There’s a company in Australia that helps people write their own life story and package it in a beautifully printed book, complete with photos. In this Q&A, A Life Untold‘s founder Josh Kates talks about this unique approach to leaving a beautiful memoir as a legacy.
A Life Untold’s mission is to make it easy, fun and affordable for absolutely anyone to turn their life story into a beautifully printed autobiography.
Most people who try writing their life story never finish. Others would love to help their parents and grandparents pass down their stories, but don’t know how. That’s where A Life Untold comes in. They help “regular people” who want to capture and preserve their life story for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.
What’s the story behind A Life Untold?
Josh Kates: When our daughter Eve was born my wife and I got into a very sentimental mood and wanted to record our parents’ life stories for her — and to be honest, for us too. We wanted these stories to be written down, so they could be retold and remembered for years to come. We couldn’t find a good way to do that.
So, we decided to interview them and publish their answers in a book. We love the books, and so do our parents. We took the idea and created A Life Untold.
Who should use A Life Untold?
Josh Kates: Anyone that wants their family and future generations to know who they are and what they did in their life. This is how we think about it.
Imagine for a second that you owned a book written by your grandmother. In that book is an interview with her answering questions about her life – everything from her relationship with her parents, to her thoughts on being a mother and even how she met and fell in love with your grandfather.
Alongside her interview is a curated collection of photos with her describing what’s going on in each. How much would you like to own that book? For most people it would be something to cherish and pass down for generations. And that is the gift you can give yourself and your family. Don’t leave it until it’s too late!
How does it work?
Josh Kates: We have a simple two-step process.
The first step is to answer 101 thought-provoking questions about your life through our online interview. Our interview covers a broad range of “life chapters” like childhood, work, love, as well as philosophical questions. You can always add your own questions, to make sure nothing is missed. Alongside your written answers, you can also include photos, which we think are an important part of telling your story.
After you’ve finished the interview, A Life Untold takes over and combines all the questions, answers and photos to create a unique and professionally designed autobiography of your life.
After you approve the final draft, we’ll print your book in stunning quality and deliver it to your home. We’ll also give you a free digital e-book so you can easily share your story with friends and family over email. And of course, there’s also the option to order extra printed copies.
How long does it take to finish a book?
Josh Kates: As our interview is self-paced, it varies. We’ve had people finish their story in a single sitting. Others love the process and continually refine and expand their answers over many months. Just remember, your family will love and appreciate your story whether it’s 50 pages or 500.
You can also ask one of your friends or family members to use our questions to interview you. In these cases we recommend setting aside at least three hours to get through everything. Our questions will spark a wonderful conversation, so enjoy the process and remember that you don’t have to get through all the questions in a single sitting.
How did you come up with the interview questions?
Josh Kates: When my wife and I first created the list of questions to interview our own parents, we wrote down every single question we ever wanted to know about our parents. These questions created the foundation of the interview that people see today.
As we grew as a company, our questions changed based on customer feedback. We also allow people to add their own questions so nothing important in their life story is missed. Our philosophy has always been to have our questions be open-ended so the answers are as diverse as people’s lives.
What has been the response to A Life Untold so far?
Josh Kates: The response has been truly incredible. The most consistent feedback we get is one of gratitude. We have children and grandchildren write to us saying how much they’ve learned about their family members. We have people write to us about how simple and therapeutic the writing process has been for them.
The feedback has been extremely motivating. We’re now helping countless people all over the world capture their life stories in books that will be treasured by their family for generations. It’s a privilege to be helping people in such a personal and meaningful way.
How much does it cost?
Josh Kates: We have an exclusive offer for A Good Goodbye readers! You can claim a 10% discount when ordering A Life Untold, which brings the total price to $179 (down from $199). To claim this discount, just apply the coupon code GOODBYE on the checkout screen.
The price includes access to our online interview, as well as your life story designed, printed and delivered to your door. You will also receive a digital e-book so you can easily share your story with friends and family over email. And of course, there’s also the option to order extra copies at a discounted rate.
Where can I find out more?
You can find all the details on our website at www.alifeuntold.com.