If you don’t find the question and/or answer you are looking for here, please chat with us on weekdays between 9 am and 6 pm PST or get in touch with us through the contact link in the menu above. Fill out the contact form with your information and question(s) or, if you’d prefer, write us an e-mail, call us or chat with us by clicking on the chat system at the bottom of any page. We would love to hear your story and explain how we can help you get started making your own book alongside one of our writers today!
The experience of having your stories professionally written is still unique to most and we welcome the opportunity to talk personally with each customer in order to address any individual questions.
We try our best to respond to any inquiry within one or two business days, so please leave us with the appropriate contact information and we will respond as soon as possible.
Your story is more important than you may realize and is certainly suited for a book. Contact us and we can discuss how best to begin the process with your story!
We have StoryTerrace offices in both Los Angeles and London, providing local writers across the USA, United Kingdom and around the world.
You have complete control over the content of your book. We provide professional writing and editing but you will always have the final say. Have a look at our website for more information about the writing process.
The time it takes to create your book depends on various factors, the most influential being the length of your story. Throughout the process, many customers find that they have more to include in their book than they initially think and want to make adjustments to their package, which can be accommodated in most cases. Depending on the package you choose, the process will typically take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks, although it could be a little longer. A Compact takes the shortest time period, a Complete package takes a few weeks longer, and a Novella taking a little longer again, due to the larger package.
While our questionnaire helps you to bring back memories and decide which stories, anecdotes, and turning points to focus on, it is also possible to create a book based solely on the interviews conducted by your writer.
If you have already written a few chapters or your entire book, one of our editors/writers can help you finish and add a professional touch. Please give us a call or send your work to [email protected] for our US office or [email protected] if you wish to speak to our UK office, and we’ll suggest a plan and quote a price for creating your book.
The cover of your story should fit you, so we provide different options to appeal to different tastes. Whether you prefer a personal photo as your cover or a custom illustration by one of our artists we can find an option that suits you. Talk to us about your ideas and we can find a way to make your cover help tell your story!
The time you spend on your story outside of the interview process depends on you. Some people want to spend more time on their questionnaires in order to capture more memories and details. Depending on your chosen package, you’ll need to scan and send between 20 and 40 images to us to go alongside your story.
Your own professional writer will prepare and conduct the interview(s). Depending on the length of your book, the interview(s) last around 3-4 hours for a Compact package, around 5-6 hours across two sessions for a Complete, or up to 10 hours as part of the Novella package. You can always add additional interview sessions at extra cost.
While it is possible to allow family members to participate in the interview process, it may require more of the writer’s time and can increase the cost of your book.
We will work with you to find the perfect writer for your story based on your preferences. You can learn about a few of our writers before making a final decision.
We have over 400 writers working with us across the USA and United Kingdom - but if we don’t have the perfect fit in your area we’ll start a writer search and find someone right for you.
While most of our writers can be found on our website, we are constantly seeking new talent to add to our selection, so we can’t guarantee that every single writer will be on there.
We have 3 levels of writers: Critically Acclaimed, Senior and Junior. Critically Acclaimed writers are very experienced with extensive published works, often including books of their own. Senior Writers have published work and experience, and Junior Writers have less professional experience - but are still fantastic writers!
We’re confident we can find you a perfect match, and we can always reevaluate and look at other possibilities if you don’t like your writer.
Please send us your work and give us a call to discuss how we can help.
We offer custom products and services and we'd be delighted to discuss the options available to you. Get in touch to speak with a member of our team through our contact page, email, phone or the chat system on the bottom-right corner of the page!
Definitely! Let’s get in touch and talk about the best way to divide your story.
Many customers find that there is actually more to remember than they anticipated. Often customers choose to upgrade to the Complete package when they realize how much there is to remember and capture.
Each package includes four printed copies, but extra copies can be ordered at an additional cost. The cost of extra copies depends on the package you’ve chosen, and the number of copies you want to order. Larger orders, perhaps for sharing with family and friends or colleagues, help to bring down the price per copy. Give us a call and we can give you a quote!
Our books are private documents so we can only send you representative samples. If interested, we have copies at our offices that you can have a look at if you’d like to stop by.
Our writers partner with us for the purpose of writing people’s stories. However, if you have another format for writing personal stories and would like our help, please get in touch here and we will do our best to help. We have experience with custom projects and we'd like to find out more about your needs.
