Professional Editing

 Your Story

   Personal manuscripts: 

  • Our goal is to produce your story:  A memoir or autobiography.
  • A career.
  • A major accomplishment: Founding or developing a company, an institution, a foundation, hospital, church, school, college, library, humanitarian and/or environmental effort.  The core recognition in your life and how and why it produced redeeming results.
  • Your Life’s Lessons.
  • The most important person(s) in your life, developed elaborately:  parents, grandparents, teacher, mentor, spiritual guide.
  • A compilation of family or historic letters.
  • A history of a military, professional, or political career.
  • A memoir with recipes.
  • A family legacy.  We do not do genealogical research but will accept documentation.
  • Or, a special case: Your Family Reunion in advance.  Family history, participants’ names, backgrounds, photos, can be turned into a polished document.  We can also interview key characters.

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            "Your Story" is a complete manuscript service, beginning with your idea, proceeding on the basis of your information, and ending with a professional-quality document.  See our credentials on the Who We Are link.  References can be provided after the initial consultation.

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 What we offer you: 

           Step 1:  An initial, brisk, telephone consultation with both of us to determine what the project is. This can be expedited, simplified by a written statement from you in advance (by mail or e-mail) outlining basic facts and ambitions for the work.  There will be no charge for this brief consultation. We will mutually decide whether there is reason to proceed to the next step.

           Step 2:   In preparation for the next step, it will be vital for us to have an outline of names, places, dates, addresses, and major events in the sweep of experience that we are going to be drawing upon:  curricula vitae, magazine profiles, articles, additional relevant documents.  This information can be sent to us by e-mail or mail, aiding us to formulate questions. If important documents are to be mentioned or cited, we should receive copies of them well in advance. They can be incorporated in the final text. Our analysis of this material will be billed at our professional minimum rate of $150 an hour.       

            Step 3:  If a mutual decision is to proceed, a Preliminary Meeting will be scheduled.  We will digitally record seven to ten hours of interviews, over a two-day period, which will also include less formal, analytical discussions.  At the end of this session, we mutually will explore and assess the potentials.  

           This Preliminary Meeting can take place at our literary farm in south central Pennsylvania where we have comfortable, private guest quarters on beautiful grounds. Description is on the Our Location page on this website.   Charge for this is $5,000, payable in advance.  Transportation is not included, but we will supply efficient directions.  That stay, which is two working days, includes three nights as our guest. You will be our welcomed guest at all meals. There will be additional discussion of the project while dining and informally, as seems useful. If you prefer that we travel to your location, our transportation, lodging, and ancillary costs will be charged in addition to our fee of $4,500, payable in advance. If additional days are required, they will be billed at $2,500 a day.

            Is it a book?  A booklet?  What sort of document do we all believe can be achieved?  Will there be photographs?  Other illustrations?  Charts?  Appendices?

           Step 4:  Within a reasonable time, we will provide a verbatim transcript of our interviews.  We will also produce a broad strategic plan for the entire project. 

           Step 5:  Then, should we all decide to go forward, we will negotiate producing in writing a prospective outline of the book. We will give you an estimate of what we believe will be required in time and expense to bring it to consummation.

           Future Meetings, if we agree they are necessary, can take place in either venue or by telephone conference call at an hourly rate of $400 for interviewing and transcribing, plus agreed expenses.  Will interviews with others be necessary or useful?  What documents, if any, are relevant, and should they be included as part of the text or as appendices?  Billable time for polished editing will be discussed at each step.  The rates for editing will be similar to those outlined in the Editing Services section of this website.

            If at any point you decide not to go forward, all transcriptions, to date, correspondence, supporting documents, and photographs will be returned to you, upon payment of all costs incurred. 

            If the decision is to proceed, we will work with you to produce, digitally and on paper, a finished manuscript, which will be subject to your approval or amendments.  The final discs and documents will be of the quality that you may offer to commercial publishers or agents. We are not literary agents.  We do not market manuscripts to publishers.   We will, however, supply guidance concerning reputable professional print-on-demand firms, many of which can produce books of the quality of commercial publishers.