What is a back-of-the-book index, and why should your book have one? A good index will help readers get the most out of your book, proceedings, or report. An index allows your readers to locate specific information quickly and also to discover useful cross-referenced information and additional themes. When you are working with a publisher rather than self-publishing, your index will usually have to be done within 2-3 weeks as publishers work to tight production deadlines. A professional indexer can build a quality index within the very short timeframe allowed in the publishing process.
The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) has the following to say about why an index is beneficial: “A good index gathers all the key terms and subjects (grouping many of the former under the conceptual and thematic umbrella of the latter), sorts them alphabetically, provides cross-references to and from related terms, and includes specific page numbers or other locators. This painstaking intellectual labor serves readers of any book-length text, whether it is published on paper or online. An index, a highly organized, detailed counterpart to a table of contents and other navigational aids, is also insurance—in searchable texts—against fruitless queries and unintended results.”
I produce clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly indexes at competitive rates. I work with an author or their publisher to create an accessible index conveying essential factual information, concepts, themes, and cross-referenced elements.
The most common way of charging for indexing is by the indexable page rather than by the hour. An indexable page is any page on which there is information suitable for indexing. Indexable pages usually include the main text, illustrations, figures, tables, and any footnotes/endnotes in which new information beyond simple source acknowledgements is provided. Front matter, such as the table of contents, preface and acknowledgements, is not usually indexed unless the author specifically requests it.
I charge from $3.50 to $7 (plus GST/HST for clients in Canada) per indexable page. The rate per indexable page depends on a number of factors. Academic and technical books involving a higher number of index references per page cost more than books written for a wider readership, which tend to have fewer entries and much shorter indexes. The rate is based on the number of index references per page, the type of material being indexed, the time allowed for indexing, the number of indexes required for the book, and the length, space and formatting requirements imposed by the publisher or designer of the book. For a free estimate, please fill out the contact form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a member of the Indexing Society of Canada.
Here are some books I’ve indexed recently. Click on a title and you will be taken to the web page for that book.
Veronica Strong-Boag, Liberal Hearts and Coronets: The Lives and Times of Ishbel Marjoribanks Gordon and John Campbell Gordon, the Aberdeens (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2015)
Janet Groen & Colleen Kawalilak, Pathways of Adult Learning: Professional and Education Narratives (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2014)
Marnina Gonick & Susanne Gannon, eds., Becoming Girl: Collective Biography and the Production of Girlhood (Women’s Press, 2014)
Pamela Moss and Michael Prince, Weary Warriors: Power, Knowledge, and the Invisible Wounds of Soldiers (Berghahn Books, 2014)
(University of Delaware Press, 2013)
Ann Cvetkovich, Depression: A Public Feeling (Duke University Press, 2012)
Claire Robson, Writing for Change: Research as Public Pedagogy and Arts-based Activism (Peter Lang, 2012)
Shannon Stunden Bower, Wet Prairie: People, Land, and Water in Agricultural Manitoba (UBC Press, 2011)
Jennifer V. Evans, Life Among the Ruins: Cityscape and Sexuality in Cold War Berlin (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)
Josie McLellan, Love in the Time of Communism: Intimacy and Sexuality in the GDR (Cambridge University Press, 2011)