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

Full-Scale Memoirs

This is Storyphile’s most comprehensive package.

  1. We start with recorded interviews that capture your complete life story. (This is Phase 0—the pre-production phase.)
  2. We add professional research, writing and editing services.
  3. We shape your story into a page-turning book manuscript. (Developing a book manuscript is Phase 1.) We spice it up with photos, documents and archival records. And we weave in words of wisdom from you to your dear ones.
  4. We transform your completed manuscript into a beautiful heirloom book or ebook. (This is the book production phase, Phase 2.)

Phase 1: Developing a book manuscript

How book manuscripts work

Storyphile uses 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 complete life story can range from 30,000 to 100,000 words or more.

What you’ll need to do

  • Approve your recorded interviews in the pre-production phase of your memoir project.
  • Sign a letter of agreement and pay a 25% to 50% deposit for developing a book manuscript (Phase 1).
  • 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. Approve 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 proceed to Phase 2? Will you create an ebook or a printed book? Or will you simply enjoy your manuscript as is?

What you’ll get

  • an electronic and print version of a copy edited, proofread, production-ready manuscript that
    • tells your life story in a flowing, well-structured narrative
    • includes edited, proofread captions
    • includes design and production instructions
  • an electronic file with production-ready scans of the photos and images that will be used in your book

What it costs

  • A production-ready manuscript for a complete life story starts at $25,000 for a small book (up to 30,000 words). A manuscript for a full-size book (up to 75,000 words) starts at $50,000. This includes the recorded interviews completed in the pre-production phase.

How long it takes

  • 10 to 16 weeks to complete your interviews and prepare basic transcripts (pre-production phase)
  • 2 to 6 months to develop your manuscript (Phase 1)

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.

Phase 2: Book Production

How book production works

Storyphile helps you transform your completed book manuscript into a beautiful heirloom book or ebook.

The sky’s the limit in terms of what your book can look like. You can choose a standard layout or work with a graphic artist to create a one-of-a-kind design. You can go for a traditional look or be cool and contemporary, if that suits you better.

You can print your book in full colour, black-and-white or some combination. You can bind it in paper, hard cover, or even leather or wood. You can wrap it in a dust jacket or in a custom-made case. Or you can save a tree and produce it as an ebook.

When we start your life story project, you may not know what your book should look like. When we’re done, you may decide you don’t want to publish for a while—or even at all. You may even decide to publish independently of Storyphile.

We structure our full-scale memoir projects in two parts to give you the flexibility you need. Each part requires a separate letter of agreement. Having two agreements lets you start your life story work without having to make decisions about what your book will look like.

  • The first agreement you sign with Storyphile covers the development of your life story manuscript. This is Phase 1. Your Phase 1 agreement is signed before any work begins.
  • The second agreement covers the steps to transform your manuscript into a published book. This is Phase 2. Your Phase 2 agreement is signed when your manuscript is complete and you’ve decided how you want to design, print and bind your book.

You’ll sign separate contracts with your book designer, printer and other professionals (as needed), and pay these people directly.

Storyphile will make all the arrangements for you. We’ll manage the production process and help you with your design decisions.

What you’ll need to do

  • Once your book manuscript has been completed and approved (Phase 1), sign a letter of agreement to launch the book production phase of the project. This is Phase 2.
  • Pay a 25% to 50% deposit.
  • Work with Storyphile to negotiate agreements with a graphic designer, printer and other professionals. (We have many talented colleagues we can recommend.)
  • Sign agreements with these professionals, and pay these parties directly.
  • Choose your format, colour, size, layout and design. (Storyphile and your designer will advise you on these matters.)
  • Choose paper and binding to suit your budget and your taste.
  • Review chapter layouts and book cover design options. (A graphic designer will usually prepare three cover and chapter layouts, with different fonts and styling. You choose the layout you like best.)
  • Review and approve page proofs. (Page proofs are created by your designer. They show what your book will look in its final form.)
  • Review and approve copy and design for the front and back covers and for the book spine.
  • Review and approve front matter. (This includes the copyright page, preface and acknowledgments.)
  • Review and approve print proofs of the book. (Print proofs are created by your printer. They show what your book will look like when it’s ready to go to press.)
  • Decide how many copies you’d like to print.
  • Work with Storyphile to launch your book. We’ll help you with your event plan and invitations.
  • Celebrate and enjoy!

What you’ll get

  • your story preserved as a beautiful ebook or heirloom book
  • assistance with your book launch

What it costs

Storyphile’s full-scale memoir projects include two parts.

In Phase 1, we produce an approved book manuscript. For a full life story, manuscript development costs start at $25,000 for a small book (up to 30,000 words) and $50,000 for a large book (up to 75,000 words). This includes recorded interviews.

In Phase 2, we transform your manuscript into a published book.

  • Production management typically starts at $4,000.
  • A one-of-a-kind cover design starts at $500.
  • Professional layout costs start at $8 a page.
  • Printing costs can range from $10 to $100 per copy.

How long it takes

  • 2 to 4 months from the time you’ve approved your manuscript for print

Deposits and payments

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


See book production examples.