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Chris Gidney Books!

Your Book

Why would I want my own book?
A recent National Trust Survey showed that 57 per cent of adults aged over 15 could not name any of their great-grandparents. In a fast moving world the facts behind our families are quickly forgotten, so a book offering all the details of your family history is something to be prized. Everyone has a story to tell, so why not leave your family with a lasting legacy?

Can I really have my own book written?

Many people ask me how they can get their own, personal book written. Your life story, held in your hands, is something totally unique that can be read and enjoyed by family and friends alike and become a precious family heirloom for generations to come. 

An autobiography as a gift
Some children have brought the creation of a personal autobiography, beautifully captured, as a special and exceptional gift for their parents or grandparents so that the stories and facts behind their family history will be forever remembered.

How can this be achieved?
Whilst it’s often a case of thinking “I must write that down,” the idea of completing a whole book can be very daunting. As a professional writer, with a busy schedule of commercial books, I allow quality time for private commissions. With my fascination, respect and ease of working with people, I enjoy using my skills and experience to create autobiographies that are personally and individually crafted. I have written for many celebrities and I can do the same for you.

The following Frequently Asked Questions will guide you through how you can have the benefit of owning The Story of Your Life in print. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the difference between a biography and an autobiography?

A biography is
the story of a person's life written by someone other than the subject of the work, often using research and interviews from people that knew them. An autobiography is the story of a person's life written or told by that same person. I can do either, but whilst an biography is very time consuming, as it involves a lot of research and interviewing many people, an autobiography comes from just one person.

Can an autobiography be of two people?
Yes, I have written several books on more than one person from the performers Cannon and Ball to private couples. The story of individuals, how they met, their family life together alongside their professional achievements is the essence of many such books.

What is Ghost-writing?

This is where a professional writer is paid to write books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person. This is how your book would be written.

How will my book be created?
Most of my clients prefer me to start from scratch, which means I research questions, plan and interview you, transcribe, write, and format your book to a professional standard. However, I can also write your book from previously recorded interviews, or edit your self-written manuscript or memoirs. I offer a exclusive, personal and individual service to you.

How long will my book be?

A standard book is approx 30,000-50,000 words divided over 12 Chapters.

How long does it take?

For a book in which I interview you, it takes about a year from the first interview to final delivery, with the final delivery date being agreed and contracted. I will require an estimated 4-6 interviews with you of approx 2 hours over a period of 8 months.

Will there be any pictures?
Yes, there are normally up to eight pages of photographs included in the book, with captions, chosen by you.

Is it Confidential?

Sometimes family stories are very personal and private and the details of any information or recordings are bound and protected by a confidentiality agreement.

How Much Does it Cost?

Writing is a very labour intensive activity and a very skilled one. My current rates are based on guidelines issued by the National Union of Journalists and for
Ghost-writing a standard 40,000 approx word book are:

- Transcription from an existing manuscript                        £2,500- £5,000

 - Transcription from an existing tape/interview                  £5,000- £7,500

- Research, interviews, transcription, editing, formatting    £7,500-£10,000

How is the fee paid?

An advance of £1,500 is made on signature of the agreement with 11 equal further monthly payments.
In certain cases, expenses such as travel and accommodation will be agreed upon and added to the basic rate.

How do I know what I’m getting?
I use a standard agreement for all my clients which is straightforward and easily understood. This contract details all the necessary processes and if you would like a sample copy to read, just visit my Contact Page.

How do I get started?
Email me with your details on the contact page and I will be delighted to advise you personally as necessary.

Who owns the copyright?
You do. You will also be credited as the writer of the work.

Will I see it before its completed?

Clients differ in this. Some like to see their story unfold, whilst others prefer to wait for the final surprise. Generally I am happy to present you with draft chapters on a regular basis, so that you can correct any mistakes.

Will I need an editor?

Although I write to a professional standard, the use of a professional editor, trained to examine the minute detail of any book and correct any overlooked omissions, gives any book a final `polish` and is recommended. I can offer excellent quotes for this work which are normally about £200. You will also be able to read a draft before it goes to print so that you can correct any mistakes.

How will my book look?
Your autobiography will be presented to you in binder format and on disc.

What if I want it to be printed like a real book?

With modern technology it is now possible to have your book look like any other on the bookshelf. I can offer guidance on how and where to get your book printed as a hardback, large size paperback or small paperback. The more you have printed the lower the cost, which is good news if you want to sell your book. You can even have it for sale online in places such as Amazon and have your own ISBN number allocated, so that your friends can access it easily and buy as many copies as they want. You then receive a Royalty for sales. It will also be submitted to The British Library.

Can I get my book commercially published?

For books which I feel would be of interest to commercial publishers, I am happy to make introductions, as well as advise and negotiate with a publisher if required. Any successful deal would include an agency fee and a royalty agreement. Sadly, this market is extremely difficult to break into, so don’t expect to become rich or famous by having your book written, it is really for personal purposes, and to your family you will be the unsung hero.

All content copyright www.chrisgidneybooks.co.uk 2009