American Society for Indexing
Portland, Maine June 15-17, 2017
Beacon by the Bay
Thursday, June 15
9 am to 5 pm: ASI Board Meeting
9 am to 5 pm: Art of Indexing, Learning, and Refining. Sylvia Coates. (with lunch break) This workshop takes an “everything you ever wanted to know about indexing and working as a professional indexer” approach. It is appropriate for those who want to explore indexing as a career, current students, and recent graduates of indexing courses, as well as working indexers seeking a refresher to kick-start their career.
Topics covered will include indexing basics, marketing, and managing client relationships, with a special focus on term selection and index structure. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions, actively participate in class discussions, and complete a number of hands-on term selection exercises.
5 pm to 6 pm: International Representatives Meeting
6:30 pm to 8 pm: Opening Reception and Welcome from President Diana Witt
Friday, June 16
9 am to 10 am: Sessions
Size Does Matter: Fitting the Index to the Pages. Heather Ebbs. Ensuring that our index is the correct length for the book is a basic quality standard. To gauge an appropriate depth of indexing given the space available, indexers need to know how to calculate the pages remaining in a book and how to calculate how much space their index will take up. This practical session will cover the basics of page counts and measuring index length.
XML Immersion. Dave Ream. Working with XML files and documents is a skill more and more indexers are finding they need to develop. This session will explain what XML really is, how it is used as an index data exchange format (ixml files), how embedded entries are written in various XML instances, and how XML is required by some publishers for indexes to be delivered.
Ready, Aim, Fire: Indexing Military History. Kendra Millis. Indexing military history presents a number of challenges unique to the genre. Do you invert names of battles? Names of forts? Do you include rank, and if so, which one? This session will explore these issues, provide tips on wording for subentries and using glosses, and discuss other challenges, such as the frequent lack of headings and some common quirks of military history writing.
10:00 am to 10:15 am Break
10:15 am to 12:15 pm Two-hour Sessions
Cindex Tools. Maria Sullivan. Using examples from actual indexes, we’ll explore the useful Cindex Tools options available: what they are, when to use them and some possibilities you might never have envisioned before. This will cover working with locators and references: including checking, generating, and converting cross-references; checking, compressing, expanding, and altering page locators; searching for and repairing redundant and orphaned headings; saving time with abbreviations and hotkeys; enhancing your submissions with font management and markup tags; creating and managing macros; managing groups; and tracking statistics. We’ll end the session with time for questions from and discussion with attendees.
Index Manager. Katharina Munk and Pilar Wyman. In this presentation, we will demonstrate Index Manager (Idx), the new all-in-one solution for embedded indexing. Quality digital content requires linked indexes, thus embedded indexing is increasingly necessary. Idx is a powerful standalone software tool with which professional indexers can create, sort, and edit index entries in Word, InDesign and XML files. All indexing work is logged in a separate file until export. This separate logging allows other tasks – like copyediting and proofreading – to be accomplished in parallel. When you’re ready, one click inserts index entries into files. Imagine the possibilities! Come see how it works.
10:15 am to 11:15 am Session
Production Departments: Who’s Who and How to Work with Them. Maya Bringe. This session will provide an overview of the inner workings of production departments, both publishers’ in-house department and packagers. In addition to demystifying the various “editor” titles, Maya will give information about the typical production schedule, from manuscript to printer, and will give tips on how to work effectively with your contacts in these departments.
11:15 am to 12:15 pm Session
It’s a Wonderful Life: Indexing Biographies and Memoirs. Connie Binder. Biographies are fascinating to read, but provide special challenges for the indexer. Connie will discuss options for metatopic subentries, identifying and differentiating family members within the index, indexing topical threads and themes, dealing with biographies with more than one main character, creating a usable index for unstructured memoirs, and efficient data-entry techniques.
12:15 pm to 1:15 pm Lunch
1:15 pm to 2:15 pm Sessions
Indexing Specialties: SIG Roundtable. Heather Hedden, Barbara Mortenson, Jennifer Spanier, Meghan Miller Brawley, Anne Fifer, Connie Binder, AElfwine Mischler, Steve Csipke, and Richard Genova. Representatives from most of ASI’s affiliated special interest groups (SIGs) will introduce their SIGs and answer questions from the moderator so that indexers can learn more about the different specialties—such as the type of work, clients, marketing, resources, training, challenges, and rewards—and maybe find a new area to branch into. Included specialties are Business, Culinary, Gardening/Environmental, History, Medical, Sports/Fitness, Legal, Digital Publications, and Periodical/Database Indexing.
