How does one become an indexer?

To become an indexer, start with these three actions:

Take formal training

Formal coursework is highly recommended. The Education and Training page lists several distance-learning programs as well as in-person courses offered in Canada.

In choosing a course, indexer Martha Osgood says, “What you want to look for in a course should be: a LOT of practice indexes with heavy feedback and as much discussion with others as possible.”

We also suggest asking other indexers for their recommendations.

Join a society of indexers

While membership in a society is not a professional requirement, joining one will give your career a huge boost, even before you start your training. For it is here that you will

  • Meet other indexers who can help you get started
  • Access more resources to build your skills and your business
  • List your services on the find-an-indexer page of your society’s website when you are ready to take on clients.

Use professional indexing software

In most of the training programs, you will be creating your indexes using the demo versions of the specialized software programs. However, you can download these demo versions at any time.

Functionally, they all do the same thing: take your entries, sort them alphabetically or by page number, manipulate them with a click or a keystroke, filter them for ease of editing, and produce an index to the publisher’s specifications in the format demanded by the book designer.

Each interface, however, is different. Try creating small indexes in each program to find the interface that best suits you.