What Does It Cost?

Children ought to know what it was that went into their making, to know that life is a braided cord of humanity stretching up from time long gone, and that it cannot be defined by the span of a single journey.

—Russell Baker

The exact cost of a Legacy Prose™ heirloom memoir depends on a variety of factors, but because each project is completely customized and crafted to exacting standards, it usually requires a considerable investment.

Each client comes to us with a unique vision of the final product and a set of constraints (financial and/or time-related) within which we must work. We arrange a preliminary meeting — in person when possible, otherwise on the phone — and discuss these things in detail. Then we work together to design a plan that will transform desires into reality.

Afterwards, we prepare a letter that details our understanding of the project and states how much it will cost and how long it will take to complete it.

Many people, especially those who choose one of the more extensive projects, opt to do it in stages. Others choose to do much of the work themselves, relying on us for coaching and editing. But quite frankly, most decide to have us manage the entire project. They realize that by giving their family their stories, their values and their beliefs, they are truly giving them the most important gift that’s within their ability to give the true “gift of a lifetime.”

Here, several of our most popular plans.

Audio Sketch (tapes or CD)

Audio recordings — whether on tape or CD — are the purest form of oral history. They preserve the storyteller’s voice and, most important, capture the memories before it’s too late. We begin with a pre-interview in order to design questions that will help the storyteller recount his life in a comfortable and compelling manner, and we conclude by creating a “Table of Contents” that details the subjects covered. Fees typically begin at $2000.

Story Mosaic (small book)

Structured like a series of related short stories, a Legacy Prose™ Story Mosaic is perfect for those who want something smaller in scope and shorter in length than a traditional narrative memoir. The total cost rarely runs more than $5,000, sometimes much less.

Life Silhouette (book)

Told entirely in the storyteller’s own words, a Life Silhouette is a polished look at the important events of a person’s life. The interviews are transcribed, edited for clarity and organized to present the life story in a clear, chronological format. The cost of a Life Silhouette, which runs 150 to 200 pages, is generally between $8,000 and $15,000.

Word Portrait (our premier product)

Like a fine painting, a Word Portrait is textured to reveal the full measure of a person — the experiences that shaped his past, the values and beliefs that make him who he is today, and the hopes, dreams and advice that will benefit his family in the future. The narrative uses a unique blend of first and third person, thus enabling the reader to gain additional perspective as he “sees” the storyteller’s actions as well as “hears” his words. Word Portraits, which are usually between 200 to 300 pages, begin at $12,000 and may go as high as $45,000.

Video Profile (DVD)

Again, the cost is determined by myriad details — not only the length of the video but the number and type of special shots and the complexity of the editing. After we hear our client’s wishes, we consult with our videographer and provide a firm price.

Book-Video Combination

There's considerable overlap in the work involved preparing life stories for print and for video. The process of collecting and crafting the story is much the same; only the production process differs.

Many of our clients choose to save time and money by undertaking both projects at the same time. They figure the book provides long-term nourishment and the video is a delectable dessert.

Coaching and Editing

For small jobs that require just a few hours of instruction and suggestion, we charge on an hourly basis. For more extensive projects, we set up three or six month programs with clearly defined goals for both parties. This results in a savings over the straight hourly charge.