For Father's Day this past June, my Father-in-Law asked each of his children to write some of their childhood memories and share them with him as his gift. My husband and his siblings each enjoyed sharing different stories and listening to the ones others remembered. I thought it was a great idea for a present. We had not thought of something quite as clever for my Dad's gift, so I decided perhaps that was a good idea for his birthday in September.
I then happened upon Neal's Blog, an employee for FamilyLearn. He wrote about a site that could put together a very nice memory book to give to someone or to make for yourself. It is called iMemoryBook. I looked it over and liked what I saw and then suggested the idea to my siblings of making a memory book for my Dad's 60th birthday.
We all decided to do it and then after emailing and inviting all of my dad's siblings, and my mom's siblings, and old friends to share a memory of my dad...we soon had about 105 pages of pictures and memories.
Here is my review of iMemoryBook's product and service.
When we first started adding memories and pictures online, there were a few problems with the database. I think the company is fairly new, so I'm sure all the kinks had not been worked out yet. I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org with lots of questions and they always emailed me back promptly with ways to fix my problem or to help me. They were very willing to please me, and had truly good customer service (unlike some companies these days) to make up for any problems with the database. We needed our book in the middle of September, but FamilyLearn did tell me they were going to fix a lot of bugs and different issues for a new version with an October 1st release date, so I'm sure it is working much better now.
Once we had uploaded all of the contributions we wanted in my Dad's book, it took about a week for FamilyLearn to organize it all together and get it ready for printing. They then sent me a preview of the book in PDF format and I was able to look through all 105 pages to check it out. We didn't really have a good order for all the entries, but FamilyLearn made a nice Table of Contents grouping together the entries from Parents, Siblings, Kids, Grandkids, and then Sweetheart. My mother had written quite a few different entries, so I thought it was a nice idea to group those all together under the heading "Sweetheart."
There were a few problems when I got the first preview...some pictures had not made it in, and some picture captions were wrong, so I emailed them back and they fixed it and sent me a new preview. Unfortunately I had missed some of the other errors, like the wrong spelling of Sweetheart as Sweatheart and also 2 other picture captions that were wrong. I did not realize these errors until we had already ordered 7 books, one for my dad and 1 for each of us kids. I take the blame since I didn't catch them in the preview, but I'm sure that my Dad still loved the gift and appreciated the time and thought we put into it.
So if you're interested in using iMemoryBook's services, I would recommend them. I think they are a small company, and perhaps don't have the most polished products yet, but as long as you explain how you want your book to look and proofread it carefully, you will have a nice book for many generations to cherish.
We got my dad a hardbound color book about the size of a yearbook. But you can order smaller books with just black and white pictures and a softbound cover to make it cheaper if you prefer. The cost also drops if you order multiple books or if you just get the free cover. We got a "Silver Cover," which just means that they took one of our pictures of my dad and added a nice background with a motorcycle (since he loves his Harley). Here is what it looks like.