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The People's Biographer

 

 

Now you can preserve your memories in book form for an unprecedented low cost!

Imagine you had a firsthand account of the reading of the Gettysburg Address ... written by one of your ancestors. Or the account of a prospector during the Gold Rush of 1849 ... who was one of your ancestors. What about someone who was at the Woodstock Arts & Music Festival of 1969, later writing down all the details, defining the experience, so that you, their descendent, could someday read about it from their perspective, along with all the other "up's and down's" of their life? Now imagine your great-great-grandchildren learning of the impact of 9/11, the 8-year long Iraq War, and the first administration of an African-American President as recounted by you. Simply put: Your experiences are just as important as those from any previous time in history.

 

Recording the events of our lives is a thought that crosses the mind of each and every one of us at some point, yet most of us never do so. One reason is that most of us aren't writers. Another is that we, ourselves, are too close to the events of our own lives to adequately distance ourselves enough to write about it. A third reason is that biographers charge prices that are beyond the budget of most honest, hardworking families.

Until now.

Haven Publications is proud to announce a new program whereby your life story can be written for as low as $500 or as high as (but rarely exceeding) $1000, with a bail-out clause that allows clients to end the arrangement for any reason, at any time.*

Imagine your descendents having the ability to read about your thoughts and opinions on the world you've lived in and the momentous events that have shaped it. We, here, at Haven, are also historians, thus able to succinctly describe the times, themselves. All we lack are your impressions, reminiscences, and singular points of view.

To immortalize your life-story, all we lack is you.

The purpose of this service is to offer the opportunity to those who might've never before considered recording their life story in book form, perhaps believing it would cost a small fortune, and until now, they'd have been right. This service has traditionally cost anywhere from $25,000-100,000.

Not so, through Haven Publications.

For your descendents to learn about you and the times in which you live, your opinions of those times, your "up's" and "downs," achievements and failures (whatever you choose) I'm offering my services for the flat fee of $1000 for 120 8.5 x 11 pages, or $500 for 60 pages. In a paperback book's traditional trade size of 4.25 x 7, 120 standard-sized pages expands to approximately 261 pages. 60 pages equates to approximately 130 pages at those same dimensions.

 

Included in the price is some artwork enhancement on a photo of the "biographee" for the cover, or perhaps original photography. Something more elaborate can also be arranged, as well; discussable on a case by case basis. 

From here, let's assume you're thinking of 120 pages to tell your life's story. The $1000 fee gets you the pages written; the alteration of them into book form require the services of a printer, which I am not. I can handle that transformation for you for a small, extra fee of $100. You may also choose to find your own printer, and that's your prerogative.

Let's talk, for a second, about the printing costs. I don't always use the same printer; I look for the lowest prices for my clients among many print-on-demand companies. We'll use some arbitrary numbers: My offer ensures you will end up with a book of 120 8.5 x 11" pages. Say you want 25 copies made (unless you choose to sell them to anybody who wants one, in which case you'll want more than 25). Formatting that into a 4.25 x 7 book-size gives you approximately 267 pages (including one blank page at the very front for you to sign your autograph. Otherwise, there's one page to list publishing credits, one for the title page, and one for the table of contents). Say you want to pepper the book with 20 color photographs. At this time and for the foreseeable future, I can get the package printed in book form (requiring a slightly better paper than would be used without photos) for about $400 and change. Then you need them shipped. If I'm shepherding the printing process, they're sent to me, and if there's a problem, I send them back and have them do it again. If you're doing your own "shepherding" the books obviously are shipped to you. If I handle it, you pay for the postage from the printer to me and then from me to you. I can't say exactly how much this will cost, but I'm thinking $30-50 for shipping charges.

You end up with 25 copies of an illustrated book depicting your life story for approximately $1,500 and you didn't even have to get up from the couch.

Now, how about including a family tree within those pages? Depending on how far back you want to go, the pages dedicated to that are included in the 120. In other words, the final product will be less than 120 pages of actual written material. If you want the family tree option above and beyond 120 pages of written material, appropriate increases in cost will apply.

Suppose, for the sake of example, that price is no object. A far more ambitious project can be mounted. Perhaps you want it to end up in hardcover, tons of pictures, an expansive family tree, a cover beyond the traditional photo of one's self, a marketing kit to use in a sales plan, posters, availability on Kindle, etc.), of course, the rates and fees go up accordingly, but it can be done.

I'm not interested in jobs requiring less than 60 8.5 x 11 pages. If you choose to tell a "quick and breezy" version of your lifestory, I charge app. $500 before printing and shipping costs.

At these prices, the only way to record your lifestory cheaper would be if you wrote the book yourself.

There's only one catch: once this deal becomes widely known (which it isn't as of this writing--July 9, 2016), I expect a large response. If you wait too long, the line of others before you could push your project so far back we'll both have long, grey beards by the time I get to you. The first clients will get these prices; after that, I have to raise my price. Also, I plan to hire other carefully chosen writers, which will allow me to diversify the incoming jobs, but at this moment, I have no one immediately in mind. Bottom line: take advantage of this quickly, my best advice.

Now, what has to happen before I can write a word?

Obviously, I can't write your lifestory without an extensive, recorded interview at the beginning of our mutual effort. I can do this over the phone, by video conference, or in person. I will need to ask you follow-up questions during the writing process, with unforetold frequency. If you choose, I can store up my questions and send you a "questionnaire" to fill out and return to me. I live in Washington Township, MI. If you live within an hour's drive, I may prefer a proper, face-to-face interview, but it isn't mandatory. I will, however, have to record the interview somehow. Otherwise, I would need a memory with the ability of a supercomputer. I would also need to keep the tapes, so that no one can come back later and say, "I didn't say that!" and try to sue me, or if someone you talk about contradicts you. As far as I'm concerned, you are the primary and only source for your story. Any contradictions are between you and the person making contrary claims. Keeping any recordings of our conversations is essential for two reasons: to ensure that I get your story right during the writing and for my own protection. Besides me, short of a court-order, no one else will ever hear them and I'll sign a contract to that effect.

At this point, were I you, my first question would be my qualifications. One of the reasons this site exists is to offer you the best (and most varied) chance to "vet" me. There are tons of examples of what I can do, both in literature and art, and there is far more to come. Take the tour if you want somewhere to start. Video interviews with me are also soon to come. Also, you can buy a copy of either my short story collection (The Great American Night) or my novel (Primaland), both available on Amazon.com, or check back with Amazon frequently to find individual Kindle releases of the stories from TGAN for individual sale as well as stories from my three forthcoming collections Signals from Noise, Crackpot Visionaries and In the Parlance of Our Crimes (excerpts of which can be read here), all coming out during the summer of 2015, starting with "The Collective, (Part 1)" from Signals from Noise.

Therefore, in closing, I say this: Let's get started! You deserve this highly-gratifying experience--to have your life recorded for posterity. Your descendents deserve to know who you are, and doing it won't "break the bank."

Any further questions? Check back for updates, or email me at dunsj@aol.com

 

 

*Depending on options chosen by the client

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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