FAQ

We want to be an open book.

Portrait of young family from 1940s. The children pictured here could make excellent personal history clients today.

How long does it take to produce a memoir?

Every project is different, with variables including the number of interview hours; the number and condition of images to be included; and complexity of the design and production. Generally, it’s fair to assume that a full-length book based on eight or more hours of interviews will take at least six months. It can be more like three months for shorter Slice of Life books. Unedited audio memoirs may be turned around within days of the final interview. Visit our Process page for more.

How much does it cost?

This, too, depends on the variables listed above. See our Projects & Pricing section for a rundown of the types of memoirs we offer, and how we price each one.

Can you do long-distance projects?

Yes. We can conduct interviews by phone or via Skype or Facetime, and share images and book drafts via Dropbox or Google Drive, and/or certified mail. TCM founder Kirk Woundy is also happy to talk with any client about the possibility of travel for interviews and/or research.

What if I say things that I later wish I hadn’t said?

You are fully in control of the content of your project, and will have the chance to review it and make changes before production. Nothing is completed until you sign a document saying you are ready for it to go to press.

How long will I have to edit my manuscript?

For full-length projects, our production schedule usually includes three to four weeks for client review of a finished manuscript. It might be more like a week to 10 days for a Slice of Life memoir. We will work with you in early stages to determine a schedule upon which we all can agree.

Siblings at bathtime, in the kind of everyday moment that families might treasure in a memoir.

Will I sign a contract?

Yes. At the outset, you and TCM’s Kirk Woundy will review a “letter of agreement” customized to your project. It is meant not only to outline the construct of our relationship (defining the scope of work and how we’ll handle adjustments to it), but also to put in writing the protections that you have related to confidentiality, copyright and more. It also allows you to postpone your project, or terminate our working relationship, at any time.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of books I must order?

No, there is no minimum or maximum.

Is my book available to the public?

Most clients share their book only with family and friends. But if you would like to make your book available to others at Amazon or elsewhere online, we can help you with that. We can also help interested veterans submit stories of their military service to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.

Most people don’t do this sort of thing. Why should I?

Reasons for pursuing a personal history vary greatly, with some as personal as the stories themselves. But people enjoy common benefits from the experience. For instance, research has shown that the extent to which children know their family’s history is the single best predictor of their emotional health and happiness. Research has also shown that nostalgia combats loneliness and increases optimism. The Association of Personal Historians has a great series of blog posts on the topic, also; find it here.

Who is it, exactly, that would be handling my story?

To read a little bit about Kirk, click here.