Most often my work involves creating traditional back-of-the-book indexes of subjects and names but there is limitless scope for indexing to improve access to all kinds of information. At its heart it involves understanding the content of the work, extracting the key ideas, concepts, objects and names that a reader might look up, choosing words to describe them and finding all the references.
I work from a pdf of final page proofs (from which I provide the index as a Word file ready for typesetting) or I can embed the index directly into the word processed text.
Most of my clients are publishers or book packaging companies. But I often work directly with authors and I do quite a lot of work for charities and other organisations which produce their own material in-house.
It's hard to give specific ideas of how much a job will cost because there are so many factors involved:- length of text, complexity of text, target audience, any special requirements and time restrictions. However, I personally find it irritating when websites simply ask you to contact for a quote. So, as a very rough guide for, say, a 200 page linguistics text I would say most of my clients have a budget of between 300-450GBP and I find I can earn an acceptable hourly rate within that. Handbooks and manuals are generally cheaper - a charity's 200 page practical manual I would, for example, charge at about 200GBP
I can apply my indexing skills to most subjects at a general level but my specialist subjects are:
· Languages and linguistics
. Nutrition, health and family including diet and cookery books. I have a special expertise in texts about breastfeeding and ‘alternative’ parenting.
· Charities, voluntary sector and charity management
I also index a lot of books in the general area of social studies, education, economics, history, religion and law (where I can also draw up tables of cases/ statutory provisions if required)