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tombookpub
05-23-2008, 08:54 AM
Call me cheap but.... I would like to tackle the index for my book myself. I don't plan to make it an overly sophisticated one by any means. I'm allowing 2-3 days to do so for this 55K book. Any ideas/suggestions? As a start, someone mentioned using Excel: Rows as page numbers, columns as topics.

alleycat
05-23-2008, 11:09 AM
I've never done one for a book. If I were doing one I would probably take a copy of the manuscript and a blue highlighter and scan the pages one-by-one and highlight any key word or concepts. Then I'd go and reference (type in on another file) all the keywords and page numbers and then let the computer put them in alphabetical order. Something like that anyway. Personally I'd rather do something like this on a hard copy rather than on a computer screen, but it could be done on-screen, of course.

I almost always appreciate a good index; it sure helps when you're looking for something or going back and looking for something you remembered but can't remember exactly where it was.

IceCreamEmpress
05-23-2008, 09:18 PM
Here's the advice I gave you on your last thread about this:

The best way to do it yourself is the brute-force method, because the software just isn't that helpful unless you're expert in using it:

Before you start: Get an index stylesheet from your editor; if your publisher doesn't have an index stylesheet, ask your editor to send you some examples of "good indexes" from other books he/she's edited.

Step 1: Pick up your galleys. Reread your book very carefully. Whenever you see a topic or reference that you think should be in the index, make a note of it on an index card or in a notes program like Mori.

Don't bother writing down the page number at this point: just write the person's name or topic. "Harry Houdini"; "circus elephants"; "Chattanooga, Tennessee"; "Yiddish"; "spiritualism" etc.

Step 2: Collate the above into an alphabetized list. Review it, tweaking as necessary; you may want a heading for "Circus animals" in general, with subheads for "elephants" and "lions" and "tigers", for instance. Check your list against the stylesheet or examples.

Step 2a: Send the list to your editor for review.

Step 3: With your index list in hand, do a global search of your MS for the page numbers. You may want amplifying entries for some of the topics: for instance, you might get:

Houdini, Harry, 10-13, 260-263, 317; early life, 13-14; influences on, 15-17; literary works, 23; marriage to Bess, 21

Recheck your draft index against the stylesheet or examples.

Step 3a: Send the draft index to your editor for review.

Some useful resources are the Chicago Manual of Style and Indexing Books by Nancy Mulvany. Also this webpage (http://www.upress.virginia.edu/authorinfo/handprf.html) from the University of Virginia Press.

scope
05-24-2008, 03:43 AM
You can most likely do your own index, but know that it's an enormous, time consuming, detailed task. If you can afford to hire a professional indexer (it's not crazy expensive), I would strongly suggest it.

CaptDave
05-27-2008, 08:09 PM
I've always indexed my own books. I like to add broad subject listings that require a degree of familiarity with the topic. My last book (http://ancientstonesites.com) on archaeology has a broad listing for supernatural associations of certain sites, a topic that covers ghosts, demons and folklore, none of which are significant topics by themselves to justify an index listing.

I wait until the final layout comes back with the final pagination and then read the book. As I find a index listing, I add it to a word doc list with the page. Subsequent listings are separate with a comma. In other words, I'm building the index as a I go.

When I'm done, I'll go back to the electronic copy of the manuscript and do a universal search to make sure I didn't miss any relevant listings for each term.

It sounds tedious, but I can index a 90,000 word book in a few hours because I know the book.

tombookpub
05-30-2008, 02:47 AM
Thanks to all for your advice! I will plan on doing so on my own, and it will probably take 2-3 days.

HeronW
05-30-2008, 03:55 AM
From MS Word, under Help: Index
Do one of the following to mark index entries (index entry: A field code that marks specific text for inclusion in an index. When you mark text as an index entry, Microsoft Word inserts an XE (Index Entry) field formatted as hidden text.):
Mark words or phrases

To use existing text as an index entry, select the text. To enter your own text as an index entry, click where you want to insert the index entry.
Press ALT+SHIFT+X.
To create the main index entry, type or edit the text in the Main entry box. You can customize the entry by creating a subentry (subentry: An index entry that falls under a more general heading. For example, the index entry "planets" could have the subentries "Mars" and "Venus.") or by creating a cross-reference to another entry.
Notes

