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Indexes

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Hi everyone, and welcome to the Launch Your Dream Book course. Today, we have a very special guest, Tim Tate. Tim has worked in the publishing industry for 20 years. He actually started out as a backup book indexer. He has worked for the major publishers such as MacMillan Computer Publishing, Pearson Education, and most recently, Wiley. He's an Integrative Nutrition graduate and is currently working as their publishing consultant. Today, he's going to teach you all about indexing so you can learn the basics of how to index your own book if you choose to do so. So welcome, Tim. Thank you, Lindsey. It's good to be here. Hi, everybody. We're going to be talking about a subject that is near and dear to my heart-- indexes. As a back of book indexer, I can say that most people are not really interested in discussing the topic. They enjoy using indexes in books and often complain that an index that they've tried to use didn't work for them, didn't lead them to where they wanted to go in a book. I do hear that complaint-- not about my indexes, mind you, but about other people's indexes. So to have the opportunity to talk about indexes to people who are interested in hearing about them is a wonderful, welcome opportunity for me. So let's dive right in. What we're going to talk about is what an index is. and how it's important to keep the reader in mind with an index. We're going to look at indexes in eBooks, hiring indexers, and also creating your own index. So first, what is an index? Now, most people have an idea of what an index is in the back of a book. And there are several different approaches when creating an index. One is that index should list specific content in the book. That is, everybody knows what a table of contents is. It lists the chapters and sometimes some of the main headings in the chapter. So that's a list of content in the book. But a lot of times, you can look at that as a list of general content, especially if it's just the chapter names. The index lists specific contents. So it drills down to the basic, line by line, word by word level and can pick things out of the middle of a chapter on a page that's full of text and lead a reader directly to it, when the reader would never be able to find that by using a table of contents. The index is also, similarly, a navigation aid for readers in that it can direct readers to content that is in the book that they might know, say, by a different name. An example of this, using my technology indexing background, is if you're using a computer and you can't play music. There's no sound coming out. Well, you get a book on computers and you want to look up how to play sound or how to play music. So what do you look up in an index? Well, OK. One person will look up sound. The next person will look up music. The third person might look up volume-- how to turn the volume up on their computer. So three different people would look at three different places in an index. So an index needs to be created in such a way that if a person looks up Sound, there will be an entry for Sound. Now, the main text of the index might be under Music, or possibly Audio, even. So in that case, a reader looking up Sound will need a reference to, say, Sound, see Audio, or Sound, see Music. So in that way, the index is a navigation aid for the readers to find the content that they want in a book. Thirdly, the index is a great selling feature. Now, not every book needs an index or could benefit from an index. But for a lot of books, particularly books that are expected to be used as reference works, the books that you want people to pull down off a shelf and be able to flip through and say, here's what I'm talking about. A lot of cookbooks definitely need indexes. People like looking up specific recipe items, all the recipes that have avocado in it, let's say. So a lot of people, when they go shopping for books, they'll look to see if it has an index. And if it does, does this book talk about such and such? And that item, therefore, if it's in that book needs to be in that index. So it is a good selling feature for a lot of books. So that's what an index is. And the index is a tool for the readers. So it's always important to keep the reader in mind. And this is important for you to do as an author, whether you're creating an index yourself or somebody else created it and you're looking at it before the book goes to publication. And I definitely advise that, to make sure that the index says what you think it should say. Even if you don't know what it should say, the best rule of thumb is to keep the reader in mind. What is a reader going to be likely to look up in your book? Again, if it's a cookbook, they might want to be looking up specific ingredients. If it's a book, say, about exercise, they might want to look up certain muscle groups, or certain types of activity, whether it's running or weight lifting or whatever. So the index needs to be user-friendly for them. And also, what do you want them to find? You may want to let people know in the index that there are specific things in the book, again, that they're not going to find in the table of contents. So the index is actually a tool that you can use to let people know what's in the book that might not be obvious. So with that, let's