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VSB
04-25-2008, 09:20 AM
I have plans to write a scientific, subject-specific review text.

I have already co-authored a different, more question and answer-oriented review text in the field for a well-known publisher, but would like greater control and income from future projects.

Questions:

1. Stylistically, I want to place occasional comments in the margins next to selected text that REFERS to text/subjects elsewhere in the book. Is there a piece of software that is commonly used to build these links? i.e. If I write a review segment on apples, I could put a comment in the margin on other fruits with references to the pages on which those fruits appear. My goal is to help the reader build connections or links between subjects with a common theme.

2. What software do people use to help with indexing?

3. What is the best way to find a freelance editor? My publisher farmed out the editing to India (I'm not kidding) so our text was returned with many revisions to British English which we promptly had to reverse and revert back to the original. Any idea what editing costs?

Any other thoughts or resources anyone can provide are welcome.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-26-2008, 09:42 PM
Any decent word processor can build an index. Some claim to do it automatically. The problem with software index generation is that it doesn't know whether it is important to index a word and will index all instances, building a concordance instead of an index.

It's not an arcane art: as the author, you should know which is the important text and which is the minor mentions. I print a copy of the manual and and manually highlight all places where a word should be indexed: normally where the text explains its function, and how to install, use and fix whatever. Then I go through the file inserting index marks with the word processing or page layout software. Some important concepts are multi-entry spots, indexed by the noun and the verb the user is likely to be looking for: Mouse installation and Installing the mouse.

Be consistent with yourself and industry standards: one large page layout program used "expunge" where everyone else used "delete" among their many vocabulary quirks ... it was annoying beyond belief because the typical choices were not even given a Delete (see expunge) entry.

The sidebar comments would be a form of cross reference field - one set up to show page numbers - probably in a floating frame. Again, it's easiest to make a manual markup with hand-written notes and then insert the codes in the frames.