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Indexing Books

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Since 1994, Nancy Mulvany's Indexing Books has been the gold standard for thousands of professional indexers, editors, and authors. This long-awaited second edition, expanded and completely updated, will be equally revered. Like its predecessor, this edition of Indexing Books offers comprehensive, reliable treatment of indexing principles and practices relevant to authors ...more
Hardcover, Second Edition, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by University of Chicago Press (first published May 2nd 1994)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  125 ratings  ·  22 reviews


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Jeweleye
A thorough examination of what indexing books entails. I have just completed a certificate course in editing and am preparing to launch an freelance editing and proofreading business. I am considering whether to add indexing as a service.
Rebekah
Feb 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-related, 2009
Thorough introduction to the trade and business of indexing.
Rebecca
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Comprehensive, authoritative, and sensible, but a technical sections are now out of date.
Iron Mike
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dewey-000-099
This is an excellent book and necessary if you're interested in a career as a back-of-the-book indexer. There are issues though on which version you should read.

I have both the hardcover book and the Kindle version. I mostly read the Kindle version. There is also the Kindle version you can read on your laptop. I stopped reading the laptop version pretty early on. When reading about creating indexes, it is important that the indentations are correct. Indexes are made up of headings, subheadings (
...more
Tamara
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-books
If you need to make an index for a book this is the basic guide to get you started. I picked it up because I index my journals and was wanting to see how I could improve my system. It gave me what I needed and more.
Willy Marz Thiessam
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The expert and her masterpiece.
Jerry Yudelson
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Does what it says it does. I used it for indexing my latest book.
LibSandy
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: small-business
This was a requirement for the Indexing Course from UC Berkeley. However, I can see that it will be by my side for years as I work. Well written reference guide to Indexing.
Sue Klefstad
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a standard in the indexing community, often used as a textbook in indexing courses.
Jo
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
For the most part, this was a helpful look at the basic issues of back-of-book indexing. There were a few sections that I did not find as relevant, such as the extended section on embedded indexing. I also felt that the author was a bit idealistic about the whole process—for instance, she says that indexers must have an innate “knack” for the craft, it can’t be taught. This seems a bit much to me.

If you are someone who is just getting into back-of-book indexing, this would probably be an ideal s
...more
Sally
Feb 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, own
Call me a book nerd, but a good index is vital to nonfiction. If I can't flip around with the use of a good index, sometimes I don't bother finishing the book. Indexes are so important to me that out of frustration with A Thomas Jefferson Education , I taught myself how to index. This is pretty much *the* indexing text. ...more
Mark Boszko
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great introduction to indexing, even for me who is indexing periodicals, and not a book. I sought out another book to find more information on indexing periodicals, but there's not much that isn't already covered here. You just have to expand your thinking to how are you will cover multiple volumes — basically, knowing that authors write differently, and that preferred terminology will change over time.
Marilyn
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Halfway through I find out there is a second edition. Which would have taken care of all the outdated computer references. Great.

Anyway, it is a very well-written book. She knows how to give you a "feel" for indexing, using few and well-chosen words. That shouldn't be surprising, since that's what writing an index is all about.
Tope
Useful and fairly comprehensive reference in terms of the planning and process of creating an index. Not the place to find fine grained details about styling and formatting, but good for understanding what indexers do, what the necessary components of an index are, and what kind of thinking goes into creating an index that will be a resource for the reader.
Nicole
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this for school. I can't say that I "liked" it, because it is about indexing and I don't plan to become an indexer. That said, it is an excellent resource for someone considering the profession. Mulvany is readable yet thorough with what can be a pretty dry subject. Excellent reference book!
Nathaniel
Nov 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: book lovers and systematic thinkers
Shelves: writing
I never thought about it, but someone has to write the indexes that appear in the back of books, and this book explains how to do it. Not as easy as it sounds, but after reading this book it seems like it might be an interesting career option...
Titus Hjelm
It's boring, as you'd expect from the title, but probably very good for someone who wants to be a professional idenxer. For an author like me--who panicked and bought this--it's a bit too heavy. The publisher's guidelines will usually be enough, I'd say.
Jackie
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not a thrilling book to sit down and read straight through, but it will be a great source for me as I put together the index for my own book...
Elizabeth
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Useful but not exactly a page-turner. Did you know that there was an annual award for best index?
Jenny
Jan 10, 2009 marked it as to-read
if i ever start indexing again, i'd like this around.
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