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Demandstudiossucks.com • View topic - Clips

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Clips

Encourage your fellow DSSers to move on ... or don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Clips

Postby Lallykins » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:44 pm

First of all, I am not one of those fledgling freelancers clueless enough to think I can use eHow articles as clips, or even want a prospective editor to know I write for eHow.

But I'm getting frustrated and tired. I'm trying to break into print (better pay) an the books and forums I've read keep emphasizing the importance of having clips to query print mags. I don't have clips from print - they're mostly somewhat respected but smaller online publications. I'm trying to pitch the larger online publishers, but even they like more clips, too.

Here's my question. I would absolutely never submit a clip from an obviously DMS affiliated site. But writers who write for places like Motley Fool or Chron.com or SF Gate or whatever - is there a way to use those clips without outright lying about it? Ie, somehow PDFing, say a Motley Fool article as a clip without reference to DMS? I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but it's just so hard to try and write tons of stuff for DMS to build up savings lately AND research all the style guidelines/write queries, then worry about clips.

Maybe I'm overthinking the use of clips anyway...I have heard some writers say they either paste clips into an email or don't even offer clips...but it seems like the industry standard to moving up is building your portfolio to get better clients.

I know I have the raw skills to make a living doing this - I'm not the best writer, but I'm okay and I think with some polishing I could be pretty good. I need to tighten up my sentence structure for mags, etc etc, but I'm still a lot better than half the crap I read out there on the internet. So I'm trying really hard to to consistently find better clients, but I feel stuck. Stupid clips!!!
"Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art." - Virginia Woolf

PUT A BIRD ON IT!!!!
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Re: Clips

Postby Scribe On Demand » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:35 pm

Because I've done some of the big name projects with DMS, I've done a screenshot of the article on the website (gently Photoshopping the DMS logo out of the shot) or copy/pasted the article and only put the project's website (not DMS' affiliation) as the client. I've gotten some clients that way and I only use the articles that have actually turned out well.

It's a bit risky, sure, but mostly you want people reading your work to prove you can do what you say you can. Until I get some clips from national magazines, I'll throw one of these in my clip roster along with two or three clips from other clients simply because a recognizable name can get my foot in the door.
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Re: Clips

Postby disgruntled » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:24 pm

SOD gave good advice, but Piggy has another suggestion. If you're looking for work with, say, "big" non-Demand clients but need more clips, why not go work for "small" or "medium" non-Demand clients? You get clips, you get paid, you get the leverage to aim at the big shots.
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Re: Clips

Postby Scribe On Demand » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:55 pm

I like to throw in one big name just for recognition factor. In my experience, it gets people more interested much more quickly.

But Pig has a point. Clips are clips as long as they are good and they made you money.

I tip my hat to you, Pig. May I call you Piggy? ;)
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Re: Clips

Postby Page1News » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:31 pm

As a print person, I definitely don't think editing out the DMS tag on USA Today, SF Chron, etc. is at all unethical or shady. It's work that you produced, was published and paid for, plain an simple.

When I switched my career from editing to reporting, I was desperate for print clips. So I volunteered to cover local entertainment events for my community newspaper as well as my major metro daily (where I used to work). That was how I was accepted at Ebyline.

For editors who need clips, grab some God-awful content from any horrible SEO-like website and edit the shit out of it. These can be your "befores" and "afters"

For anyone who needs clips, make sure you create or expand your portfolio the second you grab a gig. I was left scrambling to make copies (on company time) of all my news and sports pages during my last week of working at the daily newspaper.

As far as needing clips for print pubs, most will require them. The way I put my clip portfolio together was to make each clip a PDF, place all the PDFs onto separate pages into an InDesign document and then create the multiple-page InDesign document into one PDF file. Most print pubs only require your three best clips. The last gig I applied to asked for no more than four clips.

These are just my own experiences; take what you need and forget the rest. I hope this helps a little.
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Re: Clips

Postby Scribe On Demand » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:08 am

Page, I just realized I've never had to print my clips or copy them for a physical copy ever in my career.

WHOA. Digital age indeed.

But Lally, clips are important. Really really important. I didn't start getting other gigs until I offered clips both on my freelancing website and via email at their request.
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Re: Clips

Postby Page1News » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:35 am

You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.
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Re: Clips

Postby disgruntled » Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:27 am

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Re: Clips

Postby truthagainst » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:43 am

"You see, I have this little policy about honesty and ass-kicking, which is, if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it." - Taylor Mali
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Re: Clips

Postby Page1News » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:01 pm

You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.
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