Editors, How Much is an Index Worth to You?

What is the index worth to your book's bottom line?
    • in bookstore sales?
    • in text adoptions?
    • in reviews?
    • in staff time?
    • in typesetter charges?
Who is best qualified to better that bottom line:
    • the author?
    • the computer?
    • the professional indexer?


  • Bookstore buyers and point-of-sale browsers...

use the index in making decisions.

  • Educators and institutions...

use indexes in making adoption decisions.

  • Librarians...

use indexes in making acquisition decisions.

  • Reviewers...

use indexes as criteria for thumbs-up/thumbs-down judgments.

  • Your production staff...

needs a fast turnaround on the index to get your book into the marketplace.

  • Your typesetter...

needs an index that is ready to go without delays or hassles

Promptness, professionalism, and production ease mean profits for you and royalties for your authors.
Entrust Your Index to a Professional
An index is much more than an alphabetical list of topics with page numbers attached - at least, it should be. A good index is a road map that leads any reader (actual or potential, novice or expert) to every pertinent sentence in the text, regardless of point of departure and without dead ends or annoying detours.
Creating a good index takes understanding of the reader as well as the subject. It takes objectivity, perspective, a sense of proportion and priority, patience, speed, technical training, experience, knowledge of publishing practice, and the ability to apply all of these under deadline pressure. That usually means that the creation of the index should be entrusted to a professional indexer.
The American Society for Indexing (ASI) can help you find the right indexers for your books. Since 1968, indexers have been demonstrating their commitment to their profession by joining ASI, honing their skills through meetings and communication with a worldwide network of peers.
ASI's Indexer Locator is a directory of freelance indexers including contact and background information for each as well as indexes by subject specialty, type of material indexed, and geographic location. The Indexer Locator is free to authors and publishers. For a copy, contact the ASI Administrative Office at info@asindexing.org.