"Never index your own book" - Kurt Vonnegut in Cat's Cradle


A good index is essential to turn a good book into a great book. An index is much more than a concordance of all the words in the book. It is a tool that provides immediate access to the important names, concepts and terms used in the book. A good index allows the user to locate information efficiently and accurately. Indexes are also used by potential buyers (including libraries and educational institutions), book reviewers, and your peers.


A professional indexer has the organizational and analytical skills necessary to create an index that anticipates the needs of the book’s expected audience. An author may be an expert in the field, but he or she often cannot distance himself or herself enough to think as the user will think. A professional indexer knows the established principles of information retrieval. The indexer can follow the publisher’s style guidelines and is familiar with the standards set by The Chicago Manual of Style. Indexers have specialized indexing software and are able to provide the index in a variety of print or electronic formats. A professional indexer will produce a high quality index within the agreed upon time, space and format.