We know that sometimes life gets in the way or things come up unexpectedly. Our goal is always to help you complete your book so if something happens please inform your project editor as soon as possible. You can see in our Terms and Conditions that projects can pause progress for up to 30 days without penalty.
We’re sorry to hear that! If you would like to cancel your project please read our Terms and Conditions to see if you are eligible for a refund. Please contact your project editor directly to start the cancellation process.
After you receive your first proof you have one round of corrections. We advise that you take the time to go through your book and make sure you are happy with it before it goes to print. If you change your mind and would like to have more changes in a further round of revisions, just let your editor know and they can provide you with a quote.
Yes, we can create a book without the participation of the protagonist. If multiple people are interviewed for the benefit of the book, we charge a bit more than the standard packages as this increases the complexity of the project and more interviews are required.
Yes - we can send a standard welcome package to most places for arrival within 48 hours. If you’d like us to create a blank StoryTerrace journal with a personalized photo cover of your friend as part of the welcome package, then we need the photo and a selected title two weeks in advance.
Yes! We can help you to self-publish on Amazon. You can read more about our self-publishing packages and additional costs here. Terms and conditions apply.
Our books are private and confidential and are not produced for the public unless otherwise agreed. We do not provide routes into traditional trade publishing.
StoryTerrace shares the copyright of your book with you. If you would like to own the full copyright of your book, just let your editor know and they can sign it over to you free of charge. As sole owner of the copyright, you are free to print or sell copies of your book as you wish.
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide your book with an ISBN, as it is not possible for us to transfer ownership over to you once an ISBN has been purchased by us. If you are interested in selling your book, please read more about our self-publishing packages here. Your book will be automatically assigned an ISBN by Amazon’s KDP platform when purchasing one of our packages, however you also have the option of purchasing your own ISBN and we can then apply it to your book for you. We are happy to help with advice on how to obtain this.
You can pay online, by giving us a call with debit or credit card in hand, or by bank transfer. For customers in communication with the UK office, you can also pay via PayPal. You can find our bank details on the invoice that we’ll send you after learning which package you’d like to purchase.
You can either pay upfront in full, or in installments starting with a 10% deposit.
Yes, shipping costs are included in your package price. The only time you'll have to pay shipping is if you order a large number of extra copies.
Yes, it would even accelerate the process.
If we put a custom agreement in place, for custom projects, our Terms & Conditions will apply. If there is anything else you’d like to agree upon concerning your project, such as the price for a large number of additional copies, then we can do so via email. Following payment, you will receive confirmation of your purchase.
It takes about 2 weeks for us to format your book files to ensure they come out right for e-book and print versions, including the book covers.
If you’re stuck and aren’t sure how to proceed with filling out the information form, please email [email protected] with the issue that you’re experiencing.
Go to https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/ and sign up via your existing Amazon account, or if you prefer to keep it separate from your Amazon Shopping account, please create a new account with a different email address. Your account will have a Two-Factor Verification code that will be sent to us when we log in for the first time, so we will contact you to schedule a date and time to get that from you when we have reached that stage, as this code expires within a few minutes when sent.
Amazon will email you when your book has been submitted and when it has been approved (between 24 and 72 hours later). They will also email you if there are any formatting issues once it has been submitted. Please check your emails to ensure you don’t miss these messages. If there are any issues reported by Amazon, please forward the email to us and we will resolve it.
If you have purchased a package with extra categories, they can only be added once the book is live in Amazon’s system, and again this will take approximately 24 hours for Amazon to process. This is another reason why you may wish to set a launch date 1-2 weeks after the book is uploaded to Amazon.
Amazon KDP offers print-on-demand, which means that the book is only printed as and when a customer orders it. Their offering is “cheap and cheerful”, so the print quality isn’t amazing, but it is for a low cost and therefore means you can increase your royalties or offer books at a lower price. However, please note that the quality will not be as good as the books printed by Story Terrace. There is also very little we can do about printing quality issues with Amazon (such as alignment issues or inconsistent colours on the cover).
On Amazon, you set the price you want to charge customers and Amazon calculates the rate you will be paid (the royalties) after printing costs, distribution costs, download costs for e-books, and Amazon’s fees. Please note that the final price depends on the printing costs and you may have to set a higher price to cover printing and distribution costs.
