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, August 25, 2015

2015 Purple Pen Competition: The results are in!

I am always looking for affordable opportunities to hone my indexing skills. Submitting an entry in the in the Institute of Certified Indexers' Purple Pen Competition is one way I do this. The purpose of this contest is to encourage indexing "best practice," and many aspects of the judging were based on standards set forth in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.  

Here's what professional indexer and ICI member, Enid Zafrin, had to say about my contest submission:
"... your submission was in the top three of multiple entrants so your level of accomplishment was notable, and for that we highly commend you.  You picked a complex book and showed some very good judgments in how you handled it."

While winning the contest would have been nice, I was immensely pleased that my entry placed in the top three. Congratulations go out to first place winner, Frances Curry!

Which index did I use for my contest submission? It was the index I recently created in conjunction with  University of Nebraska Press for the book, Cora Du Bois: Anthropologist, Diplomat, Agent , by Susan C. Seymour.