Ever thought of Book Indexing as a career?

(10 Posts)
kodtrans Mon 08-Sep-14 20:32:55

If you are looking for a flexible career and an intellectual challenge, Book Indexing may be for you. I became an indexer about 5 years ago and regularly receive work that I can fit around school times/commitments. It's not for everyone but I thought I'd mention it as a lot of people don't even know the job exists. If you don't have indexing experience, there is a training course run by the Society of Indexers (www.indexers.org.uk) which does cost money but it is thorough and would equip you with the knowledge required. It doesn't pay particularly well but may serve as a second income and if you love books, it's worth considering. For further information, look at the website given above.

To give a brief overview, you work with publishers and, prior to publication of a book (or journal), you would be sent proofs of the title which you would index. This involves reading the text and picking out the key terms and concepts for the index and presenting this information in an index. It's not as easy as it sounds, particularly for more complex books, but it is rewarding, especially if you get a copy of the book with your index in. The Society of Indexers itself provides lots of information for newcomers so it's worth looking at the website.

OP’s posts: |
dingdongthewitchisme Mon 08-Sep-14 22:48:03

Could be useful to a anyone that is looking for flexible work. smile

How much is it possible to earn per hour/day?

minkah Mon 08-Sep-14 22:55:08

How long does it take to train, how much does training cost?

kodtrans Tue 09-Sep-14 06:26:35

The training is module based so you pay for each module as you take it - they are approx. £160 - 195 each and there are 4 modules plus additional tutorials. The time would depend on you but the modules have to be completed within a certain period.

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minkah Tue 09-Sep-14 08:56:52

So about 1k altogether?

And how readily available is work, to someone newly trained?

Plus, what dingdong asked, above.

Thankyou kodtrans, this is interesting.

VestaCurry Tue 09-Sep-14 09:14:37

Sounds interesting

kodtrans Tue 09-Sep-14 11:41:29

It's hard to predict possible earnings, it can sometimes take a while to get established. Here is a useful article www.indexers.org.uk/index.php?id=164.

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minkah Tue 09-Sep-14 11:45:43

Thankyou kodtrans.

Getting established is the tricky part for any new freelancer.

Did you do this? If so, how did it go for you?

kodtrans Tue 09-Sep-14 11:57:32

Yes I qualified and then joined the society. I attended a conference and local meetings and contacted publishers. I don't do loads of indexes, maybe one every couple of months, because I do other freelance work.

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Lilymaid Tue 09-Sep-14 12:15:36

I did some book/journal indexing for years as a second job/work when a SAHM (I'm otherwise a special librarian with a degree in my specialist field, which is helpful).
I can't say I found it enjoyable and I disliked the all too short deadlines - the index is the last thing to be done before the book goes to press, so you have to be prepared to work at very short notice. It probably appeals to some more methodical people than me, but 15 years of doing it when children were young and part time jobs not easy to come by, was more than enough for me.
For a short time I did journal indexing for a specialist journals index in my field - but the pay rate was so low (way below minimum wage hourly rate) that I stopped. This publisher was not prepared to pay Society of Indexers hourly rates - despite the technical complexities of the work and the fact that it was a multinational firm.

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