To include a third-level entry, type the subentry text followed by a colon (:) and then type the text of the third-level entry.
If you want to use a symbol, such as @, in the entry, type ;# (semicolon followed by the number sign) immediately following the symbol.
To select a format for the page numbers that will appear in the index, click to select the Bold or Italic check box below Page number format. If you want to format the text for the index, right-click it in the Main entry or Subentry box, and click Font. Select the formatting options that you want to use.
To mark the index entry, click Mark. To mark all occurrences of this text in the document, click Mark All.
To mark additional index entries, select the text, click in the Mark Index Entry dialog box, and then repeat steps 3 through 5.
Mark entries for text that spans a range of pages

Select the range of text you want the index entry to refer to.
On the Insert menu, click Bookmark.
In the Bookmark name box, type a name, and then click Add.
In the document, click at the end of the text you marked with a bookmark.
Press ALT+SHIFT+X.
In the Main entry box, type the index entry for the marked text.
To select a format for the page numbers that will appear in the index, click to select the Bold or Italic check box below Page number format. If you want to format the text for the index, right-click it in the Main entry or Subentry box, and click Font. Select the formatting options that you want to use.
Under Options, click Page range.
In the Bookmark box, type or select the bookmark name you typed in step 3.
Click Mark.
Automatically mark entries by using a concordance file

Create a concordance file (concordance file: A list of words to include in an index. Use a concordance file in Microsoft Word to quickly mark index entries.).
How?

Click Insert Table on the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).
Drag to select two columns.
In the first column, enter the text you want Microsoft Word to search for and mark as an index entry. Make sure to enter the text exactly as it appears in the document. Then press TAB.
In the second column, type the index entry for the text in the first column. Then press TAB. If you want to create a subentry (subentry: An index entry that falls under a more general heading. For example, the index entry "planets" could have the subentries "Mars" and "Venus."), type the main entry followed by a colon (:) and the subentry.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each index reference and entry.
Save the concordance file.
Tips

To make sure Word marks all the text you want to index, list all forms of the text you want to search for. For example, type erupt, erupting, and eruption in three separate cells in the left column, and then type volcanoes in the matching cells in the right column.
To speed up the creation of a concordance file, first open both the concordance file and the document you want to index. To see both documents at once, click Arrange All on the Window menu. Then copy text from the document you want to index into the first column of the concordance file.
Open the document you want to index.
On the Insert menu, point to Reference, click Index and Tables, and then click the Index tab.
Click AutoMark.
In the File name box, enter the name of the concordance file you want to use.
Click Open.
Word searches through the document for each exact occurrence of text in the first column of the concordance file, and then it uses the text in the second column as the index entry. Word marks only the first occurrence of an entry in each paragraph.

Note Microsoft Word inserts each marked index entry as an XE (Index Entry) field in hidden text (hidden text: Character formatting that allows you to show or hide specified text. Microsoft Word indicates hidden text by underlining it with a dotted line.) format. If you don't see the XE fields, click Show/Hide on the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).

Click where you want to insert the finished index.
To make sure that the document is paginated correctly, you need to hide field codes and hidden text. If the XE (Index Entry) fields are visible, click Show/Hide on the Standard toolbar.
On the Insert menu, point to Reference, click Index and Tables, and then click the Index tab.
Do one of the following:
Click a design in the Formats box to use one of the available designs.
Design a custom index layout.
How?

In the Formats box, click From template, and then click Modify.
In the Styles box, click the style you want to change, and then click Modify.
To add the new style definition to your template (template: A file or files that contain the structure and tools for shaping such elements as the style and page layout of finished files. For example, Word templates can shape a single document, and FrontPage templates can shape an entire Web site.), select the Add to template check box.
Under Formatting, select the options you want, and then click OK.
In the Style dialog box, click OK.
If you’re building an index for text in another language, click the language in the Language box.
Select any other index options you want.
To update the index, click to the left of the field and press F9.

Notes

Don't modify index entries in the finished index; if you do, your changes will be lost when you update the index.
If you create an index in a master document (master document: A "container" for a set of separate files (or subdocuments). You can use a master document to set up and manage a multipart document, such as a book with several chapters.), expand the subdocuments before you insert or update the index.

cpickett
05-31-2008, 05:31 PM
Just a quick additional resource in case you need it:
Carolyn Howard Johnson regularly mentions a guide on how to do indexing yourself in her newsletter Sharing with Writers. Her website is http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com and I think the guide is part of a series put out by the Audio divas. If you can't find a link on her site, a quick email to her will get you the answer.