—The Future of Indexing Is Now! (Actually, it's April 29-30)
—Speaking of Dennis Duncan…
—ASI Offers New Webinar Replay
—Hines Award Nomination Deadline Approaches
—See Also Seeks Editor
—Key Words Giant Steps Down, Whippersnapper Climbs Up
—Speaking of Key Words, What About Us Nonmembers?
—Who Does What, When, Where, Why, How, and for How Much?
—Don't Be Bored! Elect Your Board!
Business and Marketing
—Behind Every Great Publishing Professional, There's an Editorial Calendar
Spotlight on Janet Perlman
The Future of Indexing Is Now! (Actually, it's April 29-30)
Open your calendar now and enter "The Future of Indexing: A Mix of Art and Technology," ASI's 2022 Conference, on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30. Keynote presenter Joshua Tallent will share "Where Do You Fit? The Art of Indexing in the Age of Automation." The publishing industry is constantly changing, and with those changes comes the fear that certain elements of the publication process, like indexing, will be sidelined, relegated to automatic processes, or even disappear. Joshua will discuss industry changes, the challenges indexers will face in light of those changes, and highlight opportunities that are likely to present themselves as the publishing industry evolves. Our second keynote presenter, Bill Kasdorf, returns to the ASI platform with an enlightening session on why EPUB is essential. Knowing EPUB 3 is considered the proper format for the interchange of accessible publications, what role will indexers play in creating these publications?
In addition, Paula Clarke Bain, the indexer of the popular new Dennis Duncan book, Index, A History of the, will tickle us with tales of her experience, including the humor she hid within. And Melanie Gee shares, "Indexing the metatopic—bridging the gap across the pond." Practices in the United States and the United Kingdom concerning how to handle the metatopic of a project are often caricatured as downright contradictory: always index the metatopic comprehensively or never index the metatopic. Who is right? Come to the conference April 29-30 and find out.
Stay tuned for more conference information and registration details.
Speaking of Dennis Duncan…
Index, A History of the, Dennis Duncan's steamy new historical indexing romance…well maybe that's not quite right. No matter. You can find out for yourself! The title is now available in the United States. And even better, an interview with the author is upcoming in Key Words, the quarterly journal of ASI. Stay tuned…
ASI Offers New Webinar Replay
A video recording of ASI webinar Using Tablets for Marking Up (presented by Joan Shapiro on Feb. 23) is now available for purchase on the ASI website. The webinar covers tablet mark-up how-tos, discusses when tablet mark-up makes sense, and offers recommendations for using this approach to mark-up for portable and travel indexing. Joan demonstrates using an Apple iPad and Windows PC, but also provides information about using alternate types of hardware. Visit the ASI website for more information and to watch.
Hines Award Nomination Deadline Approaches
The nomination deadline for ASI's Theodore C. Hines Award is March 11. Have you considered making a nomination? The Hines award is ASI's highest service honor and acknowledges members who have made significant contributions to the field of indexing and the American Society for Indexing. For more information about the award, nominee qualifications, and how to nominate a colleague please visit the Theodore C. Hines Award page at the ASI website.
See Also Seeks Editor
Do you enjoy sharing information, news, and professional tidbits with colleagues, fellow ASI members, and friends? Or perhaps ASI's newsletter is your go-to on the organization's website or a favorite item in your email inbox. If so, here is an excellent opportunity to apply your talents. ASI's monthly newsletter, See Also, is in need of an editor. Current editor Daniel Heila is leaving this post to step up to editorship of Key Words, ASI's quarterly journal. ASI's publishing future is looking bright, and the See Also editor is a key player who provides members and the public with news of ASI events, industry news, and news from sister associations. The post is a one-year contract and comes with an honorarium. To find out more and to throw your hat into the ring, visit the See Also editorial opportunity page at the ASI website.
Key Words Giant Steps Down, Whippersnapper Climbs Up
Janet Perlman, editor of Key Words, the quarterly journal of ASI, is retiring from her role, capping off an innovative twelve-issue run. Through her deft leadership, the journal has grown more powerfully into its role as the indexing profession's foremost publication in the United States. During her tenure, Janet introduced the Tools of the Trade section, the Book Corner review section, and the Paratext—Musings and Ramblings column with columnists Kate Mertes and Fred Leise. Overall, Janet has raised the bar on the journal's professional content and increased its practical value to ASI members. Thank you, Janet, for your vision and hard work.
Daniel Heila, editor of ASI's See Also newsletter since June of 2020, will be stepping up to the editorship of Key Words. Daniel has managed an indexing, copyediting, and writing freelance business since 2014 and joined the ranks of ASI in the spring of 2019. His plans for Key Words are to follow the excellent trajectory of Janet's work by continuing to increase the journal's value to ASI members and the indexing industry as a whole. Additional goals are to increase the journal's exposure in the industry and to increase subscriptions from nonmember indexers, publishing professionals, and associated organizations.
Speaking of Key Words, What About Us Nonmembers?
ASI members in good standing receive quarterly issues of Key Words as a benefit of membership. But what about nonmember indexers, interested publishing professionals, and associated businesses and organizations? Fear not, subscriptions are available to one and all. Nonmember subscriptions include four issues of the journal. All at a reasonable price. So, keep up on all the recent, most pertinent, indexing industry news; read cutting-edge professional essays; and gather essential technical information by subscribing to Key Words the quarterly journal of the American Society for Indexing. Visit the journal page at the ASI website. The subscription link is toward the bottom.
