I regularly hear from readers who want to know why Wicked Plants doesn't have an index. It was a mistake, I tell them. But it's hard to understand how an index could be accidentally left out of a book unless you understand how the production process works.
Once the manuscript is finished, edited, and ready to go to copyediting, a checklist gets filled out. That checklist covers any number of production issues still to be dealt with. One of the items on that checklist is the index. If the book is supposed to include an index, then someone reads the checklist, hires a professional indexer, and an index gets made and turned in before the book goes to the printer.
In my case, there was some kind of glitch in that system. The checklist definitely specified that an index should be included, but somehow that got missed and the index never got ordered. By the time I realized that there was no index forthcoming, it was too late to do anything about it. And there was no way to add it later without having to repaginate the book and possibly raise the price. So there is no index.
I have never heard the end of it. And you can be sure that I checked, double-checked, and triple-checked to make sure that Wicked Bugs contained an index!
This has been so frustrating to my readers that one of them actually posted an index she made herself as an Amazon review. But recently, something even more extraordinary happened. An actual professional indexer, Laura Dodd, walked into my bookstore one day and handed me a complete, extremely detailed, beautifully formatted index that she made for practice. It's even formatted to the exact page size of the book.
And now she's making it available to you.
So if you find it frustrating that Wicked Plants has no index, I've got your answer right here. Just head over to Laura's site and download the index in your choice of formats.
And if you're in the market for indexing, editing, or proofreading services, I hope you'll consider getting in touch with Laura at Redwood Coast Indexing, who is clearly devoted to her craft.
Posted by Amy Stewart on March 1, 2012 at 5:36 am, in the category Uncategorized.