Storyworth FAQ - 15 things to know before you buy

May 2024

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From the Community

In the realm of services designed to capture and preserve life and family stories, StoryWorth has carved its niche. The service provides the unique opportunity to document personal stories inspired by weekly prompts, culminating in a professionally bound memoir at the end of a year.

According to Storyworth’s website, the service has "helped its customers capture millions of stories." Each of these narratives forms a piece of a private collection - a literary mosaic depicting the user's life journey as they respond to thoughtful prompts. 

When Storyworth works as intended, it offers an unrivaled tool for introspection, personal discovery, and legacy building. By inspiring users to write their personal narratives, it cultivates a habit of reflection and nurtures self-expression.

However, like all tools, understanding how Storyworth works is critical before you decide to make a purchase. Before you buy, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to uncover the nuances of Storyworth, its pros, its limitations, and various important details potential subscribers should be aware of.

If you're looking for a Storyworth alternative that doesn't require writing, check out Remento.

Credit:StoryWorth
Credit: Storyworth.com

1. Perfect for natural writers

If you or your recipient loves writing and documenting life experiences, you'll likely find success with Storyworth. The platform focuses on written narratives and encourages users to document their life stories by writing them out. This works wonderfully if you love crafting stories and translating memories into words. With Storyworth, every story turns into a personalized essay ready to be cherished for years to come.

"Storyworth gave me the structure and motivation to write my own book about my lifetime of memories." - TrustPilot Review

2. Painful for those who don’t love to write

On the other hand, Storyworth can seem intimidating for individuals who struggle with writing or don't find it enjoyable. The core tenet of Storyworth involves storytelling through written words. Therefore, if writing isn't exactly your or your loved one's strong suit, Storyworth might come across as demanding-even overwhelming to some. Plus, some self-proclaimed "writers" have cited feeling a level of anxiety about crafting the perfect written story. As a result, the process of writing stories starts to feel less and less like a joyful experience and yes, to some, does become "painful."

"We are in our late 70s and writing every week is just too much.” -TrustPilot Review

3. To some, feels like homework

Plenty of successful Storyworth participants feel that in writing their memoir, they’ve created a “gift for future generations.” For others, the task of writing a life story can feel like a school assignment. The structured, guided approach of posing questions to extract stories may not be pleasant for all, especially for those who don’t like feeling put in the spot or prefer a more spontaneous, free-flow approach to communicating their thoughts. Many customers site the tedious nature of writing these stories "by hand" as the reason they don't ultimately complete their book. Unlike other story preservation offerings (like Remento), Storyworth does not offer a voice-to-text option.

Yeah, turns out my parents can’t do their homework either. Didn’t answer a single question for a year. - Reddit thread

4. Requires staying on top of email 

Much of Storyworth's interactions hinge on email communication. Invitations, reminders, story prompts, and almost every touchpoint with StoryWorth will come via email. Therefore, anyone who isn’t completely comfortable dealing with a regular influx of emails might face some initial friction while navigating the StoryWorth process. And even those comfortable with email have acknowledged in online reviews that at some point in the process, the emails stopped altogether.

"Got this for my dad.. started out great, but then all of a sudden I stopped getting his stories!" - TrustPilot Review

5. Limited customization options

The ultimate cherries of the Storyworth experience are undoubtedly the printed books. While many customers speak positively of their excellent quality, many others express frustration that customization options are limited. Restrictions include the inability to italicize text, lack of diverse font options and sizes, absence of rich text editor functionalities like bolding and underlining, and certain issues with pagination and blank pages appearing throughout the book. One customer noted, “The idea is great…However, I would highly recommend going to another company which has better editing. Storyworth has very few tools to help design and create the look you want.”

“I was VERY...unhappy that I was stuck with double spacing...it look more like a third grade reading book.”  - TrustPilot Review

6. Generic prompts are a mixed bag

The questions Storyworth provides new subscribers by default dramatically streamlines the onboarding process. And while some people seem to enjoy the default questions, others find them a bit pedestrian.

“The story ideas are a mixed bag, some good and others not so good.” - TrustPilot Review

7. Uploading photos requires login

Photos certainly amplify the storytelling experience by adding a visual dimension to your narratives. However, Storyworth users have reported difficulties when trying to upload images to their stories. If you're not tech-savvy or if you're easily frustrated by technology glitches, you might find this as a downside to the overall Storyworth experience.

“The addition of pictures is done inconsistently, especially if you add them later. If you try to add scanned input the result is also inconsistent.” - TrustPilot Review

8. Time-intensive editing & review

Be prepared to invest some time in the book editing process. Rearranging stories, fine tuning text and layout, and putting together a polished book can consume a considerable amount of time. This is particularly notable for family members who sit down to review a full year of stories all in one sitting - nearly impossible! So if you're the person who will be copyediting the book, consider this aspect prior to diving in.

9. Additional books aren’t cheap

Many families with a loved one who completes a Storyworth book are excited to purchase multiple copies of the books for multiple members of the family. After all, a beautifully written book is indeed a tremendous keepsake. These folks, however, are often surprised to learn that printing an additional book can cost up to an additional $99 before shipping.So if you're planning on sharing your Storyworth journey with family or friends, plan this aspect of your budget accordingly.

10. Language limitation

If you're considering Storyworth for a non-Latin alphabet user, be aware of the platform’s language constraints. The current software only supports languages that use the Latin script, potentially alienating users who wish to write in languages such as Arabic, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, or any East Asian languages. For example, one customer was disappointed to see that the cover of the book didn’t correctly print her father’s Mandarin name. 

"I was highly disappointed to learn that characters in different languages were not reflected in the printing of the book." - TrustPilot Review

11. Deleted stories and shipping issues

There are few things more precious than an entire life story turned into a timeless artifact. Unfortunately, multiple different reports from customers online indicate that Storyworth stories were not saved after being written. Plusl, some users noted delivery issues and expressed frustration at the suggestion that they ought to purchase another copy.

"I wrote a long answer to the grandparents question and the program lost it. Not going to do again!" - TrustPilot Reviewer

12. Unclear instructions and confusing website

Although Storytellers are able to answer questions by responding to their email directly, some prefer to log into Storyworth to write their responses. This is required for anyone interested in uploading photos. Unfortunately, many customers cited issues with navigating the Storyworth website and the steps required to submit a new story.

“We sent requests to 20 people to answer questions; only 2 were able to navigate the software.” - TrustPilot Reviewer

13. No returns for books allowed

While the printed books are the culmination of your year's worth of storytelling, they come with a no-return policy. This means books cannot be returned once they're printed and shipped. With this in mind, plan to spend time perfecting the digital manuscript and thoroughly reviewing it before you place your order.

"When I emailed my complaint to Storyworth I received an email apologizing for the out come. However, the printer would not reprint the book." - TrustPilot Review

14. Inconsistent customer service

On various review sites including TrustPilot, many Storyworth customers share frustration with radio silence from the customer service team. They wish their customer support team had a phone number and wasn’t purely limited to email communication. One customer found that a submitted story included information different from what was printed in the book and was told she “should have read the whole book and double checked everything before purchasing.”

Great concept but horrible customer service and experience with this company. - TrustPilot Review

15. You can’t combine stories

Combining stories from multiple storytellers into one cohesive book is a feature that is not inherently built into the Storyworth service. By default, each Storyworth subscription is linked to one storyteller, resulting in one unique book. Individuals with multiple subscriptions for various storytellers can reach out to Storyworth's customer support to manually combine the stories from different storytellers into a single book. 

Just as with any digital platform, Storyworth has its unique strengths and certain constraints. By understanding these details, you can make an informed choice about whether Storyworth is a good fit for you or your loved one, and how you can make the most of it if you do decide to embark on the Storyworth journey. Happy storytelling!

