Becky Hornyak, Indexer 
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Considering Working with a Professional Indexer?

Just as no two authors would write the same book given the same topic, no two indexers will write the same index given the same book. 
The process of indexing involves many choices and judgment calls. Although all main concepts should be included in any index, judgment is required to determine what is a significant and what is a passing mention, what to cross-reference, the wording of entries, etc. Indexing, while based on overall guidelines, is somewhat creative in nature, and indexers each have their own “style”.
I create the index by reading and analyzing the entire book, not by using the Search function of Adobe Reader. I use indexing software which automatically takes care of alphabetization and provides error checking.

Your input before I start the indexing process is welcome, but not a requirement. Information about the intended audience is helpful, as are suggestions for cross-references. If you want to send a list of terms to include in the index, I need to receive it by the time I receive the page proofs, or shortly thereafter.

Some presses give a space or line limitation for the index. The number of characters per line is also prescribed in those situations. An index with a line limitation will not be as in-depth or exhaustive as an index for a press that does not give a line limitation.

In general, I will use the words you use in the text when wording main headings and sub-entries. Where multiple terms are used, I will choose the one I judge to be used most or to be most descriptive, and make cross-references to the other terms. When you receive the index, please look at the wording and cross-references to ensure that the term you prefer is used for the main heading.
Indexers typically do not index passing mentions, or every instance of the occurrence of a term in the text. If you expect such an exhaustive index, please let me know as this will require more time and cost you more.

I will usually only pick up substantive discussions of the work of secondary source authors. If you want a complete listing, the price per page may need to increase. The same holds for footnotes. Per the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines, footnotes/endnotes "should be indexed if they continue or amplify discussion in the text (substantive notes). Notes that merely document statement in the text (reference notes) need not be indexed." It is not standard indexing practice to pick up all the names in the footnotes/endnotes for inclusion in the index.

I will contact you while I'm working on the index if I have questions about how to handle certain issues. Otherwise, I will tell you what decisions I made that may not be obvious and include my rationale when I send you the index for review. As a courtesy, I will provide you with a list of possible typographical errors that I notice while reading the text.

In some cases, the press pays for the indexing. In other cases, the author is responsible. Some authors apply for grants to cover the expense of indexing. If you plan to submit your invoice to a university or other entity, I would like to know that ahead of time so that I might find out what paperwork is required from vendors in order to facilitate payment. However, regardless of the source of funding, the author is responsible for paying the full amount of the invoice within 30 days. Copyright to the index is retained by the indexer until the invoice is paid in full. I accept payment by check and PayPal. Authors may be required to pay 50% of the estimated fee in advance.   
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Copyright 2015 by Becky Hornyak

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