Why use a book indexer?

Benefits of working with a book indexer

A high-quality and useful index requires a trained professional who can evaluate content, make decisions regarding context, search out ideas and themes, and anticipate how a reader will interact with the text.

Book indexers are professionally trained

Professional indexers are highly trained to read and organize information while considering terms, ideas, concepts, user needs, and the author’s voice. They are typically well educated in the subject matter and have the technology and the training to efficiently create extremely useful and valuable indexes. 

A professional indexer does more than pull out key terms or create a concordance as a computer would. Indexers are trained to evaluate the content itself, not just the terms. They make judgments every step of the way regarding the importance of concepts. Indexers provide multiple access points to the information by organizing references to concepts and cross-reference them in a manner that will provide the reader with a map to the desired information. They are able to anticipate how a user may wish to access the information, all while maintaining the author’s voice.

Professional indexes add value to your project. They help sell books!

Every nonfiction book needs a professionally created index. Books without an index appear less professional and less polished and are less likely to withstand over time. Librarians, professors, book store inventory managers, etc., all use indexes to make decisions about acquiring books for their stores and libraries, or using books in a classroom setting. General readers browsing a bookstore will often refer to indexes to see how much certain topics are covered and to what depth before making a purchase. Researchers, students, and online databases draw from indexes to determine if a book would be useful for their specific project.

Professional indexers are better equipped to create quality indexes than authors or computers

No one knows the content of a book better than the author; however, authors often will struggle if they attempt to create their own indexes. It can prove to be time consuming and costly when you factor in technology requirements, and often the finished product will lack the usability and polish of a professionally created index.

Computers also struggle creating indexes. Indexes are not just an alphabetical list of terms, or a concordance. Indexes are interactive, complex, and functional. Hiring a professional indexer will save you time, result in a professional index that will increase the value of your project, and may be more affordable than you’d think!

A professionally trained and experienced indexer is able to examine the material more objectively than authors often can, and more critically than computer-generated concordances or other software. Professional indexers understand the structure, formatting, and usability of an index and have the skills, training, and experience to organize it in a way that provides a great deal of value to multiple users. The resulting index is professional, functional, and invaluable.