How it works

Lifebooks helps you tell your story to generations. We help you capture your legacy.

Obligation free chat

We sit down with you for an initial obligation free chat. We'll talk about what you want and we'll also negotiate a price.

Interviews

We will interview you at a time that suits you and in a place that works for you such as your local cafe. The interviews can take two mornings or they can take ten; it depends on your needs. The interviews are recorded and then transcribed.

Preparing the book

We'll show you the transcripts and discuss with you what you'd like to keep and what you'd like to scrap. From this information, we'll write the final text. Once complete, we'll show you the draft. You are involved in every decision and in every process.

Professional design and photography

We will photograph your life and produce a stunning design for your book. We'll even search through your photo albums with you to select the perfect images. 

A professional finish

We'll design the book and ask for your feedback. We'll even arrange the printing. All you have to do is tell us how many copies to print!

Limitless possibilities

We pride ourselves on providing an adaptive and truly personal experience. Maybe a book isn't enough for you. We can help you record tapes and videos. We can even set up a website for you. Limitless possibilities - just ask.

 

Contact us now to get started

The process in detail

I set up Lifebooks to tell the story of your life. To do that, you need time.

    

First of all, I will come to your house (or anywhere else you would like to meet) and we talk about what you want us to do. We can make a small book, with only a few pages of interviews and a limited amount of photographs. We can make a book for a special occasion, like your retirement or a special birthday. We can make a book that documents your whole life and has a lot of photographs in it. Or maybe you want us to take you back to another part of Australia or the world where you grew up, so you can tell the story of your youth where it took place. Do you want a book that is only about you, or about you and your partner? Or maybe you want a book where every family member has something to say as well? Or do you want us to write the story of your surf club or your Men’s Shed? Anything is possible.

After the first conversation, I will write down what you want, how much time that will take and how much it will cost. That, of course, is dependent on what you want us to do and how many copies you want. Making a book like this takes time and is therefore not cheap. Depending on your needs and wants, prices vary from 3.000 dollars for something simple, to 15.000 dollars or more for something complicated and time-consuming. Once we know what you want, we will sit down and talk about price.

At this point, you can always say no. If you agree with what we propose, I will come back to do the interviews. Those can take two mornings or afternoons. Or they can take ten; that depends on you and what you want. I will tape those interviews. Firstly, because then we and you can be certain that what you say will also be what comes out on the page. Secondly, the tape will contain your voice. And you might want your voice to be remembered too. We can do that, as an attachment to the book.

When I have listened to the tapes and written the text, I will show you what I’ve got. You can then add things or scrap what you don’t want to see published. With that information, I will write the final text.

Then come the photographs. A photographer will come to your house to photograph you, the place you live in, your prize garden, your town, your favourite beach, the café you always go to for breakfast, your friends, your family members, your pets, your backyard shed and anything else that is important to you. He or she will also go through your own photo-collection with you, so the old is not forgotten. The pictures of you as a baby, of your wedding, parties, travels, children and grandchildren: whatever you think helps tell the story you want to tell. Maybe you want your diplomas in the book as well, or other documents, certificates, maps, letters, art works.

When both the text and the photographs are ready, we will design the book and make sure it gets printed. You decide how many copies you want. Maybe five is enough, maybe five-hundred would be better. It is up to you.

Lifebooks Founder

Ingeborg van Teeseling (1961) was born in Holland, where she was a journalist for 25 years. During that time, she interviewed thousands of people, from Bill Clinton to the parents of a murdered schoolboy. She also wrote two books: one about the influence of fathers on the lives of their children, and one about victims of violence. In 2006 she migrated to Australia, where she completed a PhD in Australian Literature and a Masters in Australian History.

At the moment she teaches at the University of Wollongong, is writing a book about the history of the shacks in the Royal National Park, gives courses in Australian and American literature and history, and runs Lifebooks.

Only books?

Once the book is ready, you might want to show it to as many people as you can. We can organize a launch-party and invite your friends, family-members and business-contacts.

Or maybe you think a website would be a good idea, so people can go online and read your words and look at your photographs that way.

And if you want some of the photographs professionally printed and framed, we can take care of that as well.

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