Clare K. R. Miller asks,
What if you’re just starting out? Are academic samples appropriate, or should you write some things to use as samples even if they’re not published?
In general, using academic samples can be a way to get around not having any published samples that you can use in terms of work to show an editor. Personally, I don’t think that they’re absolutely ideal — academic styles can be very different from what a client wants. If you don’t have any non-academic samples, I’d suggest submitting one academic piece and pairing it with something that you’ve written specifically to use as a sample. That approach can show an editor your ability to work in different styles, as well as showcase your writing ability.
Got a question about the business side of freelance writing? Leave it in the comments and I’ll answer it in next week’s Ask Me Anything.