Saturday, January 12, 2013

Newcomers: A Selection of Articles - Glenda Browne, Sylvia Coates et. al.

Newcomers: A Selection of Articles For Those New To Indexing
Glenda Browne, Sylvia Coates, Joel S. Berson, Rohan Bolton, Jochen Fassbender, Jill Halliday, Michele Combes, Hilary Faulkner, Ann Hudson, Maureen McGlashan
Society of Indexers
Copyright: October 27, 2012

The Amazon.com product description:
Articles specially selected from The Indexer vital to those embarking on a career in indexing. Articles cover: the importance of indexes; choosing indexing as a career; indexing efficiently; choosing software; choosing training; producing a quote; negotiating with clients; and looks toward possible futures with new technology, embedded indexing, topic maps and XML.
Although Newcomers is only available as an e-book, it's well worth getting - even if you don't have an e-reader. The book is a collection of articles, mostly from about 2005 until the middle of last year (2012) covering various topics such as term selection, the editing process, negotiating contracts, the rise of embedded indexing (and the advantages and disadvantages of it), as well as some coverage of the various major indexing courses, software, and how some people got started with their indexing businesses.

Each article has a bibliography and endnotes, so if you're looking for good books to start learning about indexing, it might be worth combing through those to see what titles keep coming up. I did notice that both Indexing From A-Z by Hans Wellisch and Indexing Books Second Edition by Nancy Mulvany were regular occurrences.

Overall, I found all the articles to be thorough, interesting and useful. Some of them covered things that I've been wondering about, such as how people figure out how they're going to charge and how much to charge. Others went into more detail than I've seen to date on issues like embedded indexing - something that I've been seeing references to, but don't know much about to date.

I'll be honest and admit to skimming over the articles that discuss some of the various courses that newcomers can take - I'm in the process of taking a course right now. On the other hand, if I'd gotten this book back in November, I'd probably have found that to be the most useful part of the book. Timing is everything.

I'm probably going to be coming back and checking these articles again a few times as I get going, and perhaps even after that. This is the first collection they've come up with. I sincerely hope it's not the last.
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