ISBN means “International Standard Book Number” and it’s the unique number that identifies a book and its specific format (such as paperback, hardback, e-book, audiobook) and version (such as 2nd edition, a different language, etc). This means that one book might have multiple ISBNs depending on how many formats it’s available in and how many different versions there are. ASIN means “Amazon Standard Identification Number” and it’s the unique number that identifies a product on Amazon (not just books). It’s assigned for free when you sell a product through Amazon. However, it’s specific to Amazon, meaning that you can’t use this number to sell that product anywhere else. If you publish a book exclusively on Amazon, they will give you a free ASIN for your e-book and a free ASIN for your print book. Although they call the latter an ISBN, you cannot use it on any other platform. So, if you want to publish your book on other platforms, you will need an ISBN. ISBNs are purchased from agencies specific to each country. For example, in the UK, it’s Nielson, and in the US, it’s Bowker.
The printing cost depends on the page count, paper type, black and white vs. colour printing, which Amazon website they're on, etc. Amazon provides a calculator that authors can use to roughly work out their costs: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834340. In our experience, authors generally pay between £2 and £4 for a standard B&W book. To calculate printing costs for extended distribution (self-publishing package 2 and 3), you can visit https://myaccount.ingramspark.com/Portal/Tools/ShippingCalculator
For e-books, Amazon offers authors a royalty rate of 35% (and 70% for ebooks that meet specific criteria, but it can be difficult to meet this criteria). For print books, they offer a 60% royalty rate for books published solely through Amazon and 40% for books also published elsewhere (such as with IngramSpark). Note that the royalty rate is after the printing costs have been deducted. They provide a royalty calculator for books published solely on Amazon here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GSQF43YAMUPFTMSP.
The rates are different for each platform. For example, Apple Books is a straight 70% royalties. IngramSpark is 45% after printing costs. Smashwords offer 80% but have more complex rules. Draft2Digital take a 10% fee.
Your self-publishing expert will share a video tutorial with you about how to set up your Amazon Author Central profile. If you want a more in-depth review of this or you have questions about it, you can always request to use one of your 3 support calls so that our expert can walk you through it.
Your self-publishing expert will share a video tutorial with you about how to set up your Goodreads profile. If you want a more in-depth review of this or you have questions about it, you can always request to use one of your 3 support calls so that our expert can walk you through it.
The average self-published author is estimated to sell less than 100 copies of their book. However, it varies hugely from zero copies if they don't promote the book to thousands or even millions if they do and the book catches on. As such, there's no typical amount that an author might make.
Customers can order your book as soon as it’s live in Amazon’s system and you’ve had the approval email. However, you may wish to order a “proof copy”, which Amazon will send you, and check you’re happy with it before you tell people to start ordering. If there are any issues with the proof copy formatting, please let us know and we will look into this for you. As such, it’s better to leave 1-2 weeks after your book has been approved by Amazon before you start informing people that it’s available. Any changes will have to go through Amazon’s approval process again, and will be subject to a 24-72 turnaround by them.
Amazon automatically links versions of the same book within 2-3 days of publishing, so if you currently see the book having multiple pages, this is temporary.
When your hardback book gets distributed to Amazon from IngramSpark, the listing will initially say it’s out of stock because Amazon is waiting to receive the first copy for its warehouse stock from the Ingram print house.
When your hardback book gets distributed to Amazon from IngramSpark, the listing can initially say it takes a few days or weeks to dispatch, because Amazon is waiting to receive the first few copies for its warehouse stock from the Ingram print house.
As above, we can only set up an author page after the book has been approved and is live in Amazon’s system. However, you can sign up for an Amazon Author Central (https://author.amazon.com/) at any point. Again, this is different to your main Amazon shopping account. Please choose the same password as your Amazon KDP account. Please ensure that your bio is longer than 100 characters and that your profile photo is larger than 300 x 300 pixels.
As mentioned in the previous answer, you will need a different ISBN for each individual format and version of the book. So, if you plan to have a paperback, hardback, and e-book version, then you will need to buy more than one ISBN. ISBNs generally cost around £80 for one and £160 for 10. The good news is that ISBNs don’t expire so you can keep unused ISBNs for future versions of the book or future books.
Enter a zip code to look for writers near you. We can arrange your interviews by phone, video call or in person.