NBFS Interview INFO/FAQs

First of all, many thanks for your interest in doing an interview with me! This sheet should answer most of your questions. If you have any other concerns, please don’t hesitate to send me an email.

Before the interview…

Do I have a copy of the book?

I can only schedule interviews after I’ve received a hard copy of the book. Typically, authors give my contact information to their publisher who then mails a copy to me at the following address: Dr. Roxanne Panchasi
Department of History
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC
Canada V5A 1S6

When will we do the interview?
If we haven’t already set a time for an interview, we will as soon as possible. I typically have a waitlist of several authors at any given time. In some cases, it may be take several months before we’re able to do the interview. Please know that I’ll do my best to get to your book as quickly as both of our schedules allow.

What equipment/software will I need to do the interview?

  • A computer with a stable, strong Internet connection for the recording of the interview. We’ll be using audio only (no video).
  • A pair of headphones. Headphones help to eliminate an echo when we record. They don’t need to be fancy, but if they help block outside noise for you, this is plus!
  • To capture the sound from our conversation, we’ll be using Zencastr, a servicethat results in better sound quality than some other methods I’ve used in the past (Skype, etc.). Shortly before our interview begins, I’ll send an invitation in the form of a link to your e-mail address. By clicking on the link you receive, you’ll be able to join an online conversation with me that we’ll begin to record when we’re ready. You don’t need to register for or download anything from Zencastr. The browser that works best with the service is Google Chrome, however. I recommend that you install Chrome on your computer if you don’t already have it to avoid the problems that seem to come up with other browsers.

What can I do to prepare?
The best thing you can do to prepare is to listen to an interview or two. These can be accessed here. Tuning in is the easiest way to getting a sense of format, types of questions we’ll cover, etc. My interviews have my name in the byline. If you want to get a sense of my approach, it’s probably best to take a listen to one of these rather than one of the ones that we regularly cross-post from other channels (hosted by other interviewers) that feature books with French/Francophone studies content.

The Interview…

How long will the recording session take?
A typical interview recording session will take around 90 minutes, including a chat beforehand, and a quick conversation following the interview itself. After you receive a link to join me on Zencastr, we’ll record a brief test. We’ll talk for a few minutes, during which time you can ask any final questions you may have before we record the interview itself. Then, I’ll check that everything is recording properly, and we can begin recording the interview proper.

How will the interview begin?
I’ll begin with my usual greeting to listeners, welcome you, and note title and publisher of the book. I’ll then ask you to provide whatever biographical information you’d like (your personal and/or educational background, current institutional affiliation, etc.). What you choose to include is up to you. You’ll also have an opportunity to speak about how you came to work on France and/or the subject of the book.

What about the format for the rest of the interview?
As we move into talking about the book itself, I’ll ask a number of broad questions about the project and (usually) follow the order of the chapters as we continue our conversation.

How long should my responses be?
Each question-response cycle should ideally run no longer than three minutes or so. This keeps listeners engaged and keeps the interview sounding more like a conversation than a lecture. I ask that you be aware of the length of your responses, but please don’t worry terribly if a particular response requires a bit more time.

How should I pitch my responses?
Questions will be broad and I’ll ask you to explain key concepts, events, etc. The interview isn’t mean to be a debate, but rather an opportunity for you to share your aims and approach to your work with an audience that may include other scholars, students, and even non-academics. I would ask that you keep all of these potential listeners in mind as you respond.

How will the interview end?
Somewhere around the 50-55 minute mark, I will begin to wrap up the interview by asking you about where your work has taken you since you published the book. Ideally, the final interview will run less than 60 minutes in length.

What if something goes wrong?
You may need or want to stop for some reason. There may be a noise or some other interruption. We can work with all of this, cleaning up any major interruptions at the editing stage. But generally, the idea is for us to just keep moving and continue our conversation as much as possible.

After the Interview…

Will the interview be edited?
With the recording done, I’ll do some limited editing to get rid of any disruptive sounds or breaks in the interview. The ideal is to leave our conversation intact as much as possible, and editing will be minimal unless we’ve gone too far over time, or there are specific moments we decide not to include after recording.

When will the interview be posted online?
Typically, the interview will be posted within the month (or so) following our conversation. I will also write a brief blurb for the podcast webpage where listeners can stream or download the interview. The blog post will include a link to your faculty page at your institution, and to the book’s page at the press website. It will also include links to like/share the interview on Twitter, Facebook, etc. and a photo of you. If the photo available via your faculty page is not the one you would like to see appear on the blog, please send me a high-quality JPEG for inclusion on the blog before our interview.

Will my interview be posted on other NBN channels?
Your interview will be cross-posted on one or more of the other New Books Network channel pages depending on what other themes or issues you deal with in your book. If you have a specific request along these lines, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Please also let me know if you have agreed to speak about your book on any other podcasts. Given the way the network operates, it will not make sense for us to proceed with an interview if you are also doing another interview on another New Books channel. If you have already spoken with or plan to speak with a podcaster outside the NBN, please let me know about this too.

How will the interview be advertised?
Once everything is up online, I’ll post the interview on Twitter, the Facebook page for NBFS, and H-France. I’ll also send you a dedicated link to the interview. You should feel free to share the link as widely as you like, especially to any academic lists besides H-France that might be relevant. You don’t have to listen to your own interview once it is posted, but please do let me know what you think if you do.

Thanks again for agreeing to be on the podcast. I look forward to speaking with you about your work, and to sharing our conversation with a wider audience.


*Watermark reproduces an original print by Terrence Peterson (Florida International University).