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BLEG: Book Indexing Questions

May 13, 2013

Index-imageSo I may be in the market for an indexer. But I know only a little about that market. I have a strong recommendation from a colleague—a rec that includes rates and testimonials from others. But questions remain:

1. Given a standard 280-300 page academic text with a note or two per paragraph, what is a reasonable rate for indexing (per page or by job)?

2. Can an estimate be provided via page proofs only, or could a professional indexer give a reasonably accurate est. based on chapter Word docs?

3. What kind of quality should one expect for a given rate?

4. How long does the process of indexing take?

These are my immediate inquiries. I’m sure others will arise. – TL

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9 Comments
  1. I have profs who do it themselves, and profs who hire it out. In fact, I want to say that there’s a monastery in the Carolinas or Georgia or somewhere, and this is one of the ways the monks raise funds. I can check with my prof.

    • All advice will be appreciated. I have started with a strong lead from a USIH colleague, but want to know as much as possible before making any decisions.

  2. I was given a reference to this site for more on the overall indexing process.

  3. I wrote to my prof, and she wrote me back. It wasn’t a monastery, but a co-op/communal living group. But they’ve been indexing books since 1981: http://www.twinoaks.org/businesses-industries/book-indexing.html

  4. Michael Roberts permalink

    Well, i do the Index myself as Burnett says. At first it was hard, but now i have got used to the process, and now i prefer indexing my books all by myself. I do use a software to organize my indexing work “PDF Index Generator”: http://www.pdfindexgenerator.com as it lets me concentrate on choosing my Index terms only, and it does the other stuff.

    Good luck with your indexing process 🙂

    • Thanks Michael. I’ll check into the PDF Index Generator. It’s good to have an option for doing it myself.

  5. As you’re stateside I’d say you could contact the American Society of Indexers if you want a proper professional index. Hope I’m not too late see – http://www.asindexing.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

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