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

Step 1. Email or call us to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

Step 2. Explore your options. (We can help.)

Step 3. Sign a letter of agreement with Storyphile. (We’ll work together to get the details right.)

Step 4. Pay a deposit.

Step 5. Get ready to reminisce.

Storyphile’s business hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mountain Time. We’re closed on weekends and holidays.

If you’d like to book a free consultation, please call or email during business hours.

We can meet or chat with you outside of business hours, but only by appointment.

If you live in the Edmonton area, we meet with you at your home or in a quiet location of your choice.

Yes. Storyphile interviews you and your family members and helps you choose photos from your family albums. Together, we recreate your loved one’s story in a memorial book that celebrates a life well lived.

Yes. In fact, reunions are the perfect place to capture little-known family stories—from old and young alike.

Storyphile can conduct your life story interviews in English or Ukrainian.

Yes. If you live outside Edmonton we can travel to your home. (Mileage rates and travel expenses will apply.) Or we can interview you by phone or on Zoom. There is no additional charge for phone interviews within Canada.

Pricing depends on the number of hours we spend interviewing you and on the choices you make.

Storyphile will custom-design your life story package to suit your budget, and we’ll give you a firm price before any work begins.

  • Our life story packages start as low as $495 for a living obituary.
  • A set of personal interview recordings for a complete life story (10.5 hours of recording) costs $2,700.
  • A thoroughly researched and well-written book typically starts at $50,000 before design and printing costs.
  • One-of-a-kind cover and interior design and layout can range from $4,000 to $10,000 or more.
  • Printing can range from $10 to $15 per copy of a black-and-white softcover book to $100+ per copy for embossed leather covers.

Telling your life story is an investment in your past—for your future.

Like the TV commercial says, it’s priceless.

Our preferred method of payment is by electronic transfer directly to Storyphile. It’s quick and secure, and we don’t need to exchange any confidential banking details.

We also accept personal cheques (payable to Storyphile). We commence work on your project as soon as your deposit cheque has cleared.

We do not offer payment by credit card or through PayPal.

Our goal is to keep your costs as low as possible. For a small business like ours, offering PayPal or credit options means we’d have to increase our costs by 3% to 7% to cover the fees. We think that’s money better kept in your pocket.

Yes. For most projects, your deposit will be 25% to 50% of the total project cost, depending on the package you choose.

For Storyphile’s special introductory editing package, payment in full is due at the start of the project.

Storyphile is a division of Pentacle Productions. We charge 5% GST for Alberta residents. If you live outside Alberta, the appropriate provincial sales tax (PST) or harmonized sales tax (HST) will be added to your invoice.

Taxes are in addition to the prices quoted on this website.

 

Recording someone’s life story typically takes between 6 and 15 hours of recorded interviews, but it’s different for every person. Storyphile’s standard package is based on 10.5 hours of recording time.

Depending on your schedule, recording a full life story usually takes 10 to 16 weeks from start to finish. We recommend recording 2 or 3 interviews per week over a 4- to 6-week period.

Preparing transcripts of your recorded interviews takes an additional 3 to 8 weeks once your interviews are done.

Turning your interviews into a book typically takes 4 to 6 months.

At Storyphile, we don’t skimp on quality. A custom-designed book based on 10 to 15 hours of interviews can take more than 600 hours to produce.

Once you’ve paid in full, you do. Copyright transfers to you once payment in full has been received.

You approve every draft of your life story—whether it is an audio recording, a transcript, a manuscript or a book. You can say whatever you want to say (as long as it’s not libellous). And you can leave out any aspect of your life you don’t care to talk about.

It’s your life and your story. You are in control of what you want to say.

Yes! We love genealogy! We can help you with basic searches of census records, homestead documents, business directories, newspaper archives and vital statistics—including records housed in provincial archives and on ancestry.ca. Our (admittedly rusty) knowledge of Latin is a huge help in deciphering old marriage and baptismal records. Our knowledge of Ukrainian is invaluable in deciphering the often-wonky spellings used in hundred-year-old official documents.

If you’ve done your own family history research or worked with a genealogy specialist, we can help you write up your findings and edit your material.

Writing can be intimidating. For someone who doesn’t do it every day, it can be downright terrifying! And it can be hard for you to find the time to do it.

Working with Storyphile takes the pressure off you.

Writing and editing doesn’t scare us. It’s what we do. You can tell us your story and have us do the work of putting it together for you. We’ll get the job done on time and on budget. You’ll get a high-quality professional product without the pain of doing it yourself.

But if you really like writing, and it isn’t a scary chore, by all means write your own life story.

Just don’t put it off. One day, it will be too late.

1. Telling your story is fun. A stroll through the past can bring back happy memories that make you feel good. That’s good for your health!

Researchers at the University of Southampton have found that reminiscing can boost your mood and even make your body feel warmer. Reminiscing can make you more hopeful, more generous and more connected to the people around you.

2. Sharing is good for you. Sharing the bad stuff lessens the burden. Sharing the good times makes them more precious.

Telling your stories can be a healing experience that helps you work through painful memories and come to terms with difficult times.

3. Remembering is important. The world is changing ever more quickly. It’s important to capture the way things were while you still remember them.

When I was growing up, in small town Alberta, my family was one of the few that had a telephone, and neighbours often dropped by to use it. Today even schoolkids have their own phones!

4. Memory is a fickle thing. What you write down is what you will remember.

My Baba Lesoway came to Canada as a little girl. She never went to school. (There were no schools to go to!) But not knowing how to read or write made her memory razor sharp. Baba remembered everything, without writing it down. I can’t get through a day without sticky notes and electronic reminders!

5. When you tell your own story, you make sure you’re remembered the way you’d like to be remembered.

Storyphile helps you tell your story your own way, in your own words. For the people who will read it, it will seem like a cozy chat with you.

6. Stories bring families closer together. Sharing your stories helps your dearest loved ones get to know you better. It helps them understand you as a real-life person with ideas and hopes and dreams.

The people who love you want to know about the experiences that shaped you. They want to get to know you as a person. What makes you happy? What are your regrets? Your heartbreaks? Your insights? Your proudest moments?

7. Stories connect the generations. Your stories are your legacy for the future. They make you more than just a name on your family tree.

In every family, it’s the lovers of stories who keep the threads of family history unbroken. What customs and traditions does your family cherish? What family rituals will you pass down?

8. Stories teach us the important things in life. Your wisdom and your life lessons can shape and guide the future.

What we inherit is what we pass on. What did your life teach you? What would you do differently? What words of wisdom can you share with the generations that will follow you?

9. Stories bear witness—to your adventures, to your accomplishments, to your roots.

Taking the time to reflect on your life can be an enlightening experience that teaches you about yourself. It can help you appreciate the good things and the important lessons your life’s journey has taught you.

10. Stories are a gift. Sharing your stories is a way of sharing your hopes, dreams and values with the generations that will follow you.

We all want to know where we’ve come from. Knowing our history shapes who we are and guides the paths we choose in life.

11. You can’t assume that your loved ones know your stories. And you can’t assume that they’re not interested.

My husband’s grandmother once told me how she married her husband. Grandma’s Catholic family was so opposed to her Protestant fiancé that they locked her up in an upstairs bedroom so she couldn’t see him. But Grandma escaped through a window and jumped off the veranda roof to elope. And she and her true love lived happily ever after.

No one in the family had ever heard this story. No one but me had ever asked!

“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”

— Pearl S. Buck

“Look ahead into the past, and back into the future, until the silence.”

—Margaret Laurence, The Diviners

Granddad shares his life story book with his beaming granddaughter.