Time Is Money: Time Theft and Earnings Loss for Freelance Indexers. Diana Witt. The publishing industry is in transition. Indexers are still getting work, but their work conditions are constantly changing. The amount of work required, the time allowed for project completion, and non-indexing tasks included in the project are making it more and more difficult for indexers to manage their work time and get adequate payment for the amount of time they spend on a project. This panel will address those issues.
Metadata: Creating & Maintaining Accessibility. Amy Jerome and Sarah Krot. Well-formed, organized metadata form the crux of online content accessibility. While there are many types of metadata, we will focus on database subject indexing as applied to various types, sizes, and disciplines of content, especially digital archive primary source materials. We will provide examples of the application of metadata within Cengage higher education and Gale reference products, including search improvement initiatives for the well-received Archives of Sexuality and Gender. We will also discuss how standardized metadata enable successful results in cross-searching products, in comparison to other methods of search retrieval. Lastly, we will cover how targeted enhancements to metadata serve evolving research needs in today’s rapidly changing sociopolitical climate, highlighting the ever-increasing role of metadata as facilitator of content accessibility.
2:15 pm to 2:30 pm Break
2:30 to to 5:30 pm Three-hour Session
Macrex Tips ’n’ Tricks. Gale Rhoades. Discover why the most senior of the tools for professional indexers continues to attract new users to the fold. We’ll have a blend of information for those who’ve never used Macrex and a selection of favorite tips from the twice-weekly online conferences known as “Chet Chat” or “Macrex Office Hours.”
2:30 pm to 3:30 pm Sessions
Beyond Book Indexing: Using the Skills You Have to Expand or Change Your Business. Jan Wright, Lisa DeBoer, and Donna Shear. Moderator, Cynthia Savage While most of us are quite familiar with book indexing, there is so much more that we can do with our skill set. Whether you’re looking to learn about a new type of indexing or interested in expanding your business offerings—or even switching careers—our panelists will tell about a number of different options and directions.
Indexing Outside the Box. Heather Ebbs and Pilar Wyman. Moderator, Devon Thomas As indexers, we occasionally confront situations that challenge indexing conventions. This will be a panel discussion, with audience participation, of indexer responses to confounding situations.
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm Sessions
Usability Analysis in the Indexing Profession. Diana Witt, Chuck Knapp, Amy Jerome, and Paul Sweum. What makes an index usable? What is usability to an indexer and what is usable to a reader? A standard mantra in indexing for every project is “Who is the audience for this content?” Usability must always be framed in this context. Usability can be framed by whether the author or editor is satisfied with your work. That seems fairly straightforward, but it isn’t. The rush of production means editors’ and authors’ focus will be on things like spelling, grammar, and inclusion of the right terms. Those are important, but still leave the reader out of the assessment. The real proof comes from the reader who uses the index, and that data is hard to capture. Index education may be the key here, but how do we reach the people who need it most? This panel will explore these issues from the point of view of the indexer, Diana Witt, and from the perspective of two index editors, Chuck Knapp and Amy Jerome.
Thriving Through the Ups and Downs of a Freelance Career. Sherri Dietrich. A long-term career as a freelancer doesn’t have to mean years of stress and just hanging on by your fingernails. This session will deal with keeping your career thriving in spite of changing client bases, dropping fees, outsourcing to India, constantly changing schedules, and other unreasonable demands.
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm Chapter Leader and SIG Leader meetings
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Awards Banquet
Saturday, June 17
9:00 am to 10:00 am Keynote: Annals of Indexing, Mary Norris Mary Norris began her career at The New Yorker in the magazine’s editorial library, where a staff of four indexed the magazine and kept an archive for writers, editors, cartoonists, and readers. She will share the history of the magazine’s legendary librarians, their methods, and the transition from index cards and scrapbooks to the search engine and the digital age. She will also discuss the experience of being indexed and its uses.
