Do I Need to Pay Interview Subjects?

Hi, Angela

I’m writing a memoir for which I’m interviewing a number of people who were involved in the story, such as EMTs, witnesses, family members, friends, etc. The story is a very positive one, overall. My question is, do the interviewees need to sign any kind of a release to allow me to use the information they provide? I think they do, or should. But I can’t find a standard release that seems to fit this situation– the usual release that absolves them of any libel/slander arising from the book but also indicates they release all rights to receive revenue from doing the interview. And, if I do need to use such a release, where can I find one?


Hi Barbara,

I don’t think any interviewee expects payment for their words in an interview. So I don’t think that’s necessary in the release. You simply need to include verbiage in the release that they grant you the right to use their words.

The University of Arizona Press has an excellent Interview Release form online. You can read it here: