hiring an indexer (semi-long)

Subject: hiring an indexer (semi-long)
From: Hillary Jones <hillary -at- NICHIMEN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 14:39:20 -0700

Thanks to everyone who replied to my questions! I received a lot of
useful feedback, and a couple of requests that I summarize what I found
out to the list.

Overall, everyone who wrote agreed that indexing is no walk in the park,
and that I should *strongly* consider hiring an indexer.

I agree with this; unfortunately, our timelines are usually so crunched
here that we have been doing the indexing ourselves (at the last minute,
with black circles under our eyes). I do my best with indexing, but I
KNOW that an indexer could do a much better job! One of the things I'm
hoping for us (the writers here) to work on is a planning process that
will build in time for someone to index for us.

Other responses:

1) Many people directed me to the web page for the American Society of
Indexers: http://www.well.com/user/asi

2) People with experience agreed that after hiring an indexer you should
allot time to give the person some info on the subject and point out
important things/concepts you want indexed.

3) Some people indicated that indexers work off of hard copies and give
you a text file with the index in it. Others indicated that indexers can
use FrameMaker to mark the index terms and generate the index, but you
might have to teach the indexer to use FrameMaker and let them use
FrameMaker in-house if they don't have it at their own office.

4) A few people gave tips about choosing the right indexer: look for
someone who knows something about the subject, talk to the candidates
about their techniques, etc.

So, I feel that hiring an indexer would be a good idea, and now I have
to convince my boss that the cost/benefit ratio will bring us out on
top! ;-)

Thanks again to everyone who responded!

Hillary Jones
Hillary Jones
hillary -at- nichimen -dot- com


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