A: Sending clips via e-mail can be difficult. You can try scanning the images, but that sometimes blurs the words and makes the piece illegible. You can copy text into a word processing document and send it, but that doesn’t prove the piece you’re submitting has been published. So what can you do?
First, check to see if the publisher of your work has ever posted it on its website. If so, it may have your work archived. All you have to do from here is copy the link into your e-query and your worries are gone. But what if they don’t archive stories online?
Most magazines, newspapers, newsletters and other types of writing mediums use computer programs to lay out the work and then save that work as a PDF—Portable Document Format. PDFs are the standard format for distribution and exchange of electronic files. In other words, they can be easily e-mailed and accessed whether you’re using a PC or a Mac.
If you don’t have the PDFs of your work already, call the magazine or newspaper that published it and request that they send you the electronic versions. Most media outlets keep archives of all their work, but it’s only been within the past 10 years that technology has led to electronic archiving. The older the clip, the tougher it might be to get. But once you get the PDF of your work, you can send it to anyone through your e-mail.
Brian A. Klems is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.
Have a question for me? Feel free to post it in the comments section below or e-mail me at WritersDig@fwpubs.com with “Q&Q” in the subject line. Come back each Tuesday as I try to give you more insight into the writing life.