—ASI 2020 Virtual Conference Review
—Tribute to Ruth Satterlee
—ASI Member Icon Available to Active Members
Recent Chapter Events
—PNW Chapter Meeting
News from Other Associations
—Purple Pen Award–2020 Competition Open to Submissions
—WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
ASI 2020 Virtual Conference Review
On May 2, ASI held its 2020 conference: Working Smarter to Stay Ahead. The conference—a virtual one-day event packed with over six hours of presentations—was attended by more than eighty ASI members and nonmember indexers. The conference’s six presentations covered marketing, work flow issues, specific indexing focuses, and technical processes pertinent to efficient indexing.
JoAnne Burek of J Burek Indexing and Wordbeats Copywriting presented “Stand-Out Self-Promotion: Four Steps to Winning More Work Before You Start Chasing Clients.” Burek covered the importance of professionally crafted listings, websites (including WordPress, see below), and email communications in clinching the deal on client queries. “New Time Management Techniques for the Savvy Indexer,” presented by Diana Witt of Diana Witt Associates, covered publishing industry changes that have impacted indexer time management and work flow processes. Witt offered efficient techniques to tackle the ever increasing nonbillable work required to run today’s successful indexing business.
Fred Leise of Contextual Analysis (aka The Naked Indexer), opened a window into his indexing processes and method by indexing a manuscript in real time, explaining his choices along the way. This was a highlight of the conference with its fascinating content and lively discussions.
After lunch (which was a busy time of friendly conversations and visits among the attendees), Bonnie Taylor shined a light into the intimidating world of tables of cases and statutes. In “Tables of Cases,” she revealed that, as complicated as they appear and are, tables follow straightforward, basic rules that can be learned by anyone. In “Before You Say Yes or No,” Anne Fifer of Graffito Indexing offered a series of questions to ask a client regarding their project before accepting a job. Thorough knowledge of the project characteristics, though not always obtainable, can be approached via well-crafted questions that reduce the risk of incompatibility between client and indexer.
And finally, Gale Rhoades, veteran computer whiz and guru of all things Macrex, discussed using macros within Microsoft Word and via the Megabit Macros application to streamline mundane indexing processes. A macro is a powerful tool that easily reduces repetitive series of key strokes to a single key combination, thereby saving time exponentially with regard to highly repetitive, though essential, global edit processes in indexing (for instance, replacing one character with another throughout an index).
All of the workshops included question and answer sessions that were brimming with additional information. Though the virtual aspect of the conference was a major step back from being with a group of peers in person, given the circumstances, the online conference environment was rich with insight, ideas, and mutual support. A big thank you and congratulations to conference chair Kendra Millis.
Tribute to Ruth Satterlee
The PNW (Pacific Northwest) chapter is sad to share that one of its members, Ruth Satterlee, passed away on March 8 from cancer. Ruth had been actively indexing since 2015 and was well-known in the PNW chapter for her creatively designed bookmarks, which she made every year for volunteers. An obituary and Tribute Wall for Ruth can be found here.
ASI Member Icon Available to Active Members
Current members of ASI, have you added the ASI 2020 Member icon to your email signature? By showing you are a member of the American Society for Indexing, you indicate your professionalism and show your clients that you are serious about your industry. You can display the fact that you are a member of ASI by including the 2020 ASI Member icon in your email signature. Members may also use the ASI icon on their websites, on invoices, and on business cards.
Find the graphic file here or use the website menu: choose the About ASI dropdown menu then Logos for Downloading (you'll need to log in to access the file). Email the ASI Office to show how you are using this year's ASI Member icon!
Recent Chapter Events
Pacific Northwest ASI Chapter Holds Spring Meeting
On May 23, twenty or so Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNW) members hopped on Zoom to spend some time sharing their experiences during the pandemic and to discuss future plans for PNW events. It was announced that the PNW Fall Conference would be postponed until 2021. However, summer and fall virtual meetings are being planned and agendas and content were discussed briefly. Each member was given a chance to share “a rose, a thorn, and a seed” with regard to their pandemic experience and to their plans for the future. A common theme in the “rose” category was spending time with pets and in the garden, while a lack of motivation due to the COVID-19 waiting game was the most common “thorn” shared by the group. Sadly, some members shared the loss of people close to them to the coronavirus. Some “seeds” included professional development plans, website revamps, and ideas for the upcoming additional chapter meetings. Thank you to Sam Arnold-Boyd and Judy Staigmiller for excellent facilitation.
News from Other Associations
Purple Pen Award–2020 Competition Open to Submissions
The Institute of Certified Indexers announces the opening of its seventh year of competition for newer indexers. This successful effort has served the community of indexers with five years or less of experience. Entry forms, rules, and details can be found online. Submissions are due by July 31, 2020. A winner will be announced in September, 2020, and all entrants will receive a detailed critique of their index from the panel of certified indexers.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
In her presentation at the 2020 ASI virtual conference, “Stand-Out Self-Promotion,” JoAnne Burek stressed the importance of a well-designed business website and mentioned WordPress, the hugely popular content management system. Any interested indexer busily applying Burek’s excellent tips and googling WordPress will quickly come up against the WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com conundrum. You see, there are parallel WordPress universes, both belonging to the WordPress brand: the original WordPress.org organization and the more recent WordPress.com spinoff service. Here are some key differences between the two platforms:
Samantha Holtgrewe, STH Editorial Services
If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or would like to nominate someone for it, please contact Daniel Heila.
Where do you live now? Where are you originally from? Do you share your home with pets or family?
I currently live in Middletown, New York, with my husband and our little orange tabby cat. I grew up in Elmira, New York, and before moving to Middletown, lived and worked in New York City and Westchester County.
What is your educational background?
I have a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Skidmore College, where my studies focused on painting, drawing, communication design, and art history. I also completed UC Berkeley Extension’s Sequence in Professional Editing and its Indexing: Theory and Application course.
Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
When I’m not working or spending time with family, I enjoy cooking, reading, drawing, and crocheting. My husband and I are expecting our first baby at the end of the summer, so recently, I’ve been preparing for our little one’s arrival!
What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?
I’ve previously worked in art education, college advising, administration, and office management. I decided to start studying indexing and editing after my husband and I moved so that he could begin medical school. I have always been interested in indexing and editing, and this proved to be the perfect time to pursue those interests. After finishing my UC Berkeley Extension coursework, I decided to take the leap and begin my own business.
When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I established my business, STH Editorial Services, and started indexing and editing professionally in late 2018. I joined ASI right away so that I would have access to professional resources and contacts as I worked to establish myself in the industry.
What is your most effective pandemic coping strategy?
I'm not sure there's just one coping strategy that's been most beneficial; rather, I've found that a combination of strategies help me feel most balanced. My main coping methods include meditating for a few minutes every day after I wake up, cooking and baking up a storm, taking as many walks outside as possible to get some fresh air and sunshine when the weather is nice, spending quality time with my husband (I've been very lucky to have him at home with me during all of this), and staying in touch with family and friends.
For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
I haven’t been an ASI member for very long, but my membership has already proven invaluable. The Indexer Locator has led to numerous job opportunities, and I have taken advantage of a number of helpful webinars and other available resources to continue my professional development. Although I have yet to attend an ASI conference, I hope to be able to join the community in person at one of the next conferences once this pandemic has passed!