look at a sample index. I'm sure everybody knows what an index looks like. This index, we're going to be talking about or using it as an example as we talk more about indexing. This index-- I don't know if it looks familiar to anybody, but this is the actual index from Joshua's new book Primary Food, which came out just a few weeks ago. And I will say that as publishing consultant for IIN, I created this index. And I'm going to show you some of the ways that-- some of the things I used to create the index. Before we get into that, let's talk a little bit about indexes in eBooks. The question has often come up in my publishing career, do eBooks need indexes? eBooks are searchable, so why would somebody want to go to an index and look up something when they can just click in the search box and type in the term they're looking for? And that's a great question. And I think eBooks are wonderful for that. I love eBooks for that. I'm big on searching in eBooks. One of the things, though, to keep in mind is search terms are often exact. So you have to be careful. You might be searching for something, but you might misspell it. Or you might use -ing on the end of it, whereas the word in the book doesn't have -ing and it's not going to be found by the search engine, especially if it's not a smart search engine. So indexes, even in an eBook, are still going to be useful for the reader. And when looking at putting an index into an eBook, one of the questions that needs to be asked is, will this be a hyperlinked index or a non-hyperlinked index? And for anybody who might not be familiar with the term "hyperlinked," it simply means that when you click on it, it takes you to a different page, whether it's a web page or a different page, in this case, in the book. So this next slide shows an example of a hyperlinked index. And again, this is from Primary Food. And this is the Kindle index opened up on a personal computer. I don't know if everybody understands that you can do that, but if you have the actual Kindle file itself on your computer, you can open it up if you download the program. It's a Kindle reader for PC. And you can see that all the page numbers are hyperlinked. So when you click them, it will take you to that corresponding page in the book. Now, it's not an exact science because the eBook pages are different lengths, different sizes than the print book pages where these numbers come from. But they will take you to the basic area and a lot of times, right smack dab to where you want to go. Again, a very useful tool for readers. So I definitely recommend that if you have an index in your eBook that you have your designer compositor hyperlink it for you. It may cost a little bit more money, hopefully not too much more, and definitely will be worth it. So let's look at getting the index into your book. One way is to hire an indexer. And so where do you find an indexer? The main way that I recommend finding an indexer is by recommendations from other authors or even publishers. If you're working with a designer, they may have worked with other indexers before on other books. And they can say, I really liked this person, or my authors have found this person to be a great indexer. And it's helpful to find somebody who's familiar with your subject matter. They don't necessarily have to be a subject matter expert per se, but indexers usually have subject matters that they index more than others, that they have a certain level of expertise in. Like I've said that I started out indexing computer books, technology books. So that would be an area of expertise for me. Other people might index, I don't know, say, biology books. They would never know how to index a computer book. They wouldn't know where to begin, necessarily. Although indexing principles can carry over from subject matter to subject matter, it is helpful to have a subject matter expert or someone who at least is very familiar with the subject of your book. They can be very helpful. There are also freelancer websites. One of them is called Elance, where you can go on and you can advertise. I'm looking for an indexer. I want to pay this much. Here's my project. Or, you can search for indexers who have posted their services-- hi, I'm an indexer. I've been doing it for a long time. Here's my subject matter expertise, my rate, blah, blah, blah. And you can hook up with them. The one thing about that is that it can be a shot in the dark. That's why recommendations, personal recommendations, are really good. You want to know that somebody's going to be reliable. And then also, you can look at other books. A lot of books, especially with the major publishers, will list the indexer in the credits of the book. They'll list the production manager, the editor, the copy editor, the designer or the compositor and the proofreader and the indexer and the Illustrator. So wow, there's an indexer right here. I like this index. With the internet today, you can probably look up that person's name with the word "indexer" or "index" and get a hit and be able to contact that person. So you can hire an indexer. Prices vary. Just keep that in mind. Some are high. Some are low. It's advisable to keep shopping around until you find a price that's affordable to you. Be careful about paying exorbitant prices for indexes, although that's relative for everybody's budget. But it's not advisable-- I don't