The Art of Indexing, Learning, and Refining Workshop in Portland, Maine

Appropriate for new indexers, for professional development, and for the curious

at Beacon by the Bay, ASI 2017 Conference
June 15, 2017 in Portland, Maine

9 am to 5 pm

Instructor: Sylvia Coates

Who is this workshop appropriate for? It is intended for those who are new to indexing, including those currently or recently graduated from an indexing course. It is also appropriate for working indexers interested in refining their term selection skills for professional development. And this workshop welcomes those who are just curious about indexing and want to learn more.

Sylvia Coates will be the instructor for this all-day workshop. She has been a working indexer since 1989 and has taught indexing since 1999. In 2004 she developed and continues to serve as one of the instructors of the UC Berkeley Extension Indexing: Theory and Application online course.

This workshop will begin by separating the myths from the realities of working as a professional indexer in today’s publishing environment. The challenges of marketing oneself and getting work will be discussed along with the working relationship between clients and indexers and how that all translates into either having or not having a successful indexing career.

Following that, there will be an introduction to basic index structure, term selection, and building a strong thematically structured index from text. This part of the workshop will include several hands-on practice exercises designed to answer the question “Yes, but how does one actually index?”

  • Practicing a thematic mindset to more easily identify indexable terms in the text
  • Practicing how to appropriately insert identified index terms into the index to build a strong index structure
  • Creating mini indexes from provided text to experience the actual process of identifying terms and inserting them into an index structure
  • Introducing and reviewing selected techniques used for a methodical and systematic approach to indexing (not quite the elusive “indexing formula” everyone wants to have and doesn’t exist but as close as we can come)
  • Demonstrating how well a methodical approach to indexing supports BOB (back-of-the-book) indexing and even embedded indexing making both a more efficient process (yes, this will include a brief introduction to the process of embedded indexing and e-books and how they differ from BOB indexing)

Sylvia Coates has been working as a freelance indexer since 1989 and has taught indexing since 1999. In 2004 she developed, and is currently one of several instructors for, the University of California, Berkeley Extension, online Indexing: Theory and Application course. Sylvia continues to happily index and live in the San Francisco Bay Area with her non-indexer husband. More information on Sylvia’s work, including downloadable articles and the UCB Extension Indexing: Theory and Application course and free Indexing as a Career MOOC links, are available here.

Register today to ensure your seat for the The Art of Indexing, Learning, and Refining Workshop at the ASI Indexing Conference in Portland, Maine, Thursday, June 15, 2017.

The Art of Indexing Learning, and Refining Workshop Registration

Early (through April 30, 2017)
Member $199
Non-member $249

Regular (May 1–June 15, 2017)
Member $219
Non-member $269
Click for cancellation policy

ASI members, please log in to the website to obtain member pricing.


You do not have to register for the ASI 2017 Conference in order to take the Art of Indexing Learning, and Refining Workshop.

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