers, to type and self-publish their life stories or memoirs as printed self-published books.
- First, we meet with you to discuss what you need, your target audience, how we can help you, and how much it will cost. (No charge for this initial meeting.) This meeting may be face to face, via telephone, or via Zoom.
- If you have written any notes or started writing your life story, or have any old letters that are relevant to your story, we read and use that as a starting point. Otherwise, we just start with verbal scribing sessions .
- At our first scribing session: we sit with you and type what you say, as you speak. These sessions are face to face, via telephone, and/or via Zoom. While we type, we ask you questions to clarify information, or ask for more details about your experiences, memories or stories. The length of each scribing session always depends on the storyteller’s needs, but sessions usually go for two or three hours.
- Between sessions, we edit what we have typed and mark up places where we need extra information or clarification. We meet with you again to scribe in more information as you speak. We continue to consult with you and type in more material for your book until we both agree that we have scribed enough material for your book.
- Around this time, we consult with you about any photos or illustrations you want included in your book; about the need for front matter (and possibly end matter) and what to include; about the title and your and our ideas for the cover design; and we write up the final material, as per your instructions.
- We then structurally edit your story so that it is easy to read and understand, by your intended audience. This includes getting everything into the right order – which may be chronological, thematic or in whatever order makes the most sense.
- Once the structure is finalised and all the material has been scribed, written, and edited at least once, we do a final copy edit of the whole book.
- The next steps of self-publishing your book will depend on two things: your audience (who you want to read the book), and your budget. (A) If your book is for a mainstream audience (e.g. libraries, bookshops) or if you want it to be professionally produced, we will design the inside pages and cover at a highly professional level, and work with the printer to print the number of copies you request. (B) If your book is for your family only, we can produce it as either (i) a more expensive, professionally designed book fit for a bookshop shelf, or (ii) an inexpensive photocopied, staple-bound book that doesn’t look professional but suits your family’s needs.
- You are the author. This book is your story, as spoken by you. We’ve just edited and designed it in the right way so it’s easy to read. Once your self-published book is safely in your hands, our job is done. You own the books and the copyright. Be proud of yourself: you have self-published your first book.
More information about life story writing services:
Life story writers work in different ways and offer different types of services. For information about life story writers in general , go to Life Stories Australia.
For more information about On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading’s services in respect to life story writing, go to:
You may also find this article helpful: The steps of producing a self-published book.
Proofread by Dee Sansom, On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading.
Image: Seamus, Delia & Sally-Anne holding their self-published book.
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