If you have not worked with an indexer before, I recommend JoAnne Burek’s step-by-step guide for authors: How to Get an Index for Your Book (free at This short but comprehensive guide provides a solid introduction to the process.

Requesting a quote for services

Tell me about your project.

  • What is your book about? Audience level? Word count? What is the text page count?
  • Do you have proofs that I can look at? If not, can I view a table of contents plus several chapters, or the entire manuscript?
  • When do you expect to get final page proofs?
  • What is the delivery deadline for the completed index?

Note: I do not currently work on embedded indexes.


Most indexers charge by the number of indexable pages or words in your book. Some factors determining indexability follow:

  • A book’s entire text is indexed.
  • Dedications, lists of tables and illustrations, acknowledgements, etc. (front matter) are not indexed.
  • Glossaries, bibliographies, and reference lists are normally not indexed.
  • Footnotes and endnotes are usually evaluated for indexing and included in an indexable page or word count; if notes are not substantive they will not be indexed, but the indexer must review them all.
  • Introductions and conclusions are usually indexed.
  • A preface or foreword may have indexable content but normally forms part of the unindexed front matter.

Are there exceptions to these general rules? Yes. Every book is unique. Please feel free to ask questions.

After I review your proofs or manuscript, I will provide a written estimate as quickly as possible.

Moving forward

If you choose to work with me and your project dates are in the future, I’ll book time on my calendar. Please let me know immediately if anything affects the timing of your project.

I will require final page proofs to begin indexing. I will also need:

  • the publisher’s style guide or index formatting requirements
  • information on any length restrictions or special requirements I should know about

I will deliver your index on time and in the publisher’s required format.