Information for Authors

by: Dan Connolly


Thank you for stopping at Word for Word Book Services. I hope this brief guide will give you all the answers you need for us to collaborate on indexing your book. Please read the information below and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Delivery of Your Book to Me

I index from page proofs. That is, the pages should be in final, copyedited, typeset format. From when I have the book, text should not be added, deleted or moved around. It will make the index inaccurate. I can receive a hard copy of the proof pages or an Adobe PDF file via email. I cannot accept any other fomats at this time. I will be happy to accept the pages from you directly, from your typesetter, or from your publisher. Timely delivery is important as it allows me to fulfill my committment to indexing your book by the agreed-upon deadline. If delivery of the proof is delayed, that may delay fulfillment of the index by the same time frame. Delays on your part (or your typesetter's) may affect other projects that I am working on. The other projects will take precedence in that case. Also, if you need to cancel a project, I would request 48 hrs. notice prior to its scheduled delivery to me.

Scheduling and Pricing

It's best to schedule the project with me about 3 weeks in advance of proof delivery. This allows me time to fit it into my schedule, without leaving too much time for slips and delays to occur. Generally plan on my needing to have the project for 1 business day per 25-30 pages. I can accomodate variation in this, although a substantial deviation might result in a rush fee of 25 - 50% of the project price.

Rates are individual to the book. But use this as a guideline. A subject index for a standard scholarly book, in a 6 x 9 fomat, with little or no graphic (illustrative) material will generally be $4.25 per indexable page*. If you need an index of cited material (authors, scripture, etc.), this will generally be an additional $.25 per page. Rates will vary then, depending on the format and type of material.

* An indexable page is any page of text that you ask me to read, scan, or look at to determine if anything should be indexed on it. So, if you say index from Chapter 1 to Appendex C, those are the pages that I charge for. If I feel I need to read the introduction and preface in order to better understand the book, I don't charge you for those.

Indexing Process

I create the index in Cindex™, a dedicated index-making software. It allows me to automate some functions (alphabetization, concatenation, etc.), and to speed up other processes (double-posting, cross-referencing). Cindex™ is simply a database-like program though, and only assists in making the index. It does nothing on its own without my input.

I generally will read the front matter of the book, scan the table of contents, and skim the text itself, chapter by chapter, prior to beginning to index. Then I will begin indexing. I set up the proof to the first page for indexing, open Cindex™, and begin reading. As I read I will write the index into my software program. This goes on for hours and hours, and days and days. At the end of the text, I will begin my index-editing process, shifting entries around, double-posting, and cross-referencing.

I will finally produce the index, usually in Rich Text Format (RTF). This is a format that will open in practically any word processor program. I will deliver it via email attachment to you, your typesetter, or your publisher (or to all of you).

Do You Want to be Involved?

If you'd like to be involved, you're more than welcome. There are a couple ways for you to be involved in the indexing process. Let me outline them.

First, you may submit a list of words/terms/topics that you would like to see indexed. I will gladly accept such a list, but usually cannot promise to include every term on it. I will let it guide me, where possible, in making entry choices. Sometimes the topics listed are just passing mentions, and indexing them will only cause disappointment for a reader expecting to find substantive information. Some of this depends on your own acquaintance with indexing.

Second, you may review the completed index and discuss changes with me. Once I submit the index, you are free to read it and suggest editorial changes to it. I will be happy to re-examine a particular section of the book, or to make new or additional cross-references to the index. I will not re-index the book or make changes to the index if you have made changes to the text. If you require such changes, I will make them if my schedule allows, at the agreed-upon page rate, or a minimum price of $50.

I am reluctant to share the index file while still "under construction." Much of the polish and sense of the final index comes from the editing process.

How Can You Help

If an index of authors cited is required, then I may ask you to provide a Word or RTF file of the bibliography. I run macros on it to parse the information down so that I can import the results into my indexing software. This allows me to proof author names and spellings, and ensures that all authors cited appear in the bibliography (and vice versa).

From time to time, a question of a technical nature (regarding your field) may arise. Prompt responses to queries or questions is much appreciated.


I accept payment by personal or business check. I also accept payment via Pay Pal transfer. My terms are 30 days from invoice date. I own all rights inherent in the index until payment is received. It is illegal to publish and distribute the book while I own the rights.


Unless otherwise requested, a credit for the index is appreciated. This may appear with other editorial credits or on the page with the index.

Further Reading

How To Contract With a Book Indexer, or "Hi, Can You Index a Book for Me in Three Days?" (modified version appeared in InterLit and the PMA Newsletter)