The Value of an Index.
(For more on indexing, please read the posting from Shoshana Hurwitz, an indexer who we’ve often used.) Most clients forget about their book containing an index until we remind them of it. And most readers ignore the index—until they need it. The index, that small collection of pages in the back of the publication that detail the placement of names, places, and events in the book, is one of the smallest line items in our budget. But it is also one of the most important. It is your road map into the book, the reader’s friend and guide and invaluable for future researchers. The index is one of the first things a recipient of the book will thumb through, trailing their finger down the appropriate column, searching to see if their name is in the book. And then upon being directed to the correct page, quickly flipping right to that spot.
In the e-reader versions of our books, the index is electronic. Tap on an entry in the index on your Kindle, Nook, or iBook and it takes you right to that page.
The indexers we use are based in far-flung locales, from Virginia and Missouri to Tel Aviv, and many of them have deep experience in fields from religion and academia to manufacturing and medicine.
An index can be done electronically, but we don’t do that. An electronic index can’t make connections—it can only list a name and the pages it’s on. With something like the CEO of a corporation or the chancellor of a university, you need numerous subentries to better define the content to which the index will direct you.
Yes, a small budget line item, but an invaluable resource.