An index is the liaison between your book and your reader. An alphabetical list of useful words, phrases, names, places, events, and concepts in the back of your nonfiction book will help your reader find information quickly and easily. 

The word index is derived from a Latin word meaning “one who points out.” When I index your book, I point out everything a reader might want to find—and I make it easy to find that information quickly.

 

icon indxgWait. Can’t a word processor do that for you?

Yes. Sort of. But not the way you want.

Maybe your word processing program enables you to mark or highlight a word you want indexed as you are writing; the index is then “automatically” generated at the end.

Then why would you pay me to index your book?

There are lots of reasons. Here are a few of the more important ones:

  • Unlike a computer program, I can understand your audience and figure out what kind of index entries your readers are likely to look for.
  • I make sure each significant topic or concept has a variety of relevant index entries—usually two or three per topic—to allow for differences in how people might look for information. For example, in a cookbook, Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins might be indexed under muffins, blueberry; breads, muffins; blueberry sour cream muffins; and sour cream blueberry muffins.
  • I make sure all appropriate cross-referencing is included in the index.
  • Regardless of how words appear in the text, I make sure all index entries are treated consistently when it comes to tense, capitalization, singular versus plural, and other standard indexing conventions.

 

icon indxgHow It Works

I can’t do the index until the book is typeset. Until then, there’s no way of knowing on what page information will appear.

With an understanding of your audience, I read through your entire typeset book and identify the words, phrases, names, places, events, and concepts that will be relevant to your readers. I create index entries to reflect those. I make sure every significant topic has at least one index entry—and I also make sure that things that are merely mentioned don’t show up in an index, where they take up useless space. (For example, a book about John Major might mention that he was no Winston Churchill. In that case, Winston Churchill would not be an index entry.) I make sure all alphabetization is correct, all word treatment is accurate, and all cross-referencing is leveraged.

I then make sure the index is formatted with appropriate indents to make sure there is no confusion and it is easy to use.

 

icon indxgWhat It Will Cost

The cost of the index depends on:

  • The length of your book—how many pages need to be indexed
  • The complexity of your book—for example, a highly technical book about network security would involve more work than a historical look at the effects of Prohibition in the early twentieth century
  • How detailed an index you would like

When you’re ready for an index, I will read through a sample of your book; we can then discuss the amount of detail you want, and I can give you a bid for what the index will cost before we agree to move forward.

If you have questions or are ready to get started, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Writer

"Kathy writes compellingly and swiftly, has an eye for detail, and possesses an uncanny sense for how to shape a story to make it pulsate with energy."
 —Taylor Halverson

Editor

"Kathy Jenkins has honed her editing skills with such precision and excellence that today she is viewed by many (including me) as the best editor on the planet. No matter how many times I have read and reworked a manuscript, Kathy improves my writing with meticulous care and good will."
 —Susan Easton Black

Mentor

"Kathy has been so helpful to me in bringing my manuscripts to fruition, encouraging me to work diligently on my writing craft. She makes every author better in every way."
 —Ed J. Pinegar

Consultant

"Kathy brings life in her writing, wisdom in her editing, and experience in her consulting; she has made me a better and more confident author."
 —Ganel-Lyn Condie