IASPM-US Interview Series: Guidelines

The IASPM-US Interview Series features conversations with popular music scholars of recently published books. A collection of links to interviews that have posted on the site can be found here. If you would like to conduct an interview, or if you have recently published a book and would like to be interviewed, contact the web editor at iaspmus@gmail.com.

Below are some guidelines for interviewers.

1. Once you’ve agreed to conduct an interview, I will request a review copy to be sent to you from the publisher, and I will also send a joint email to you and the author. Once that email is generated, take a moment to introduce yourself. By the time you finish reading the book, you’ll know a good deal about the author, so it’s helpful if s/he knows something about you too. At this point, you’ll also want to establish (before you read the book) when the interview will happen and what format you will use, whether email or skype or some other method. Remember that if you conduct an interview via skype, phone, or face-to-face, it will need to be transcribed for the site. Work with the author to find a time that works for him/her, and also be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to finish a careful read of the book.

2. If the interview is conducted by skype, phone, or face-to-face, you are welcome to submit a recording of some or all of the audio to be posted on the site as well. It will be helpful to break the audio into segments of manageable size (no more than 20MB each). If you’re interested in this but are not sure how to do it, we can chat.

3. Once you’ve read the book, enter the interview with several questions in mind, but allow yourself some flexibility so that the author can take you to unexpected places during the course of the conversation. A good final question is always something like, “Is there anything else you’d like to say?”

4. When interviewing an author, the book is always the appropriate jumping off point, but it’s okay to discuss more than just what’s in the book, including the process of researching/writing, related projects on music or pedagogy, and the author’s future plans.

5. A good minimum base for the interview is about 2000 words, 5 questions, or 20-30 minutes of conversation. It is fine to exceed these limits. The beauty of the website is that we aren’t short on space, so if you and the author produce an intriguing conversation that runs long, we can split it into a few different posts and spread it over a couple of days on the site.

6. As you prepare the interview for submission, look for places that you can add links or media, including images, video, and audio. Don’t forget to ask the author for a head shot or other publicity photo we can run with the interview.

The file should be saved as .doc or .docx. Links can be hyperlinked within the document, or you can paste the url in brackets next to the appropriate text. If you’d like audio or video from the internet to be embedded instead of linked, you can indicate that next to the url (“Barry Jive and the Uptown Five [barryjive&theuptown5.com] have a particularly great cover of “Let’s Get It On.” ).

Images that aren’t available from the internet should be sent as .jpg, .gif., or .png files (2MB maximum per image). Audio not available on the web should be in .mp3 format. If you have video that isn’t available on the web, .flv is the preferred extension. If you have a video in a different format and are not sure how to convert to .flv, contact Justin to discuss options.

In the final document, please provide short (say, 50 words) bios of both the interviewer and the author, a publicity photo of the author, and a short (say, 100-250 words) introduction of the author and book that can run before the interview.

7. After preparing the document, show it to the interviewee before submitting it to me to ensure that s/he approves of everything in the interview. When you email the document to me (iaspmus@gmail.com), cc the author to the message, too.

8. As mentioned above, depending on the length and content of the interview, we may run it on the site on a single day or spread over multiple days. I may also suggests cuts or inquire about content that’s unclear, so you may expect to hear from me within a few days of submitting the interview.

9. We have several of these happening all at once, as well as other content coming into the site, so publication schedules will vary. Depending on when you submit your interview and who else has recently submitted, the interview may post within a few days or may be scheduled for a few weeks later. After I read the interview, I will email you and the author and let you know when it will post to the site. At this time, I’ll also include a link to the interview that won’t work until it posts. Once it posts, publicize the interview however you’d like. I’ll tweet it (@iaspmus) and send periodic listserv updates, but you can also help spread the word.

10. Check my work! I make some mistakes, so if the formatting of the post is off, or if I messed up anything at all, let me know as soon as you can so that we can fix it. Also, if you ever have any questions or concerns along the way, just ask me, and I’ll help as best I can.