Next Up: Remento v. Storyworth - Everything you need to know

Tags:

From the Community

Storyworth FAQ - 15 things to know before you buy

May 2024

In the realm of services designed to capture and preserve life and family stories, StoryWorth has carved its niche. The service provides the unique opportunity to document personal stories inspired by weekly prompts, culminating in a professionally bound memoir at the end of a year.

According to Storyworth’s website, the service has "helped its customers capture millions of stories." Each of these narratives forms a piece of a private collection - a literary mosaic depicting the user's life journey as they respond to thoughtful prompts. 

When Storyworth works as intended, it offers an unrivaled tool for introspection, personal discovery, and legacy building. By inspiring users to write their personal narratives, it cultivates a habit of reflection and nurtures self-expression.

However, like all tools, understanding how Storyworth works is critical before you decide to make a purchase. Before you buy, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to uncover the nuances of Storyworth, its pros, its limitations, and various important details potential subscribers should be aware of.

If you're looking for a Storyworth alternative that doesn't require writing, check out Remento.

Credit:StoryWorth
Credit: Storyworth.com

1. Perfect for natural writers

If you or your recipient loves writing and documenting life experiences, you'll likely find success with Storyworth. The platform focuses on written narratives and encourages users to document their life stories by writing them out. This works wonderfully if you love crafting stories and translating memories into words. With Storyworth, every story turns into a personalized essay ready to be cherished for years to come.

"Storyworth gave me the structure and motivation to write my own book about my lifetime of memories." - TrustPilot Review

2. Painful for those who don’t love to write

On the other hand, Storyworth can seem intimidating for individuals who struggle with writing or don't find it enjoyable. The core tenet of Storyworth involves storytelling through written words. Therefore, if writing isn't exactly your or your loved one's strong suit, Storyworth might come across as demanding-even overwhelming to some. Plus, some self-proclaimed "writers" have cited feeling a level of anxiety about crafting the perfect written story. As a result, the process of writing stories starts to feel less and less like a joyful experience and yes, to some, does become "painful."

"We are in our late 70s and writing every week is just too much.” -TrustPilot Review

3. To some, feels like homework

Plenty of successful Storyworth participants feel that in writing their memoir, they’ve created a “gift for future generations.” For others, the task of writing a life story can feel like a school assignment. The structured, guided approach of posing questions to extract stories may not be pleasant for all, especially for those who don’t like feeling put in the spot or prefer a more spontaneous, free-flow approach to communicating their thoughts. Many customers site the tedious nature of writing these stories "by hand" as the reason they don't ultimately complete their book. Unlike other story preservation offerings (like Remento), Storyworth does not offer a voice-to-text option.

Yeah, turns out my parents can’t do their homework either. Didn’t answer a single question for a year. - Reddit thread

4. Requires staying on top of email 

Much of Storyworth's interactions hinge on email communication. Invitations, reminders, story prompts, and almost every touchpoint with StoryWorth will come via email. Therefore, anyone who isn’t completely comfortable dealing with a regular influx of emails might face some initial friction while navigating the StoryWorth process. And even those comfortable with email have acknowledged in online reviews that at some point in the process, the emails stopped altogether.

"Got this for my dad.. started out great, but then all of a sudden I stopped getting his stories!" - TrustPilot Review

5. Limited customization options

The ultimate cherries of the Storyworth experience are undoubtedly the printed books. While many customers speak positively of their excellent quality, many others express frustration that customization options are limited. Restrictions include the inability to italicize text, lack of diverse font options and sizes, absence of rich text editor functionalities like bolding and underlining, and certain issues with pagination and blank pages appearing throughout the book. One customer noted, “The idea is great…However, I would highly recommend going to another company which has better editing. Storyworth has very few tools to help design and create the look you want.”

“I was VERY...unhappy that I was stuck with double spacing...it look more like a third grade reading book.”  - TrustPilot Review

6. Generic prompts are a mixed bag

The questions Storyworth provides new subscribers by default dramatically streamlines the onboarding process. And while some people seem to enjoy the default questions, others find them a bit pedestrian.

