Earlier I asked for advice about indexing. I decided to do it myself. Here’s what I learned:
1.) This is tedious work.
2.) It takes about 2 days, and has two parts.
3.) Part 1: deciding on terms. This is valuable, and I’m glad I did it myself. It requires reading the manuscript carefully for concepts. It made me see my text in a new light (what ideas I’m really working with and what’s more important). I also used Wordle out of curiosity. It wasn’t that helpful. But it was interesting.
4.) Part 2: Indexing your chosen words. With searchable PDFs, this isn’t so hard, but the search function is dangerous, because sometimes concepts aren’t the same as exact words (go figure!). So I went back to step 1 at times and wrote down synonyms to search for as well. This part is brainless about 90% of the time. And I found it took longer than part 1. But for the other 10% of the time, really knowing my manuscript helped. If I were to outsource a task, this would be the one. But I’m still not sure if I would.
Was indexing worth two days of my life? I’m not sure. But the time was also a bit of double-dipping, as I also had to go through the page proofs. And Part 1 helped with that. Now that I’m REALLY done (I can never touch this thing again) I’m both very excited and a little scared.