The details to poise your writing for success


Every nonfiction 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, I will 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, but I do have professional software that helps me speed up the process. 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.

Indexing Rates

Indexing is $4.50 per every 375 words. I don’t count any sections not indexed, such as front matter and bibliography. I am also a whiz at catching small errors not previously caught or introduced in typesetting, and I submit those corrections to you or your press free of charge. This includes a text-only index that most publishers prefer, and it assumes you are providing me with a final proof of your book in PDF form.

Word count of indexed pages / 375 average words per page = adjusted indexable pages x $4.50 = total cost

If you are using a print-on-demand press, you might need an embedded and/or hyperlinked Word index instead.

  • Regular index: $4.50 per every 375 words
  • Embedded Word index: $4.75 per every 375 words
  • Embedded and hyperlinked Word index: $5 per every 375 words

I have indexed for both university presses and self-publishers since 2014. So far, I have specialized in history, but I am open to all topics. 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.