Anyone can create an index, right? Not exactly. It is true that anyone with the right software can create a concordance for a book. However, this does not mean that anyone can or should create an index for your publication.

Here's why. A professionally created, custom-made index offers your readers more than a concordance, which is only an alphabetized list of words at the end of a book. The custom-made index is an intuitive map for your readers; it helps readers navigate through your book quickly and efficiently. This is because a professional indexer anticipates the needs of your readers in a way that concordance generating software simply cannot do.

Trust a professional indexer. After reading your book, I can create a custom-made index to your specifications with my professional indexing software. This index will give your book even greater appeal in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. The casual reader and serious researcher alike will return to your book again and again because it contains meaningful information that is easy to locate in its custom-made index.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Full circle & final job

 Here's a picture of what "my indexing world" has looked like for the past seven years~

Why am I sharing a picture of  these very basic "tools of the indexing trade?" In a recent business blog post, I mentioned that I was thrilled to be hired as one of our local library's newest employees. Now that that job is in full swing, it's time for me to officially announce that I'll be "closing up shop" as a freelance indexer in 2018.

I have one more indexing job scheduled on my 2018 calendar. It's fitting that my last job as a freelance book indexer happens to be for the same publishing house that offered me my very first indexing job in 2011. It seems that I've come full circle, and it's time to move on.

I've enjoyed establishing my own business and learning about my role as an indexer in the publishing world. I'm also grateful to have worked with some pretty remarkable editors who've provided me with variety of materials to index. One chapter closes as another chapter begins....

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Change: A new chapter for a new year!

The new year is often associated with change. Change might be declared in a resolution, come as a fresh start, or begin as a new chapter in one's life (I just had to tie in books somehow!). This new year is no different for me in that respect. Starting this week, I begin a part-time "dream job" at my local library!

Library work is not new to me. I have worked in both public and school libraries in the past, and I have equally loved both settings. Needless to say, I look forward to this new and somewhat unexpected chapter in my professional life.

Yep, you guessed it. This new chapter does affect my indexing business; it requires that I cut back on the amount of time I dedicate to indexing books. For now, my plan is to complete indexing jobs for clients with whom I have already contractually committed myself during the 2018 calendar year. Beyond that, who knows what new chapters await me and my indexing business in 2018?

On that note, may you also look forward to embracing whatever "new chapters" 2018 brings. Happy new year!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Indexing: thankfulness for

The American holiday of Thanksgiving is a good time for reflection about life in general, and part of this reflection inevitably includes what one does for a living. Freelance indexing work is only one sliver of what I do for a living, and it is fulfilling work. It is fulfilling for me in several ways, but I am most thankful for the opportunity to learn something new with each project I do.

There is no telling what that  something new might be, but it is "a given" that each project leads me to think about and reflect upon the realities of living in today's world. Oftentimes my own personal beliefs and viewpoints are challenged as I work my way through the indexing process on any given book. This is a good thing because it fills me with gratitude.

I am filled with gratitude because every indexing project I complete serves as a reminder that I live in a country that accommodates diversity. I live in a country that welcomes its citizens to discuss and write about anything and everything. My current project, Religious, Feminist, Activist, by Laurel Zwissler, reflects this diversity. Diversity is a blessing, and I am privileged to be a part of the "free speech" ideal.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Publication announcements

Official publication announcements for something I've indexed are always exciting! There is often a "wait time" of several months from the time I hand in a completed index until the time the book is published; for me, it's the same as waiting for Christmas, vacation, a special celebration,.. well, you get the message :).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

On becoming "well-read"

Education, Native Americans, theology, and anthropology ... the list goes on. It's safe to say that I've read a lot of very different books since starting my indexing business, and my varied list of titles continues to grow. One benefit to being a freelance book indexer (and there are several!) is that I am 'forced' to read books that I probably would not choose to read on my own, and I oftentimes have to research the topics I read about. This is a good thing! I think of it as becoming more "well-read."

Because I read every book that I index, I am continually exposed to new ideas and perspectives. My mind is challenged while searching for reoccurring topics and themes within any given book, and it continues to stretch and grow while researching the connections I've made.

I research everything--names, dates, places, proper wording, and the inter-connectedness of it all. I use a variety of tools for my research because I want to accurately reflect the author's intended message. Some of my favorite tools include the  Library of Congress authority files, library databases, and online search engines.

The bottom line here is that I expand my mind in many ways every time I sit down to index a new book, and I am grateful to all of the authors who have helped me become more "well-read."

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Job security?

 "An index of the words discussed would be useful...," writes Peter Sokolowski, book reviewer for The New York Times ("How To Speak Perfect Emoji, and Other Language Lessons," Aug. 25, 2017). Exactly! I couldn't have said it better myself.

Like Sokolowski, have you ever read through a book in its entirety, decide that you want to reread a particularly meaningful section, and find out that the book has no index? It's a frustrating and time-consuming experience to have to "make do" with a book's Table of Contents and rely on one's memory in order to find a nugget of truth or wisdom hidden among its hundreds of pages.

Sokolowki's unsolicited observation means job security for professional indexers like me. Any good book deserves an equally well-done index. Therefore, do yourself and your readers a favor; hire an indexer. Make your book even more useful and complete by adding a professionally created index to it. Your readers (and book reviewers!) will thank you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Simple sentence: I completed the index.

I've just completed the index for Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind: Comprehensive Handbook of Rules, by Susan Wise Bauer. Tentative publication date for this book is Sept. 18, 2017. Thanks to  Justin Moore, editor at Well-Trained Mind Press, for giving me another indexing opportunity (as well as a grammar refresher course!).