How to Hire an Indexer

May 1997
by Janis Paris

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Getting Started in the Hiring Process

The nice thing about hiring an indexer is that you can ask for a work sample and verify that the caliber of the index matches your needs. Of course, if the person you are considering has a list of publications a mile long from highly regarded establishments (especially if the work is in your subject area), you might need to go no further than that person’s resume. If you are dealing with someone newer to the field, however, request a work sample and call the person’s references, asking specifically about timeliness and efficiency in delivery of the project.Items to Negotiate

There are a number of items to iron out, including agreeing on a schedule. Here’s how to proceed:Price. This is usually quoted as a page rate based on the average number of indexable items found on each page. For instance, if there are approximately three items on every page worthy of indexing, I charge three dollars. Indexers will vary in their prices, and texts certainly vary in their level of technicality (not to mention readability when using the smaller point sizes!). But whether your indexer quotes you a page rate or a line rate (line of index, that is, corresponding to each entry), you can apply the formula and come up with a price agreeable to both.

Software. Although WordPerfect should be perfectly importable to all major desktop programs like Quark, your indexer will probably be working in Word or a specific software progr…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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