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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Do School Libraries Need Books?"~ The New York Times, Feb.10, 2010

What does this article mean to the professional indexer? Of special interest to the indexer are William Powers' observations (the last contributor to this article). He makes a case for the idea that "...the weaknesses of the old-fashioned book are in some ways its strengths." While Powers doesn't outright mention the usefulness of a printed book's index, it is implied. He comments that it is easier to navigate through a book by using one's hands and fingers than it is to keep track of where one is on a two-dimensional screen. It is my opinion that Powers favorably compares flipping through a book by way of an index to the less favorable method of blindly following hyperlinks in an online publication. Read it for yourself, and see what you think: .

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