advise paying a lot of money for an index, what you consider a lot of money unless you really, really feel like it's needed for your book and that you feel like your material is of a complicated nature where you really, really actually need an expensive indexer. Chances are, you don't, though, so be cautious if somebody's going to charge you thousands of dollars or whatever to create your index. An alternative is to create your own index. Now, I'm guessing that a lot of you think there's no way I ever want to do that. And that's fine. Don't feel like you need to do it. However, some people-- I've talked with Lindsay-- have expressed interest. If I wanted to do it, how would I go about doing it? And what I want to do is show two ways. I'm not going to go into too much detail, because there are lots of steps. But just generally, what is involved in creating an index using Microsoft Word and then also creating an index by hand? And I have "by hand" in quotation marks, only because nobody does anything by hand these days when it comes to publishing. Everything's done electronically. But there is a manual way of creating an index and a more electronic way of creating an index. So let's first look at creating an index with Microsoft Word. And Microsoft Word has an indexing feature. And you can find the tools for indexing on the References tab of the ribbon in the Index section. So the Index section is over to the right. And you see there are several commands for Insert Index, Update Index, and Mark Entry. And to put an index tag in text, again this is a Microsoft Word document. And yes, this is Joshua's manuscript. So what I've done is I've clicked Mark Entry. And this little dialog box comes up called Mark Index Entry. And I typed in my main entry, which is career, because this is the chapter on careers. And the subentry, this is for check-in number one. And again, check-in is something that's not in the table of contents. It might not be something somebody thinks to look up. But when they go to look up Career in the index, they can see, oh wow, there's three different check-ins. I can go straight to these if I want to. Especially if they're already familiar with the book and they want to go back to something, the index is going to allow them to be able to go boom directly to each of the check-ins. So I've created my career entry in my subentry check-in number one. And you can see the blue tag in the manuscript. There it is. And so that tells where that-- when it compiles the index at the end of the process to pull that index entry from that page. So on the next slide, you can see what that actually looks like. I've compiled the index, meaning in Word's language, I've used the Insert Index button up in the right hand corner of the screen. Insert Index, and so it goes through and it pulls all of the tags out and boom, makes an index. And you can see I've highlighted the entry that we just created, check-in number one, and there's the page number. So in Word, you have to just make sure that your page numbers correspond to the book page numbers. So the way I do that, I just insert manual page breaks where they correspond to the page breaks in the PDF that I'm indexing. So there is the index. And then it's just a matter of-- you see the page numbers. You have to go through and put hyphens in between the page numbers to indicate page ranges. And then you can provide your index to your designer or your compositor in a Word document. The other way to create the index, as I mentioned, is by hand or manually. And in this case, I went through and found the material that I wanted to index entries for. And I started creating this index in Microsoft Excel. So in the first column, I have the main entry, Career, and in the second column are the page numbers for that entry and the page range. And then in the second column are the subentries under Career. And then in the third column are the page numbers, page ranges for those entries. So when I'm doing it this way, I think it's more time-consuming. But you can see the indexes are being built as you go along. And it's pretty easy to edit as you go. And then it's just a matter of, as shown on the next slide, you can copy and paste that or export that from Excel. And now this is in Microsoft Word. This is what it looks like. And when I exported it, I did it-- this is called tab delimited so that there are tabs between the entries and their page numbers, which you or the designer or compositor can replace with commas. And in that way, I've just created an index, manually. And it's really that simple. And I advise anybody who's interested in doing that to give it a shot. Try it for a chapter and see if it's something that is practical and if it's doable for you. I personally would be happy to answer any questions if people are creating their own index and have specific questions. My email is listed here, [email protected] So feel free to email me with your index questions. And I wish everybody great luck when you are working with an indexer or working on your own index. They are wonderful additions and selling features to most everybody's book. So thumbs up if you're going to have an index in your book. So again, good luck, everyone. Thanks a lot.

Video Details

Duration: 19 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 11, 2015

Indexes

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