How long does it take to publish a book on our history?
Some organizations contact Write Stuff five or six years in advance of a major corporate milestone, such as a significant anniversary. Other corporations may need their book available much sooner, anywhere from a year to 18 months after contacting us. Our quickest turnaround is nine months, and our longest (by request) is six years. The average length of time is around 18 months.
How many individuals are typically interviewed, and how long does each interview take?
Our interviews are brief (about 40 minutes to an hour) and well researched. We promise that we remain flexible in deference to the important responsibilities of your leadership and all interviewees. We begin with a list of approximately 30 nominees. During these interviews, additional names are often nominated. We make note of these nominations and share them with our corporate liaisons, who may approve the suggestions. We usually interview between 40 and 60 individuals.
Our corporate anniversary or special event is still three or four years away. Should we wait to begin?
It’s important to start as soon as possible to preserve essential oral histories. We can design a “smart start” schedule to synchronize with your requirements. By starting early you can also spread the cost over several fiscal years.
How will a major revision be avoided?
Beginning with the approval of a comprehensive outline, our manuscript is presented incrementally, two or three chapters at a time. From our first meeting to the final delivery of your book, our process is custom-contoured to achieve your goals and to exceed your expectations.
Our staff is extremely busy. Is this going to take up a lot of our time?
Most employees never realize we are working on the book until shortly before publication. Our research team quietly and efficiently gathers the information we need. Our turnkey process is designed to minimize the time investment on your part.
How are you going to please all of the reviewers who will have a say in the final manuscript?
Pleasing different readers can be a challenge, and that’s why most organizations turn to Write Stuff rather than overwhelm already stressed internal staff to undertake this challenging effort. More than three decades of experience have taught us the importance of ensuring that your book will be well-balanced and accommodate the widest range of voices.
We don’t really have what you would consider “archives.” Can we still do a book?
We have seen the best and the worst of archives and have become resourceful at adapting our research accordingly. Companies that tell us they lack archives are very impressed with the degree of historic detail and breadth of anecdotal narrative we are able to provide in our works.
Can we publish our book in multiple languages?
In addition to English, Write Stuff has published works in Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. We have a superb system for parallel English and foreign-language manuscript development. Once you have approved our English manuscript, translation of those chapters begins right away. We have even published a single, composite English/Portuguese edition and would be happy to do the same for any other languages.
We are more interested in a book about our future than our past. Can you help us?
That is a common concern. We pride ourselves on providing our subjects with an effective tool for potential acquisitions, sales, marketing, promotion, recruiting, and sustained growth. We will fashion a book that supports where you’ve been in a way that illuminates where you’re going.
How will you ensure that the story is told accurately?
Our research teams use many sources of information, including antecedent works, annual reports, corporate newsletters, published articles, executive speeches, and industry trade publications, as well as library and historical society archives. We also interview a wide spectrum of executives, veteran employees, retirees, industry authorities, technical experts, and, with your guidance, key customers and vendors.