Indexing

Every non-fiction book needs a quality index, or it is unusable. With most publishing contracts, it is the author’s responsibility to create the index themselves, or to hire an indexer. It is so frustrating to use a nonfiction book with a poor index (or no index—yikes!).

I can write a high-quality index for your book quickly and efficiently. I will meet your publisher’s deadlines, which are usually 3-4 weeks after receiving the page proofs. I will have you look over the completed index, make any changes, and I will send the file directly to your publisher in the format and style they require, usually a Word document.

I do NOT use any sort of automatic index generator. I write an index the correct way—reading the book, sifting through the book page by page, and building a list of terms. I make efficient use of cross-references (“see” and “see also”). I include not just words and proper nouns, but also broader concepts.

I try to think like the reader—what kinds of things would he or she want to look up? I strive to understand the book, the typical reader of that book, and how a reader will likely use that book.

I use Chicago Manual of Style for indexing guidelines unless you request otherwise.

Your document must be a final page proof (usually a PDF), as page numbers cannot change after I start indexing. I generally charge $4 per indexable page, assuming you have about 350–400 words per page (total word count/total pages). By “indexable pages,” I mean everything except the front matter, blank pages, and bibliography, but I will include certain front matter if you request it. Some projects might be slightly different, so I’d prefer to see yours before I give you a firm quote.

As a bonus, if I notice typos or errors, I let you know so you can fix them before publication. I have caught as many as a hundred errors in one book during the indexing stage!

I have indexed for both university presses and self-publishers. I am located in Kansas City, Missouri, but I index books for authors and publishers anywhere in the country. All work can be done via email.