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.

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!).

Friday, June 16, 2017

From Infancy to Intern

I usually get a nice note along with a gratis copy of the book I've indexed after completing a job for Concordia Publishing House. Perhaps Rachel Gonzalez (pictured here in orange) will be the one who writes me my next note. I've had the privilege of watching Rachel grow up from infancy, and it is with great pride that I can now call her "colleague." Congratulations, Rachel!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Completing the circle

I've come full circle! As I prepare for my son's high school graduation, it's appropriate (and exciting!) that my next indexing project is for Peace Hill Press/Well-Trained Mind. I've used several of their materials while homeschooling my own children over the past 15+ years, and Susan Wise Bauer's book, The Well-Trained Mind, was most influential in helping me design a classical curriculum for them. This is the third Peace Hill Press/Well-Trained Mind project that I've worked on together with editor, Justin Moore.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Blood Will Tell: Another index for UNP

I'm pleased to announce that I've just completed another index for University of Nebraska Press. The title of the book is Blood Will Tell: Native Americans and Assimilation Policy, by Katherine Ellinghaus. The book's publication date is scheduled for Aug. 1, 2017. Many thanks to Joeth Zucco, senior project editor at UNP, for providing me with this opportunity!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Libraries Without Borders

It's wonderful to imagine the possibility of books I index becoming part of such a praiseworthy program. The five minute video in this Library of Congress blog post is worth watching so you can see how Libraries Without Borders works and touches lives of all ages and abilities. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

indexer: hiring of

Now you can answer that burning question, "Why hire a living, breathing indexer?" Thanks for the shout-out to all book indexers, Chicago Manual of Style (a.k.a. CMOS in the publishing world)!