Who Does What, When, Where, Why, How, and for How Much?
Every five years, ASI takes a snapshot of the indexing profession by surveying indexers near and far to gather demographic, financial, and company structure data to create the ASI Salary Survey. The 2021 survey results are now available on the ASI website. An executive summary is available to nonmembers, and a detailed analysis is available to members. Visit the survey page on the ASI website for more information.
Don't Be Bored! Elect Your Board!
It is the time of year for ASI board elections. Soon, ballots will arrive (by owl in some cases) with detailed information about each candidate, and it will be every ASI member's sworn duty to vote! Keep your eyes open for more information.
Business and Marketing
Behind Every Great Publishing Professional, There's an Editorial Calendar
Do you often index more than one manuscript at a time? Do you subcontract with other indexers? Participate in multi-indexer projects? Manage a hydra-headed editorial business? Then you may be familiar with schedule meltdown, multitasking nightmares, and (Cthulhu forbid) missed deadlines. Do not despair, the editorial calendar was invented just for you.
Indeed.com defines the editorial calendar as, "a virtual workflow that allows those in the publishing industry to coordinate tasks among writers, editors, and other publishing roles from the time of assigning a project up until its deadline." Even though this tool was developed to serve large form publishing processes, it is still valuable to small businesses and freelancers. For instance, manuscript delivery dates, pages per day plots, timelines for farmed-out tasks, or deadlines for project member contributions, are all aspects of the indexing process that can be plotted out, tracked, and updated on an editorial calendar.
Editorial calendars can be as simple as an Excel or Google spreadsheet, using dates and applying the sort function to present information in varying ways; or a Google calendar, especially if used in tandem with a task managing application like ToDoist (which, itself, can be used as an editorial calendar with some tweaks). There are also apps designed for project management that can be used with a laptop and smartphone as editorial calendars. For instance, monday.com and Trello. Both are based on the Kanban workflow management method and offer free subscriptions. These apps can present plugged-in information in many different graphic interfaces to match a user's learning/information-processing style. For purposes of managing indexing projects of various sizes, it will be necessary to personalize the use of many of these apps; whereas, with spreadsheets and the calendar-task manager approach, the professional can craft the tool to suit their needs from the get-go. Check out these links for more information on this valuable time/task/project management tool:
- “What is an editorial calendar?” at Indeed.com
- “How to Create an Editorial Calendar” at Hubspot.com
Spotlight on Janet Perlman
If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or would like to nominate someone for it, please contact Daniel Heila.
This month's Spotlight is on Janet Perlman, long-time ASI member, and departing Key Words editor.
You are the outgoing editor of Key Words, the quarterly journal of ASI. What has been your most valuable experience in this role? How has the journal changed in the past two years? What does the future look like for Key Words?
I have enjoyed transforming Key Words into a full-fledged professional journal. I've always had a vision for Key Words as the place for the professional development of our members, giving them information about indexing techniques and tools, trends in the publishing industry, books of interest, and a place to showcase interesting projects. I have really enjoyed watching it change and become a better publication. As I've commissioned articles during my two years as editor, I've been constantly amazed at the depth of knowledge and experience of our members. So many have shared their expertise in the excellent articles they have submitted. I expect to see a continued widening of the focus of Key Words as it grows and provides information to keep indexers up to date. Key Words is on an upward trajectory!
Where do you live now? Where are you originally from?
I'm originally from New York City. I have lived in Phoenix since the 1970s; it has been a great place to live and raise our family. I will never go back to shoveling snow!
What is your educational background?
I have a B.S. in chemistry from Queens College (City University of New York) and an M.A. in organizational behavior and management from the University of Phoenix. Right out of college my first jobs were in the publishing field. I have always loved books!
Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
We are jigsaw puzzle aficionados, and we spend many evenings working puzzles. There's always one going on our dining room table.
What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?
After college, I used my chemistry degree to work in New York City for various scientific publishers as an editorial assistant and then as an editorial supervisor. After our move to Phoenix, I worked for the City of Phoenix doing administrative work for fifteen years, until I could get back to the publishing world. Thanks to the advent of computers, I was able to pick up my career in publishing as a freelancer. That was the best thing I ever did.
When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I learned to index on the job while working on the editorial staff in publishing houses in New York City. So I started out with minimal training and was basically self-taught. Many years later, in the 1980s, I re-kindled my involvement in indexing and joined ASI. I took as many workshops and seminars as I could and attended conferences to hone my skills. Many veteran indexers in ASI were kind enough to give of their time to mentor me and critique my work and provide me with more training.
For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
ASI's workshops and learning opportunities and the ability to go to conferences were key to building my freelance business. The mentorship of so many was important too. I have always been very grateful for the help I got from ASI in those ways and have tried to give back and be of assistance to newer members just entering the profession and joining ASI.
Finally, what is your best coping strategy for the pandemic?
I keep reminding myself that this pandemic will not last forever, and we will go back to normalcy in some form. I'm grateful I can work at home, and I try to remain hopeful. As for coping strategies, staying in touch with people (while isolating) at home has helped me stay sane and calm. Whether online through social media, via Zoom or FaceTime or phone, or email—they all work. Contact with other people and having a social life despite the pandemic is what works for me.
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