Patterns of indexing careers

wheel of fortune

Indexers cwheel of fortuneome into their careers from many directions. For some, it’s a natural progression from a job in a publishing house. Others discover the calling accidentally. There are indexers who started out by volunteering to write an index for a friend or a local society.

Once the decision is made to become an indexer, the career launch is more or less predictable: training, followed by practice, then marketing and building up a list of active clients.

Throughout your career, it’s all on you. You will become so good at your work that your clients won’t want you to stop.

So how does an indexer move into retirement gently? Join us for the ISC/SCI conference in Winnipeg June 8-9 as Heather Ebbs shares her thoughts and wisdom on what it means to glide away from a successful career.

The scent of information

Have you heard of a rule in web design called the three-click rule? It states that users will leave your web page or app if they can’t find what they want in three clicks. However, the rule has been challenged by numerous studies. It turns out that users don’t actually stop searching after three clicks, as long as the navigation is easy and there is a constant “scent of information.”

Users of on-line Hansard databases have no choice but to keep clicking when they’re searching for something that was said in parliament. They can’t just throw up their arms in frustration and look somewhere else—because there is no other source of information.

Hansard team members Julie McClung and Michael Sinclair will show us how they keep users happy at the BC Government when they present “Digital Innovation and Parliamentary Indexing” at the ISC/SCI conference in Winnipeg June 8-9.

If you still haven’t registered, you can still get the Early Bird Pricing until end of day Friday.

ISC/SCI Unveils 2018 Conference Program | Early Bird Pricing Closes Soon

Pileated woodpecker

Pileated woodpeckerThe complete program of speakers and sessions for the 2018 conference in Winnipeg is now available on this website.

View and download the details on two phenomenal days of sessions plus the Thursday evening pre-conference event and the Sunday morning workshop.

Last week, we announced the Sunday morning workshop. You can register for this event here.

As a reminder, the Early Bird Pricing ends April 27. Receive your discounted price by registering for the conference today.

Post-Conference Sunday: Embedded indexing

The client wants an index for a printed book and an eBook. You’ve heard about embedding indexes, but you haven’t attempted one yourself. The client won’t pay you to learn on the job. So, do you bid or not?

If fear and uncertainty is holding you back from bidding on these projects, then you’ll want to attend the post-conference Sunday morning workshop “Indexing for Multiple Outputs” presented by Cheryl Landes.

Cheryl will talk about the differences between embedded and traditional back of the book indexing and how to tag content for multiple outputs. You’ll take away strategies for planning the index, working with the publisher (they all have their unique ways), and tagging entries to make the publisher happy. And of course there will be live demos and practice exercises.

It all happens on Sunday, June 10 in Winnipeg in the Fort Garry Hotel.

Learn more about the workshop or go register now on Eventbrite.

New ideas where you weren’t looking

fresh fish I tell my writer friends that a good way to find new ideas is to read a scholarly book that’s not quite in their field.

As an indexer of such books, I’ve been surprised to find new insights several times. For instance, in Collaborative Consultation in Mental Health, I learned about a proven process for mentoring. In Food Sovereignty, Agroecology, and Biocultural Diversity, I read a riveting story about a company that was struggling with cultural differences.

In a scholarly book that you wouldn’t normally choose to read, there are gems of knowledge that you would never know were there. And only an indexer would know that.

Mary Newberry and Judy Dunlop have been joyfully indexing scholarly books for years. Join us as they share their experiences in a joint presentation in Winnipeg, June 8 and 9.

JoAnne Burek

A Fine Balance

twig balances with coral

twig balances with coralIndexing is actually a highly engaging activity, isn’t it?

Sure, we work alone. We may not even have a single face-to-face conversation all day. But as we get into reading the book in front of us, we go beyond being absorbed. We deeply engage on two fronts—with the meaning of the text and with the minds of the future readers.

One of the secrets to happiness is doing engaging work. And that’s why most of us wouldn’t choose to do anything else.

But there is a down side to this choice, especially for freelancers. We have to manage clients, projects, schedules and personal responsibilities. If we don’t, the stress piles up and that’s just not fun.

So, what can we do to balance on the edge of maximum happiness and minimum stress?

Nan Badgett will give us strategies at the conference in Winnipeg June 8-9.

You can register here.

Cuts after cuts

Film editing has a methodology. Why not index editing

Film editing has a methodology. Why not index editingIn the methodology of classic film editing, there are four orderly cuts to get to the final film. First, the film editor assembles the footage and puts the scenes in proper order. This product is called the rough cut.

Next, the editor, director, and producer review the sequences and footage selection and agree on a version that becomes the first cut.

Then the team zooms in on the details of the scenes and the rhythm and structure to create the fine cut.

Finally, the music and sound effects are added to create the final cut.

Considering how much money is poured into making a film, it’s only natural that the industry should have a film-editing methodology.

As an indexer, you pour a lot of time into your indexes. Have you thought about your index-editing methodology? (Or lack thereof?)

Come to the conference in Winnipeg on June 8-9, when Anne Fifer shares all her secrets on editing indexes. (First tip from Anne: It starts as soon as you write first entry.)

Early Bird Registration Now Open

The annual ISC/SCI conference in Winnipeg is now open for Early Bird registration.

Take advantage of these early bird rates until April 20:
Members: $275 for full two-day conference, $150 for one day
Non-members: $325 for two-day conference, $200 for one day

We have a special rate for eligible full-time students: $150 for the two-day conference and $75 for one day.

The full conference program will be revealed soon. Here are the highlights:

The keynote session is an interview with Maureen MacGlashan, editor of The Indexer, the International Journal of Indexing from 2004 to the present. Maureen is retiring this year. In this session, she’ll be sharing plenty about her experiences and unique perspectives gained from producing this quarterly journal that indexers find so essential to their practice.

The closing session will be Dr. Gregory Younging, the author of Elements of Indigenous Style. Choosing appropriate words around difficult topics is a challenge in index-writing. In this session, Dr. Younging will give us the mindset we need to construct an index that is a worthy bridge between the author’s message and the reader.

We will have sessions on indexing academic books, tips for editing your index more efficiently, the latest research on index usability, and from our Hansard indexers, a case study of browsing and navigation technologies for indexed documents on the web.

Our business skills sessions will help you navigate the stages of a freelancing career—from making a splash with bids that impress clients and win business, to staying afloat with managing clients and schedules, to sailing gently into retirement with ease and purpose.

Get with the flow and register before Early Bird pricing ends April 20.