Blog – Estimated time to build book index

Book revised page proofs

How much time does it take to complete the indexing for a book?

You have now finished writing your book, and it’s time to build its back index. You might wonder how long does it take to have your book index ready, so you could manage your timeline to keep the index ready in time. Let’s tell you this in breif in addition to some useful advices:

1. Length of book:
It all depends on the length of the book!
The length of the book should be calculated by the number of words that it has, and not by its number of pages, because a page of size 6″ × 9″ is surely not the same as a page of size 5″ × 8″. The 1st one will have higher number of words, and so will require more time to index it. It’s best to specify the required indexing time for the book according to its word count because of that.  

2. When to start building the book index?
It’s important to mention that the book indexing should start after receiving the revised page proofs of your book, to be sure the book has accurate page numbers, and as a result the index that will be created will have accurate page numbers.  

3. Estimated time:
I have asked our book indexing team about the estimated time for indexing a 300 pages book (60K words in average). They said: “Normally, a book indexer would require 2-3 weeks to index such a book, if he will do the indexing work by hand, but since we use our PDF Index Generator software to help organizing our book indexing work, we index such a book in 6 days. We have delivered 10th of book indexes in that time period, with the same index quality of hand made indexes”.  

4. Book field:
The subject of the book, and its sofistication might change the index time delivery estimation, but this didn’t happen with our team before. All indexes were delivered in time as estimated.  

5. What will i receive at the end?
For a 300 pages book you should expect 12-18 pages for the index section, each containing approximately 100 entries and subentries. You should receive the index as a PDF or Word document file, with single or 2-Column index entries per each page as agreed.  

6. Request modifications:
You should be given a couple of days to review the index, request any modifications, and the indexer should handle all your requests before finalizing the index.  

7. Get a quote:
Feel free to contact us to get a quote for indexing your book by our professional book indexing team.  
If you prefer building the book index by yourself, then check our program “PDF Index Generator“. It will help you create and write a professional index to your book, with many editing options available, and many stylish themes available that you could use. You can test PDF Index Generator for Free from here.
Indexer indexing books

Blog – 10 tips you should know before starting your book indexing career

Indexer indexing books Indexing books could be a profitable home business. The one who indexes books is called a book indexer. These are 10 important tips every indexer should know before starting his book indexing career:

1. Skills & Talents:
To succeed in this job you must have good skills and talents. Skills like excellent language skills and a high reading comprehension. Talent of analyzing what you read, extracting the right & useful data from it. Talent of meeting deadlines. In addition; if you have good knowledge for the subject that you’re indexing, that’d be an advantage for you.  

2. Indexing rates & time delivery:
Publishers pay between $3 and $6 per each indexed page, so a book having 300 pages would cost from $900 to $1800 to be indexed. Such a book would require 10 days to deliver its index. That’s the common pricing & time delivery known in the publishing world.
Note: We have a professional indexing team, and we offer much more competitive prices than this. You can check our indexing services page for more details.  

3. Training:
Indexing books has many rules and conventions, so if you’re ready to start this career as a profession, then you’d better get a good training. You can self study by reading a book like Indexing Books, 2nd Edition, or you can have a video training (A course could cost $500 at least), like ASI training course, or Indexing: An Essential Art and Science course.  

4. Book final draft:
Never start indexing a book unless the book is in its final draft, with accurate page numbers. You must confirm this with the book author before starting your work. Making last-minute changes in book proofs will mostly affect its pagination, and  as a result will ruin your index and some or all of the collected page numbers for the indexed terms.  

5. Book indexing software:
Every book indexer should have a software to help him organize his indexing work, easily make changes, handle header & sub-header entries, cross references, footnotes, etc. That’s why we have invented the PDF Index Generator software. It’s the best book indexer companion.  

6. Where can i find book indexing jobs?
You can start with freelancer websites, like Freelancer. You will find many book indexing jobs there, but you should have a strong profile, and request low fees at the beginning of your career, because you will find strong competition out there. You can also start contacting publishing companies through LinkedIn, offer them your index samples & determine your rate. If you’re able to make a contract with a publisher, that will guarantee a good annual salary for you.  

