Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The index seems to be finished

I finished the index yesterday and answered a few queries today. It is a compilation of names of modern and ancient authors, topics, and text references. I like indices myself. However, I am in a minority. At least we have an index. The publishers of my last book said that I could have either an index or the table I'd spent two and a half days creating!

To me, an index should be useful. It not only lists accessible topics and texts but also ideas discussed. That way, it is creative. For example, there might be a discussion of ideas about Jesus and the index will refer the reader to that page under "Christology." And I also like the feature referring to a related topic. So Lord's Prayer has its own entry while subtopics under "Jesus" include "prayer" with an entry, "see Lord's Prayer".

Does everyone know The Society of Indexers? There's also an American Society for Indexing. Between the two sites you can find everything you want to know about indexing.

3 comments:

Pam said...

I don't know about the complicated reasoning behind indices, but I love them. I find them incredibly useful. I love the ideas behind a good one, and the way they lead from one idea to another. Thanks for the work on them, Deirdre.

VK McCarty said...

Your "Sophie's Choice" experience with that other publisher sounds awful and an inconsiderate use of lazy power. The presence of an index in a title is a real litmus test for me; perusing an index often tells me a lot more about a book than thumbing through the pages. Of course, a lame index reflects badly on everybody, though it often has nothing to do with the author, if the pagination has shifted or the index project has been "ringered" out to a hack free-lancer. As a hack free-lancer myself, I dearly hope to contribute to the good reputation of editors everywhere, but there are all sorts out here in the wordsmith ether. I'm quite excited about your upcoming book, Deirdre, and look forward to exploring it through its index and in the heart of the text as well. God-speed to its completion!

Rev Dr Mom said...

I like indexes, too. What's not to like, really?

Looking forward to the book!