Why choose an indexer?
I'm glad you asked! In this day of information overload, it is not only refreshing but necessary
to pick up a book or conduct an Internet search and find what you are searching for the very
first time. A book without an index becomes useless to the person who is searching for
specific information quickly.
Indexes are used by all kinds of people for all kinds of purposes. Librarians and book sellers
often read through an index before deciding to purchase a book. Book reviewers peruse an
index as part of their appraisal. Students and educators use book indexes for study and review,
to find specific material or a diagram. Doctors and pharmacists use indexes to locate
information quickly about drug interactions. Can you imagine your child's caregiver not being
able to find out how to treat a laceration or puncture wound quickly? Or a person in a
bookstore comparing two books, one with an index and one without - can you guess which
book is most likely to be chosen? The book with the index is better than another on the same
subject because of the user's ability to find information.
An indexer's job is to make the information provided by the writer accessible to the reader
and, dare I say it, to the non-reader since so many people are skimming and scanning these
days. Indexers are trained in information retrieval and anticipate the needs of the reader while
adopting the author's language. We provide multiple entry points for information so it can be
accessed efficiently and accurately.
An index is much more than an outline or concordance of words, which a computer could
generate. An index is an intricate web of related concepts, held together by succinct entries,
cross-references, and double-postings. Besides writing great indexes, professional indexers can
follow any editorial style and use specialized software to provide an index in a variety of
electronic and print formats. Maybe the question now is, why wouldn't you choose an indexer?
Here is a checklist of items that indexers keep in mind as they create indexes.
Read some recent comments from book reviewers on indexes.
Read some of my feedback from current clients.
Read one of my articles published in ASI's Key Words, "Cultivating a "Green" Thumb in Your
"I would rather be dead than do it again."
-Bernard Levin after indexing his first book, as quoted in The Indexer, 1984
Indexing, Proofreading, Writing
Sara Lynn Eastler, Owner and Full-time Freelance Indexer
|Sara Lynn Eastler
381 Bond Rd.
Altamont, NY 12009
Email: Sara (at) AtlanticAuthoring.com
Copyright © 2005-2009 Atlantic Authoring