I became an indexer in 2013 after nearly a year of studying the profession. I couldn't have made a better decision. Being a tiny part of the book-creating journey for authors invigorates me.
Writing an index that is comprehensive, thoughtfully structured, and properly reflects the text is something I take very seriously.
When I index I read the manuscript from three different points of view:
First, I think like the reader. What topics will they want to find more about? Where will they look to find the answers they are looking for? What can I do to assist the reader to quickly, efficiently, and correctly find the information in the book they want?
At the same time, I put my mind into the mind of the author and production team. Writing and publishing a book of any kind is a true labor of love. As the author, you have scrutinized every word in this masterpiece and revised, re-written, and loss sleep over the best way to communicate your point. My promise to you is that I will recognize your passion for the subject matter and treat each word with the respect it deserves.
Lastly, I think as a marketer. The business of buying books has evolved over the last several years, and understanding the habits of book buyers, librarians, and the general consumer is vital in the writing of an index. I will be sure terms those professionals will be looking for are included in the index.
I work with authors, publishers, and editors and index a wide variety of topics. My very first index was a scholarly piece on public restrooms. Since then, I have indexed many books on business, leadership, marketing, technology, cookbooks, religion, self-help, and health books. I have even indexed union contracts and rule manuals for professional sports organizations.
I am a member of American Society for Indexing (ASI), and the immediate past co-chairperson of ASI's Upper Midwest Chapter. I follow the organization's best practices, and partake in national and local conferences and webcasts to keep current on indexing.
I am listed on Upwork as one of the top ten back-of-the-book indexers.
From an e-mail from Ron Sauder from Secant Publishing:
"You did a marvelous job. Actually it adds a lot of substance to the book….Thanks again for a great effort. I will be calling on you again in the future, I feel sure. You have convinced me indexing is a science in its own right."
From the acknowledgments in Simply Delicious Wine Country Recipes by Robin Goldstein:
"With sincere thanks to Jen Weers, for your attention to detail in creating the index for this book. Your organizational skills are exceptional."
"The top level indexing that Jennifer Weers does will give any non-fiction work added, top level credibility. As someone who reads/scans some 300 books annually, I am speaking from experience."
Milan Somborac DDS
Author of Your Mouth, Your Health and Monday Morning Millionaire, both indexed by Jennifer
"I truly appreciate the work that you did indexing my book, Cognitive Productivity. This required that you work through over 10,000 words, learning many concepts in a short period of time. You were systematic, well organized, thorough, and smart. I am grateful that you took the initiative to reduce cost for me for the next stage of my project. I look forward to working with you on future projects."
Luc P. Beaudoin, Ph.D (Cognitive Science)
"Never having worked with an indexer before, I was a bit nervous about what it would take to include a back-of-the-book index in a self-published book. Jen answered every query I had with professionalism and clearly laid out the process for me. The result is a comprehensive, cross-referenced and well-edited back-of-the-book index that will help my readers further explore the text and refer back to important points. Jen even suggested a new way reference books, products, and courses outside the book that will further explore readers to the other offerings available."
Laura Brandenburg, CBAP
How to Become a Business Analyst
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