7. Before starting an index job:
It’s important to do the following before you start indexing a book:
  • First, you should skim the book, be sure it doesn’t contradict with your beliefs and morals, so that you won’t feel embarrassed while indexing it.
  • You should provide the author/publisher with a cost & time quote that you’re 100% sure you can deliver the job for.
  • Get a confirmation from the author/publisher that the book is in its final draft, and that it has accurate page numbers.
  • Does the author/publisher require specifications and rules for the index? For example:
      • How many index columns per page for the index to use?
      • Will the author provide a list of terms to index, or should you handle this by yourself?
      • Should the index not exceed a specific number of pages?
      • Should you use use one level of sub-entries, or you’re allowed to use more?
      • What formats should the index be delivered in?
      • And so on…
  • Ask the author/publisher to fund the project with 10% to 50% of the project total cost to prove the seriousness of the job deal before you start working.
8. Your index profile:
This is your marketplace. You should have a strong profile with professional index samples that authors/publishers can reach easily to check your completed indexing work. Create a website to easily access your profile data, a LinkedIn account. Putting links to Amazon books that you have indexed should be very helpful for your visitors.  

9. The customer is always right:
Well, that is not always right! .. Especially in a technical field like indexing books. After delivering the book index you will surely receive many requests for index modifications. Some of those requests might not be convincing to you, or might break the indexing common rules or formatting. You should first try explaining this to the author/publisher, but if he insists, then the rule comes right “The customer is always right ”. The author is surely more experienced about his book, so if it’s his demand, then do it on his own responsibility.  

10. How do i know if i’m a good book indexer?
The best way to know this is if you have a returning customer. If you have indexed a book for someone, then after a while he’s contacted you once again to index another book for him, then surely he liked your indexing work, and you’re moving on the right track. Go on and proceed with your indexing career.  
If you’re interested about a helpful way for building and writing the index to your book, then check our program “PDF Index Generator“. It will help you create and write a professional index to your book, with many editing options available, and many stylish themes available that you could use. You can test PDF Index Generator for Free from here.

Blog – Ignore indexing all footnotes while indexing your book!

When preparing your book index you should start by collecting the index terms from your book, then you spend some time grabbing their page numbers from the book. You can use PDF Index Generator software to easily grab their page numbers, as you can simply import your list of terms inside the program, then you let it do the magic.

Some might prefer to ignore the occurences of the index terms if they’re located in the footnotes or the endnotes of the book.

Fortunately, this can be accomplished easily with the help of the “PDF Index Generator” software. You can ask the program to ignore indexing all footnotes, so if the term is found in the body text of the book it will grab its page number. If it finds it in the footnotes then it will ignore its page number.

Here is a video tutorial that explains in breif how to do that:

You can download the PDF Index Generator program from here to try the steps in the video tutorial by yourself.
Note: You can also follow the steps in the video tutorial to ask the program to ignore indexing any page headers or page titles the same way you do with footnotes & endnotes.

Blog – Creating a names index for your book, with names sorted by last names

Many authors would like to see the indexed names for their book index sorted alphabetically according to last names instead of first names. Some even create a separate index for names only if their book has many names, like some historical books. The following video explains in full details how to accomplish that with the least effort required:

The tutorial explains how to use the PDF Index Generator program to import your list of names, then it generates the index for you, and in simple step you can reverse all names and write the index to a PDF file. The process only requires couple of minutes to have your index ready.

Blog – What is the location of the index within a book?

Every book consists of a number of sections, like the Title page, the Copyright page, the Table of Contents, the Preface, etc. One of the most important sections that any non-fiction book must have is the Index section.

It’s best to insert the Index as the last section in the book, after the Bibliography or the References sections. If the book has no Bibliography or References, then you can put it after the Glossary section. If the book also has no Glossary, then you can put it after the Notes section.
The only section that we advise to put after the Index section, is the “About the Author” section, then comes the back cover of the book.
I have checked a couple of famous books, to see where the index is placed inside those books:
  1. The Chicago Manual of Style book: This book has the Bibliography section with its contents, then comes the Index after it.
  2. The Children and Drug Safety book: This book has the “Acknowledgments” section, then the “Notes” section, then comes the “Index” section after the “Notes” section. Because this book has no Bibliography, or References, or even a Glossary section, it has been put after the “Notes” section, and this is a right behavior.
  3. Finally, i have checked the Guide To Practical Health Promotion book. This book is divided into 2 parts, followed by an “Appendix” section, so the “Index” comes after this “Appendix”, because this book has none of the other sections that we have mentioned in the other books.
So, as you have seen in those examples, it’s best to put the index after the Bibliography of the book, if your book has this section available.  
If you’re interested about a helpful way for building and writing the index to your book, then check our program “PDF Index Generator“. It will help you create and write a professional index to your book, with many editing options available, and many stylish themes available that you could use. You can test PDF Index Generator for Free from here.