Case Study of a Life Story: Part 4 – The Result and Recommendations

Now, long after Borge started recording his life story and a little more than seven months after his first phone call to me, Borge can hold his life story in his hand and share it with those he loves. Borge and Brigitte are traveling to Germany next April to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary with Brigitte’s family in the place they met, fell in love, and married. They will give a copy of the book to each family member who attends the party. Although many of them won’t be able to read the story in English, they will be able to enjoy the photos, and English-speaking members of the family can translate.

I recently asked Borge a few questions about his experience.

Lillie: After the time, effort, and money that you spent, how satisfied are you with the results?

Borge: I’m very happy with the book. It turned out really good.

Lillie: What advice would you give to anyone else considering writing their own life story?

Borge:  Go ahead and do it. I’m really glad I wrote my book. 

Lillie: Thank you for letting me use you and your book for a case study.

Borge: You’re welcome. I hope it helps other people who want to tell their own stories.

If Borge’s story has captured your attention, you can order My Life Story: Adventures of the Great Dane from  You’ll enjoy a good read, and you just might get some ideas on how to tell your own life story.

Maybe you would like to write your memoir or autobiography but don’t want to spend the amount of time and money that Borge did. You have a lot of options.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Instead of dictating the story into tapes, write your story in a word processor on your computer. Or write it in longhand and get a family member or friend to type it for you.
  • If you prefer to dictate, hire an administrative professional or even a high school student to transcribe the tapes at less cost than an editor would charge.
  • Before hiring a professional editor, ask a friend or relative to read your story. This first reader should be someone who is good with grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The person also must be objective and honest with you. Submitting a well-written manuscript to your editor will reduce her time and save you money.
  • Use the template provided by the print-on-demand company to lay out the interior of your book. You can do this yourself in Word. The result should be adequate for a non-commercial book.
  • Rather than create a custom book cover, choose a fill-in-the-blank template provided by the POD company. The companies offer a variety of stock photos for cover art, and you can probably find something suitable for your book.

Following these suggestions will allow you to produce your book in a cost-effective way. The quality will be acceptable, and you will create a priceless  legacy for future generations.

You can find more advice about writing your memoir, autobiography, or family history in Preserving Memories: How to Write a Family History. I welcome your comments and questions.

Disclosure: I received compensation from the author for editing and formatting the book, creating the cover, and providing consulting and self-publishing services. The author did not ask me to write about his book. I asked his permission to share his experiences to encourage and help others who want to write their life stories. The links to are affiliate links.

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