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Over twenty-five years ago, I created my first book index for a professor while I was in graduate school, and I slowly gained more experience and work through word of mouth and on-the-job training. Back-of-the-book indexing is now my full-time career. I am a member of the American Society for Indexing and have indexed hundreds of books on a wide variety of topics.
Who hires indexers?
While publishing companies sometimes have in-house salaried indexers, many if not most indexers, like me, work as freelance or contract employees. We are often hired by publishers (who then may subtract the fee from the authors’ later royalties) or by the authors themselves. In either case, we create the index for a book on a tight deadline—often in only two weeks or less—at the same time that the final proof pages (typeset but not yet approved) are being given their last proofreading. I write almost all of my indexes through and with electronic files, working from a pdf of the proof pages and creating the index in Word.
How do indexers set their fees?
Indexing fees vary greatly depending on the book being indexed and the experience of the indexer. Also, some indexers charge by the hour or by the entry, while others charge by the number of proof pages that are indexed.
I agree on the fee with the author or publisher before starting the project, and I charge by the indexable proof page (i.e., not including blank pages, references, and so on), usually starting at $3.50 per page and going up to $5 per page or higher for more dense or complex books. Payment is due after the index is completed and approved.
What books have you indexed?
Click here to see several titles I have indexed in the past five years. Below is a smaller and frequently updated list of recent books that I have indexed, with links to Amazon listings where you can use the “Look Inside” feature to view the index (or, in the case of the Pamela editions, a pdf of the index).
- The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Biomedicine Will Transform the Global Economy
- Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why it Matters
- Buyographics: How Demographic and Economic Changes Will Reinvent the Way Marketers Reach Consumers
- The Fear of Insignificance: Searching for Meaning in the Twenty-first Century
- Heroic Leadership: An Influence Taxonomy of 100 Exceptional Individuals
- Lincoln’s Legacy of Leadership
- The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs
- Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded and Pamela in Her Exalted Condition (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Samuel Richardson)
- Prize Fight: The Race and the Rivalry to be the First in Science
- Racial Identities, Genetic Ancestry, and Health in South America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay
- The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios
What else do you do?
How do I contact you?
For more information for your index project, please use the following contact form: