Two New Books Cover Essential Topics for Indexers

Indexing Tactics & Tidbits and Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes Debut at the 48th Annual ASI Conference

Chicago, Illinois—The American Society for Indexing and Information Today, Inc. (ITI) have announced the publication of two new indexing titles: Indexing Tactics & Tidbits: An A to Z Guide, by Janet Perlman and Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes: Confessions of an Award-Winning Indexer by Margie Towery.

About Indexing Tactics and Tidbits

TacticsandTidbitsIn this highly recommended reference for indexing professionals, master indexer Janet Perlman presents a treasure trove of practical, in-depth explanations and advice. The author pays homage to the Hans Wellisch classic, Indexing from A to Z, while bringing her own in-depth, conversational style and a multitude of fresh topics to the table. Indexing Tactics & Tidbits provides answers and insights on such vital subjects as audience analysis, clients and contracts, computers and software, ethics and standards, index depth and length, index structure, periodical indexing, professional resources, quality and usability, work methods and strategies, and much more. New and experienced indexers alike will appreciate this significant effort to address "everything you always wanted to know about indexing but were afraid to ask" by one of the preeminent indexers of our time.

Praise for Indexing Tactics and Tidbits

“Indexing Tactics and Tidbits has much to offer both the experienced indexer and the neophyte—and everyone in between. Whether you start with ‘Aboutness’ and march through the text to ‘Work Methods and Workflow,’ or go straight to a specific topic, you’ll find an invaluable guide to navigating this difficult but rewarding field.” —Charlee Trantino, Past President, ASI

About Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes

Author Margie Towery, right, signs books at the book launch party. Pilar Wyman, Publications Chair, displays Janet Perlman's book.

Author Margie Towery, right, signs books at the book launch party. Pilar Wyman, Publications Chair, displays Janet Perlman's book.

The name "Margie Towery" is synonymous with index quality, and in this guide the master indexer distills more than two decades of experience for the benefit of her fellow indexers. Towery defines and explores the characteristics of quality indexes: audiences and accessibility, metatopics and index structure, accuracy, comprehensiveness, conciseness, consistency, clarity, reflexivity, readability, and common sense. Writing in an engaging and accessible style, she shares her own struggles in indexing and offers strategies for overcoming challenges such as bias and language, indexing blocks, and working with authors. Her digressions into research on reading and decision-making provide a wider context for thinking about quality, while her suggestions and checklist for evaluating indexes round out this essential volume for professional indexers at every skill level.

Praise for Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes

Towery_Flat“Towery has distilled the fine art of indexing into ten key concepts, creating a definitive guide to writing quality indexes. This accessible text provides critical thinking guidance as well as practical tools. A must read for any indexer.” —Nan Badgett, author, The Accidental Indexer

About the Authors

Janet Perlman has 30 years of experience in indexing, going back to her early years as an editorial supervisor for New York publishers. She has presented workshops on the business side of freelancing, on the indexing process, and on index quality. Her articles on indexing have been published in indexing journals and she is the author of two previous books in the ASI series: Running an Indexing Business (2002) and Index It Right! Vol. 2 (2009, with Enid Zafran). Janet can be reached through her website at

Margie Towery has focused on creating quality indexes for scholarly texts for more than two decades. Margie’s published writing includes “The Quality of a Scholarly Index” (in Indexing Specialties: Scholarly Books), “Creating Elegant Subheadings” (with Victoria Agee, in Index It Right! Vol. 2), many contributions to the ASI bulletin Key Words, and her ongoing series “Creating Better Indexes” in the newsletter for ASI’s Heartland Chapter.

Indexing Tactics & Tidbits: An A to Z Guide (184 pp/softbound/$36 ASI Members/$45 nonmembers/ISBN 978-1-75387-525-7) and Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes: Confessions of an Award-Winning Indexer (152 pp/softbound/$36 ASI Members/$45 nonmembers/ISBN 978-1-75387-526-4) are published by Information Today, Inc. (ITI) on behalf of American Society for Indexing (ASI) and are available wherever quality books are sold. For more information, call (800) 300-9868; fax (609) 654-4309; email; or visit the ITI website at

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