“The story ideas are a mixed bag, some good and others not so good.” - TrustPilot Review

7. Uploading photos requires login

Photos certainly amplify the storytelling experience by adding a visual dimension to your narratives. However, Storyworth users have reported difficulties when trying to upload images to their stories. If you're not tech-savvy or if you're easily frustrated by technology glitches, you might find this as a downside to the overall Storyworth experience.

“The addition of pictures is done inconsistently, especially if you add them later. If you try to add scanned input the result is also inconsistent.” - TrustPilot Review

8. Time-intensive editing & review

Be prepared to invest some time in the book editing process. Rearranging stories, fine tuning text and layout, and putting together a polished book can consume a considerable amount of time. This is particularly notable for family members who sit down to review a full year of stories all in one sitting - nearly impossible! So if you're the person who will be copyediting the book, consider this aspect prior to diving in.

9. Additional books aren’t cheap

Many families with a loved one who completes a Storyworth book are excited to purchase multiple copies of the books for multiple members of the family. After all, a beautifully written book is indeed a tremendous keepsake. These folks, however, are often surprised to learn that printing an additional book can cost up to an additional $99 before shipping.So if you're planning on sharing your Storyworth journey with family or friends, plan this aspect of your budget accordingly.

10. Language limitation

If you're considering Storyworth for a non-Latin alphabet user, be aware of the platform’s language constraints. The current software only supports languages that use the Latin script, potentially alienating users who wish to write in languages such as Arabic, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, or any East Asian languages. For example, one customer was disappointed to see that the cover of the book didn’t correctly print her father’s Mandarin name. 

"I was highly disappointed to learn that characters in different languages were not reflected in the printing of the book." - TrustPilot Review

11. Deleted stories and shipping issues

There are few things more precious than an entire life story turned into a timeless artifact. Unfortunately, multiple different reports from customers online indicate that Storyworth stories were not saved after being written. Plusl, some users noted delivery issues and expressed frustration at the suggestion that they ought to purchase another copy.

"I wrote a long answer to the grandparents question and the program lost it. Not going to do again!" - TrustPilot Reviewer

12. Unclear instructions and confusing website

Although Storytellers are able to answer questions by responding to their email directly, some prefer to log into Storyworth to write their responses. This is required for anyone interested in uploading photos. Unfortunately, many customers cited issues with navigating the Storyworth website and the steps required to submit a new story.

“We sent requests to 20 people to answer questions; only 2 were able to navigate the software.” - TrustPilot Reviewer

13. No returns for books allowed

While the printed books are the culmination of your year's worth of storytelling, they come with a no-return policy. This means books cannot be returned once they're printed and shipped. With this in mind, plan to spend time perfecting the digital manuscript and thoroughly reviewing it before you place your order.

"When I emailed my complaint to Storyworth I received an email apologizing for the out come. However, the printer would not reprint the book." - TrustPilot Review

14. Inconsistent customer service

On various review sites including TrustPilot, many Storyworth customers share frustration with radio silence from the customer service team. They wish their customer support team had a phone number and wasn’t purely limited to email communication. One customer found that a submitted story included information different from what was printed in the book and was told she “should have read the whole book and double checked everything before purchasing.”

Great concept but horrible customer service and experience with this company. - TrustPilot Review

15. You can’t combine stories

Combining stories from multiple storytellers into one cohesive book is a feature that is not inherently built into the Storyworth service. By default, each Storyworth subscription is linked to one storyteller, resulting in one unique book. Individuals with multiple subscriptions for various storytellers can reach out to Storyworth's customer support to manually combine the stories from different storytellers into a single book. 

Just as with any digital platform, Storyworth has its unique strengths and certain constraints. By understanding these details, you can make an informed choice about whether Storyworth is a good fit for you or your loved one, and how you can make the most of it if you do decide to embark on the Storyworth journey. Happy storytelling!

Next Up: Remento v. Storyworth - Everything you need to know

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