Storyphile | Your life. Your story. For the people you love.

Book Manuscripts

How book manuscripts work

Storyphile uses transcripts of your recorded interviews to develop your life story into a production-ready manuscript.

We conduct research to establish the details of place and time. We add photos and documents to bring your story to life. We showcase your memorable moments, and find the unifying threads of experience that shaped your character and personality. We provide professional writing and editing services to create a polished, captivating narrative.

We deliver a finished manuscript that is ready for production as a book or ebook.

It’s your story

Your manuscript will read as if you are telling the reader about your experiences in your own words.

It will be your story, in your voice. We’ll just give it structure, shape and sparkle.

Just as every story is different, so is every story manuscript. Yours can be as long or as short as you care to make it.

The manuscript for a life story chapter can range from 5,000 to 15,000 words.

The manuscript for a complete life story can range from 30,000 to 100,000 words or more.

What you’ll need to do

  • Get started. (You’ll need to sign a letter of agreement and pay a 25% to 50% deposit.)
  • Review Storyphile’s list of memory-sparking topics and think about what areas of your life you’d like to focus on.
  • Complete and return Storyphile’s biography and family history worksheets.
  • Work with us to develop an interview plan.
  • Sit for interviews. (It will be fun!)
  • Review a first draft of your transcripts. Let us know if there’s anything you wish to delete. Mark any corrections that may be required.
  • Approve your final, corrected transcripts.
  • Work with Storyphile to decide what parts of your transcribed interviews should be left out or included in your manuscript.
  • Approve your final audio files. (If you’ve deleted content from your transcripts, we’ll delete the corresponding portions of your audio files.)
  • Work with Storyphile to select photos and documents and prepare informative captions.
  • Review a first draft of your book manuscript to make sure the information is correct and complete.
  • Work with Storyphile to review the overall manuscript structure and the structure, tone and content of each chapter. You may decide to add content or photos at this stage, or to delete or revise certain parts of your story.
  • Review photo captions for accuracy.
  • Review a revised draft of your manuscript that incorporates the changes you requested. You still can add or delete material at this point.
  • Review the final, copy-edited draft of your manuscript. This final review is intended to find any typos that may have been missed. Substantial changes at this point will increase your cost.
  • Sign off to approve your finished life story manuscript.
  • Enjoy your finished manuscript or think about the next steps. Will you create an ebook? Hire a designer to create a professional layout? Prepare the manuscript for printing as a book? Or simply enjoy it as is?

What you’ll get

  • a high-end, archival-quality binder that contains
    • formatted, edited transcripts of your interviews
    • a copy edited, proofread, production-ready manuscript that tells your life story in a flowing, well-structured narrative (Depending on the options you choose, your manuscript may also include photos and captions.)
  • two CDs or two USB thumb drives that include
    • unedited, MP3-format audio recordings of your interviews
    • a PDF version of your transcripts
    • a PDF version of your completed manuscript
    • scans of the photos you’ve selected

What it costs

  • A production-ready manuscript for a life story chapter (10,000 words) starts at $8,000. (This includes recorded interviews and transcripts.)
  • A production-ready manuscript for a complete life story starts at $25,000. (This includes recorded interviews and transcripts.)

How long it takes

  • three to five weeks to complete your interviews
  • an additional three to twelve weeks to prepare, edit and revise your transcripts
  • an additional two to six months to shape a compelling story and develop a production-ready manuscript that you’ve approved

Deposits and payments

The deposit is 25% to 50% of the total fee. Your letter of agreement will outline the details and installments.


See example manuscript.