10:00 am to 10:15 am Break
10:15 am to 12:15 pm Two-hour Sessions
Conversion Options and Techniques. Gale Rhoades. Have you ever wanted to get a published index into your software so it can be updated? This session will provide an overview of some of the methods that can be employed to take the index from one electronic format (e.g., PDF, Excel, Word, etc.) and make the changes needed so that it can be imported into the “big three” of indexing programs. For some, this will provide the basic skills and guide to software options needed to do conversions on your own. For others, this will demonstrate the value of using one of the conversion services available.
Taxonomies and Thesauri in Action. Heather Hedden, Seth Maislin, Jan Wright, Chuck Knapp, and Edee Edwards. This session looks at examples how taxonomies and thesauri are designed and managed to support database or metadata indexing. We will introduce the session with an overview of taxonomies and thesauri, explaining why they are useful and why indexers might be interested in working with them. We will also explain how taxonomies are designed and maintained to support indexing by trained staff indexers, and share the experience of creating a controlled vocabulary to support periodical article indexing for a fan magazine of the The Grateful Dead.
10:15 am to 11:15 am Session
Editing as You Go: Using Structure and Term Selection to Produce an Almost-Final Index. Kendra Millis. It’s not uncommon for indexers to set aside a day at the end of a project just for editing. But is this time really needed? This session will explore techniques and indexing processes that can reduce the editing time required by helping you produce an almost-final index as your first draft.
11:15 am to 12:15 pm Session
Developing Your Online Presence. Gwen Henson. In a world that is moving more and more toward online interactions, it is becoming more important for small and independent businesses to maintain a strong online presence. This session is geared specifically to the needs of indexers, focusing on making the most of ASI profiles and Indexer Locator listings, and using LinkedIn and other social media.
12:15 pm to 12:45 pm Lunch
12:45 pm to 1:30 pm Annual Meeting
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm Sessions
Successful Blogging and Content Creation. Meghan Miller Brawley. While a blog about indexing isn’t likely to gather millions of followers and translate into a six-figure book deal, it still can be a worthwhile part of an overall marketing strategy. This session will discuss how (and why) to get started or restart your indexing blog, including planning, content creation, consistency, and making time to keep it up.
Excellence is No Accident: Achieving Excellence in Your Indexing Business. Nan Badgett. What is excellence and how do you achieve it? Building a successful indexing business means excelling in several areas, including indexing skill, customer service, and work-life balance. This session will discuss achieving excellence in your indexing business by excelling in these key areas over the life of your career.
Reusing an Existing Index. Peter Rooney. Indexers sometimes need to index a new edition of a book or a book translated from a foreign language. Sometimes a brand new index is required, but not always. This seminar will teach indexers how to make an improved, repaginated index out of existing material. The primary job task is repagination: replacing old page numbers with new numbers. Other tasks include indexing new material, removing references to deleted material, correcting errors of the old index, and picking up concepts missed by the previous indexer. The seminar includes a demonstration of repagination software and general tips and methods for index reuse.
2:30 pm to 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm to 4:45 pm Two-hour Sessions
Working in Sky Index Pro: Favorite Things. Anne Fifer and Kamm Schreiner. Presentation designed for SKY users who would like to extend their knowledge of the software. Experienced users to demonstrate advanced features and novel uses of features that can make it a more powerful indexing tool.
Marketing for Introverts. Kelli Ann Robertson. If the words marketing and networking fill you with dread, you just might be an introvert trying to promote yourself via the extrovert route. If “putting yourself out there” drains your energy (and you’d rather just focus on your work), join other kindred spirits as we examine authentic marketing, through the introvert lens, and learn how to uncover, embrace, and promote what makes you unique to in ways that feel right for you.
Publishers’ Panel. Representatives from Cider Mill Press, Islandport Press, and Tilbury House Publishers. ASI has invited representatives from several Maine publishers to come and discuss what they publish, what it’s like to be a publisher outside the major publishing hubs, such as New York, how the industry is changing, and other aspects of their work. We will also have some time for audience questions.
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Closing Reception
Sunday, June 18
Tours. (optional) Lighthouse Lovers Cruise on Casco Bay