Sheehan has a conversation with the client, explaining how he will produce a full-length book or memoir which, if desired, can be made available to the buying public through the internet and select bookstore outlets. A mission statement for the book will be agreed upon, and a 'point person' for the subject of the book will be designated. This point person will provide interview names and contacts, will speak with the interviewee about the project and introduce Sheehan to him or her over the phone or internet, and will receive regular reports from Sheehan about the book's progress. Jack does all the interviewing, all the writing, and accepts bids from publishers or printers to produce the final book or memoir. In the case of wide-appeal books, he will also help in marketing the final product through book signings and media interviews.
People through the ages have wished in their later years that they had put their life experiences down in a book, which then becomes a public record of all their triumphs and mistakes, and over which they have control. All of the people I have written for and about have been gratified that they spent the time and energy to tell their stories and to make sure it was told right. While I have done investigative reporting, I am primarily a feature writer and biographer. I also do not put a public relations spin on these stories. I tell the subject at the outset that my intention is to write a balanced and colorful account of his or her life. The subject always is given a final read-through before the manuscript goes to a publisher, and both subject and author must be pleased with the final version when writing is completed.
The subject or point person must work closely with the author to make certain the story is told completely, and told well. The author provides updates on the work in progress regularly, and appointments are made well in advance to fit easily into the subject's schedule. Memoirs typically require between two and six months to write and run between $25-$50,000 (exclusive of printing costs). Full-length biographies take between 12 and 18 months and run into the low six figures.