Why hire an indexer?

Who hires indexers?

You will benefit from the services of an indexer if you are

  • an author of a nonfiction book
  • a publisher of nonfiction books
  • the editor of a journal or series
  • a government department with long and complex reports
  • an organization with multiple digital files
  • a service that maintains a database
  • someone with a multiple-page website
  • someone with any other source of information that needs to be findable

What will an indexer bring to my project?

Indexers are trained to write a comprehensive and useful index that will help your readers find information on significant topics. Indexers bring to the job

  • Experience – An indexer has analytical skills, knows the conventions, and knows how to apply them.
  • Readers’ point of view – An indexer has the users’ needs in mind and knows how to think from many angles.
  • Fresh eyes – An indexer comes to the text without preconceptions, reading it as it was written, not as it was imagined by its creator. The indexer is often the last reader before the text is published or goes live and sometimes finds missed errors. An indexer will report those errors to you so that you can feel confident about going to press.
  • Community – The indexers whom you find here have access to resources and colleagues. Not many people in Canada (or the world) have indexing skills, which is why we have a national organization with connections to international organizations.

How do I find an indexer?

Our registry of indexers provides background, specialties, and locations of indexers across the country. Indexers who are not able to take on your project will often suggest names of other indexers whom they recommend. Ask and we will help you find an indexer for your project.

How do I work with an indexer?

Working with an indexer may be the easiest part of writing your book. This free e-book gives you the process step by step.

How much will it cost?

Due to the range of complexity of the material, there are no hard and fast answers. Most indexers can give you an estimate if you tell them about the size and audience of your project, send them your manuscript, or send some sample chapters.

In Canada, editors, project managers and publishers seem very willing to share information about costs of indexes. Consider contacting colleagues and ask what they paid for similar projects.

In 2021, ISC/SCI’s survey committee conducted a rates survey. Access the report for authors and publishers here.

If you would like to learn more about costs of indexes, here is an article about the indexers consider use to price their projects.