Michael D. Ayers, Editor of Cybersounds – Essays on Virtual Music Culture Interviewed

Editor: Michael D. Ayers

ISBN: 082047861X

Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Bookpleasures.com, who has recently reviewed Michael D. Ayers’ Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture, is honored to have as our guest, Michael D. Ayers.

Good day Michael and thanks for agreeing to participate in our interview.

Norm:

Michael, when and why did you become interested in the subjects that are explored in Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture?

Michael:

About 1999/2000- when I really started to see how Napster was affecting many different areas in the social world. But I guess, really, you could point to 1994- I went to my first phish show in Fairfax, Virginia- and had audio tapes of the show 3 weeks later- from a guy in California- all possible due to Newsgroups. I thought that was fascinating, and would tell people about that at parties as much as I could, even though most didn’t seem to care too much J

Norm:

Why did you feel compelled to publish Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture? Why do you think this is an important book at this time? Is there an underlying message in your book?

Michael:

Its important in the sense that music and music “cultures” are really finding a mainstream audience / use with the Internet- therefore, I really think that when many different groups are using the Net for their own means, there will be a bevy of opinions on what is happening (in this case, what is happening with Net + music)- I do think its important to get some research and thought out there that presents a few new angles / ideas.

Norm:

How has the feedback been so far? What are your hopes for this book?

Michael:

Bookpleasures.com likes it!! Other than that, it’s been slow. “Indie” academic presses, which this is on, don’t always have the resources to get a lot of mainstream press. But aside from being a good book for college students and academics, I do think it has a lot of crossover appeal- that is, it would lend it self in a “friendly” manner to those just interested in the subject. I was very conscious during the whole process on making sure that it was “user-friendly”

Norm:

Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Were there any rejections?

Michael:

I initially pitched 4 publishers- it was rejected by 2; 1 I didn’t hear anything from, and Peter Lang did want it. I had been in touch with Steve Jones out of the University of Illinois at Chicago- he was a fan of the earlier anthology I had done, and I think put in a good word for me at Peter Lang.

Norm:

How did you go about choosing your contributors? Did you use any particular criteria?

Michael:

I hand picked a few that I knew of their work and their writing. Others, I just put out a call for submissions on a few listservs and got responses – that’s how I got my international contributors.

Norm:

How have you used the Internet to market your book and will you be using any unique ways to market your book?

Michael:

I haven’t used the net at all, really- which I guess is a bit ironic / oxymoronic / moronic. I did announce on the listservs, but haven’t done too much. But, my new book that I’m starting this summer, I’m using the web heavily- it’s going to be a much more general audience book on fandom, in the vein of Chuck Klosterman’s recent books. I’m going to be blogging the writing process / writing of the book throughout the whole process- I can’t remember a book / author doing that at this point. Shameless plug: [http://blog-uber-fan.com/]

Norm:

What new innovations do you predict pertaining to the Internet music revolution?

Michael:

It’s so hard. I can’t make any, at all. Maybe Pandora will take off- it seems really cool. But I never saw BitTorrent coming, and that is just amazing / brilliant in my opinion. Though I don’t use it.

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered.

Michael: I think that’s about it! Thanks Norm!!!

Thanks once again and good luck with your book.

 
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