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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?

Hi! We're No Story Lost. We realized that our parents and grandparents aren't going to be around forever, and we wanted to write down their stories, memories & advice.

We knew we had something special on our hands when we printed beautiful coffee-table books for our families. Though most families had the thought of doing this, we realized that almost nobody took the time to actually sit down and do it. Once it’s done, it’s amazing to have.

After making a few books for families & friends over the past year, we're excited to offer this is as a service for you. We've assembled a great team of interviewers, transcriptionists, writers and designers to pull together amazing projects.

What we are - and what we aren't

We produce a collection of lighthearted stories. We are less history book, more story book. The stuff we love to write is the stuff your parents would gab with their old friends about! More ‘remember when you pushed over the outhouse?’ and less ‘I went to this charter school from 1949 - 1955.’

Typically, we write our books in the style that our storytellers speak. That means we aren't a ghost-written memoir by an award-winning journalist. Those types of professionally written services are available. They are also more expensive - costing from $5000 to $10,000. Our goal is to make this a little more affordable. We’ll gladly refer you to one of these services if that’s what you’re after :)

How involved am I in the process?

Largely, we are taking care of things! However, we’ll need some things from you to make your book incredible:
→ A 30 minute welcome call to to learn what you'd like to see in the project
→ We’ll need you to coordinate the first interview with your storyteller and our interviewer
→ Photos! We'll need you to supply us with old family photos to complement the writing.
→ You’ll do a once-over. Checking things like names, dates, etc.
→ A title. Start brainstorming on the title of the book early. We’ve heard it’s fun to get the whole family in on it too.
After doing this a few times, we've noticed that some clients like to get their hands dirty once they see the manuscript. They want to edit and add more details to the stories; details that only they would know. That's okay, too. We just want to let you know up front because sometimes it can feel like you’re putting in some extra work that you didn’t anticipate. Please be ready to contribute so that the book is exactly what you want.

Can I see a sample book?

Yes, of course! Email us at hello@nostorylost.com and we'll share a few sample pages from previous clients with you.

Can I order extra copies of my book?

Yes! Absolutely. Extra copies of our Premium hardcover books are $80 USD each, and our Basic books are $40 USD per copy. You'll order extra copies later in the process. This video explains the difference between the two styles:

Do I own the book? Can I publish and sell my book?

You have the rights to use and share the book for personal use, not commercial. We do not accept projects that will be for sale publicly.

Why don't you have Canadian prices?

For Canadian customers, we can accommodate e-transfer in CAD if that’s easier for you :)

How It Works

What’s involved? Can you break down the process in more detail for me?

Of course!
1. You purchase whichever package suits you best. If you have questions, get in touch at hello@nostorylost.com.
2. You'll get an email as soon you purchase.
3. Book an onboarding call with us. We'll ask you what types of stories you want your storyteller to talk about, what you’d want to know more about and any sensitive topics we should not ask about. And we’ll let you know about the end-to-end process in more detail.
4. Tell your Storyteller about the gift. They might be apprehensive, but we’ve got some advice to give from experience (see next question).
5. Then we’ll set up the interviews with the Storyteller.
6. Meanwhile, send us photos for the book.
7. We'll send you the final manuscript & copy.
8. You look over it. You can make adjustment and edits.
9. Then, we’ll deliver the finished product to your doorstep!

But what if my loved one isn’t into it? What if they are reserved, nervous, stubborn or apprehensive about it?

Yeah, we’ve been there too. One of our first clients was our friend, Stef. Her Dad said he didn’t want to do it. Full stop. Talk to someone he didn’t know about his life? No thank you. But she told him he’d be doing it for Stef and for his future grandkids. That sure got him. He changed his tune pretty quickly! And now her dad loves his book :)

We'd recommend saying something similar. And if you'd like some more advice or any additional detail, we're happy to talk to you. Give us a call or shoot us an email.

Who is the ideal Storyteller?

Someone you love and whose stories you want captured. Someone who is old enough to have great stories but young enough to be able to tell them - their health and energy allow them to share their best stories with us.
For our regular process, we strongly suggest the Storyteller has following capabilities:
- Can answer questions in full sentences
- Speaks English (we currently don’t offer translation services)
- Has a good memory and can recall stories from all parts of life
- Can hear clearly on a regular phone call and have a conversation
If memory is an issue, interviews can be done with loved ones about the storyteller, instead of directly with the storyteller.
If the storyteller has telephone hearing issues, send us an email about these options:
- Sending us audioclips of previously recorded interviews, or interviews that you record directly with the storyteller in person where hearing is better.
- Have someone sit with the storyteller and relay our questions clearly to them, but have them talk into the receiver.

Do you do in-person interviews?

Unfortunately, we aren’t set up to do in-person interviews. All our interviews take place over the phone.

Do you only allow one storyteller per book? Or is there an option to have two people interviewed for one book?

We allow two storytellers per book IF their lives are intertwined - married couples, for example. Otherwise, we suggest separate books.

How fast can you complete a book?

It usually takes us about ten weeks from our welcome call until delivery. This is based on a relaxed interview pace, and some back-and-forth while clients take a look at their book as it comes along. If you need it faster, we can definitely talk about how to make it happen.

Do you support multiple languages?

Not yet, unfortunately. For now, we only do interviews in English.

Can I add or include old recordings?

Yes! We’ll have our team listen to your old recordings, and also have them transcribed.

We’ll reduce the number of interviews we’ll do with the Storyteller, minute for minute. This is because the transcription takes just as long, and the interviewer needs just as much time to learn the content and work it into the story as if they were interviewing live.

In cases where the person is gone or won’t be interviewed, we'll take into account the length of each recording. For example, if you purchase an Anthology, we’ll handle up to 4 hours of audio/video.

Note: Because this process removes some of our control on quality, we can’t guarantee the content or length of this content as well as we can with our normal method.

What if someone has written work they wish to have included in their book?

We have two options:
1) We can place it, unedited, in an appendix for a nominal fee which will cover the increased printing cost.
2) We can have our team include it as if it was interview content - it will be studied, edited, and worked in seamlessly. In this case, we’ll charge for increased interview time, or reduce the amount of interviewing we can offer. For every 3000 words of written content we’re given to process, we’ll use up one hour of interviewing time.

Oops! The Storyteller missed their interview.

We know that life happens, so we’ll reschedule a missed interview once. The second no-show will result in a $75 fee. It’s designed to respect everyone’s time and energy.

Do you ever run any promotions? Do you have payment options?

You likely won't see a discount around here. We didn't even participate in Black Friday. Why? Early on we made the decision to make our pricing as affordable and approachable as possible, while still running a healthy business. That means we aren’t in a position to deep discount like other companies.

Shipping and Returns

Is shipping included?

Yes! Shipping is included in Canada and the United States. If you live elsewhere, we charge a small, additional shipping fee.

What’s your refund policy?

If you bought a package, but haven’t started the process (meaning you wish to cancel before any interviews have occurred) we’ll refund you in full, less a $75 admin fee (which goes to cover credit card fees, currency conversion fees and administrative costs).

If you cancel before the second interview has started, we will provide a refund equal to 66% of the total purchase price.

If you cancel after before the writing or design work has started on your book (which happens after the final interview is complete), we will provide a refund equal to 33% of the total purchase price.

If you cancel after the writing and design work has started, we unfortunately won’t be able to offer a refund.

Customer Service

How can I talk to a human?

Reach out to us at 💌 hello@nostorylost.com

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