Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A question about indexing

Don from Bradford writes: I’ve had a non-fiction book accepted by a publisher, but the contract says I have to provide the index. Is that normal, or am I being scammed?

The responsibility for providing an index is usually decided during the preliminary negotiations with a publisher, but it is often down to the author to arrange it. So, no, you’re not being scammed.

Although you can do it yourself, good indexing is best left to the professionals. The Society of Indexers has a register of qualified people, with each indexer’s speciality listed. www.indexers.org.uk The cost depends on the complexity and length of the book to be indexed.

However, if you decide it’s too expensive and want to tackle it yourself, the best place to start would be requesting the booklet available from The Society of Authors, Indexing Your Book by John Vickers. www.societyofauthors.org

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