The Mimoirs Process

A standard Mimoir requires 40-50 hours of work, including interviews, writing and layout. The whole process can take about a month from initiation to delivery.

In a nutshell, the basic process is quite simple: you give me some background details, I conduct some interviews, then write, design and produce a timeless hardcover book for you.

The interviews can be done in person, depending on the subject's location, but generally Skype or phone is the most convenient for everyone. In cases of palliative care and similar situations, it may be easier to have shorter interviews spread out over more sessions.

Step 1: Registration & privacy form (1 day)

A brief form indicating the project details agreed upon, the required personal information and how that information is handled.

There is a form for you to fill out--it's not long but it may take enough time to sit down with a cup of coffee. This will be the only writing you'll need to do. It covers basic things like locations and dates and family, so I'll have a rough framework to plan our interviews around.

Step 2: Raison d’etre (1 day)

Together we define the purpose and intention of the Mimoir, be it a LifeStory, OurStory, or TimeCapsule. Is there a key message you would like to deliver or would you just like to eternalize an experience, person or event? 

Step 3: Information gathering (1-2 days)

This is the initial planning stage. I will review the registered information and objective, select relevant interview questions, map out a general framework and do some preliminary historical fact-checking. We will also decide on an interview schedule that works for the subject. 

Step 4: Interviews (1-4 days)

This is one of the most crucial stages of the process. I follow the principle of Garbage In, Garbage out. The more detailed and accurate the information I receive, the better the end result.

Depending on your location and technical setup we can do these in person, over the phone or on Skype. I like to keep each session under an hour to keep our minds fresh.

Step 5: Writing (4-5 days)

This is the bulk of the process when I review all interview notes, research data, photographs and other images.

I write the rough draft of the text, prepare the overall book layout, design and create the cover, sort and edit the photographs as necessary.

After the first, second and third drafts--provided I'm satisfied--I get to work on assembling the final version of your Mimoir.

Step 6: Final review (1 day)

While I am fine-tuning the book layout, I will send you a text-only version in a PDF for you to review. This is your opportunity to check the facts, just the facts, and identify any concerns. 

As soon as you get it back to me with the thumbs up, it's off to the printers.

Step 7: Book printing (1 week)

As soon as I get your feedback on the final review, I will upload and submit your book for printing. I currently use Blurb for on-demand printing which usually takes 7-11 days for printing and delivery.

Step 8: Check & Delivery (1-2 weeks)

Immediately upon receiving your book I will perform a final proofreading and quality check.

If it meets expectations, I pack it up and send to you via Japan Post's Express Mail Service. This is secure, priority international shipping usually delivered within 2-4 days. 

On two occasions I have been asked, “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
— Charles Babbage