One of the best gifts that a grandparent can give to a grandchild is the gift of a record of the grandparent's life. Whether in the form of a book, video or other format, this memoir or family history is certain to be cherished by family members. A number of companies are available to help you through the process. Due to the considerable time and money required by this process, these products have not been individually tested. If you choose to use one of these services, read contracts carefully before signing and know exactly what you are purchasing.
The primary product created by Priceless Legacy is called a Life Story Package. The final product is a full-color hardbound book of 80-100 pages, a DVD containing a slide show of up to 100 photos and an audio recording of the two-hour interview conducted by a Legacy Consultant. The quality of the layout and the photo reproduction is excellent, and clients have several opportunities to approve the text and the layout during the process of production. The package price is $1499, and it can be paid in installments.
LifeBio allows you to record the story of your life more reasonably than some other companies because you do a good bit of the work yourself. You begin by going to LifeBio.com and writing memoirs or recording the results of your interviews with family members. You also upload pictures. When you are done, LifeBio generates a PDF file of your stories and memories, complete with table of contents and pictures. You can then print out your story on your own printer for free or order your manuscript as a hardbound book, an option which costs about $1 a page. A lifetime membership to LifeBio costs $39.95. For those who prefer to work offline, a Memory Journal that contains the same questions as the website can be ordered for $19.95.
Lots of grandparents have video of younger days that isn't easy to view today. Perhaps it is even in old 8mm format. The YesDVD service from YesVideo transforms images from their original format into digital format. The final product features chapter menus and highlight reels. The YesDVD service is available at locations including Bartell Drugs, Costco, CVS, Ritz/Wolf Camera, Rite Aid and Walgreens. An online order form is available which gives information about features, pricing, options and instructions, while addressing many questions before the order is placed at the store. Prices vary according to the instructions given, but as an example, a mail-in transfer kit that is priced at $29.99 gives the customer two hours of footage on a DVD.
Billed as an instructional interactive experience, My Living Legacy teaches clients how to videotape life histories and record other critical information. The DVD is divided into five areas; The Production; Life History; Genealogy; Legal and Health; and Personal and Miscellaneous Information. The instruction is designed to benefit those who wish to use a professional video company to complete the process as well as to give instruction in completing the process on one's own. At $14.95, the DVD has a reasonable price; however, be prepared for a much larger price tag if you choose to go with a professional video company.
"There's nothing more personal than your voice." That's the philosophy behind VoiceTales, a website that allows users to share their voice recordings several ways. Customers go to the VoiceTales site, create a free account and then use the phone and the directions on the computer screen to create an audio file. This file can be shared four ways: on CD, on a website, as an RSS feed or as a podcast. The VoiceTales website suggests the sharing of stories about the birth of a child, a wedding day or experiences during a war. Compiling a family history can become a group project with different members of the family creating audio files and the whole family subscribing to them as podcasts. It's a fresh approach to family history.