Services

I provide back-of-the-book indexes to your specifications. By using Sky Index, a dedicated indexing software program, I am able to easily adapt to different styles and formats. You may use my index specifications worksheet  or email me your own style guide. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The cost of an index will depend on your requirements and the complexity of the text, but my standard rate is $3 to $5 per indexable page. For a more accurate quote, I would need to know the total number of pages, density of text, index length, intended audience, and time frame. It is also very helpful if you can provide a small sample (10 pages) of the text. My quote request form may be faxed or simply used as a guide when you call to discuss your project.

For more information about the process of indexing I recommend this Guide to Working with Freelance Indexers by ASI.

My areas of special interest include gardening, agriculture, horticulture, natural building, alternative energy, photography, graphic arts, health, cooking, and biographies.

Why hire an indexer?

Sitting down and indexing a book is—in our experience—the most painful, horrible, mind-numbing activity you could ever wish on your worst enemy. And yet, where this is the kind of task that a computer should be great at, it’s actually impossible for a computer to do a good job of indexing a book by itself. A good index requires careful thought, an understanding of the subject matter, and an ability to keep the whole project in your head at all times. In short, it requires comprehension—a quality computer software, at this early stage of its evolution, lacks. Until recently, it also required a large stack of note cards, highlighter pens, Post-It notes, and serious medication."

"Hire a professional indexer. The author of a text is the worst person for the job. You simply know the material too well (or, if you don’t, why in the world did you write the book?) to create a useful index. A professional indexer will read and understand your text, and will create an index that opens it up to a wider range of possible readers than you ever could. It’s what they do."

Olav Martin Kvern and David Blatner
Real World Adobe InDesign

Words of Wisdom

"The value of any book of nonfiction will be enhanced with a well-prepared index; without one, although the text may contain a wealth of information, the subject matter is largely inaccessible."

~ Words into Type

 

"If you're an artist, you don't create a masterpiece by starting on one side of the canvas and painting linearly to the other side. You don't start at the top of the canvas and paint 'til you reach the bottom. Rather, you develop the masterpiece in bits and pieces at a time; then you stand back, get a broader perspective, and start to pull it all together. Indexing is like that, too."

~Lori Lathrop

 

"If you don't index it, it doesn't exist. It's out there but you can't find it, so it might as well not be there."

~Barbara Quint