Books And Resources For Indexers

With the indexing course now several months behind me, I'm now starting out as a freelance indexer. It hasn't changed the fact that my library of indexing books is growing. If you are here because you are interested in hiring an indexer, might I redirect you to my business page at

For someone who's starting out or trying to find out about indexing, these are some helpful books, all of which are in my indexing reference library:

Indexing Books (Second Edition) - Nancy MulvanyIndexing Books, Second Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
Nancy C. Mulvany
University Of Chicago Press
Copyright: November 2005

Nancy Mulvany's book is one of the two primary textbooks for the Berkley course, and I have found it to be an invaluable resource as an introduction to indexing. This book is also one of the resources listed on the Indexing Society of Canada's site. My original review - though I do have to note that this was written back in the fall of 2012, when I was just getting started reading about indexing. My opinions still hold however.

Indexing From A-Z - Hans WellischIndexing from A-Z Second Edition
Hans H. Wellisch
H. W. Wilson
Copyright: 1995
ISBN: 978-0824208820

A bit of an older book, but still an invaluable resource for beginning indexers. Wellisch goes into more detail than you'd think is possible on some subjects, but if you've got a question about some particular aspect of the technical process of indexing, this book will probably have an answer. The arrangement makes it easy to find the information as well - the whole book is arranged in alphabetical order. Again, this is one of the books I've seen recommended in several places, including the Indexing Society of Canada's site, as well as in the course of the Berkely Indexing Course. My original review.

The Chicago Manual of StyleThe Chicago Manual of Style
University of Chicago Press Staff
University of Chicago Press
Copyright: August 2010

The Chicago Manual of Style standards are referred to constantly in both the Wellisch and the Mulvany books, as well as throughout the course I'm taking. In fact, the chapter on indexing, which is available as a separate publication is the other required textbook for the Berkley course. My personal thought was that there might come a time when the information in the rest of the book could be useful, so I went for the entire book, rather than the separate chapters.

Newcomers: A Selection of Articles For Those New To IndexingNewcomers: 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

I've got to add this recommendation to the list. It was recommended to me when I asked on the Index-L list for information on starting out, and having read it, I can see why. Newcomers is absolutely packed with useful tidbits - some of which I haven't found in any books as of yet. Unlike the rest of the list so far, this one's an e-book, which was an interesting experience. My review.

Facing The Text: Content And Structure In Book Indexing - Do Mi StauberFacing The Text: Content And Structure In Book Indexing
Do Mi Stauber
Cedar Row Press
Copyright: 2004

 One of the books for which I received several recommendations throughout the Berkley Indexing Course. I've read the book all the way through once, and made starts at rereading a few times. Each time I glean some new piece of advice from it. A book that makes you think while you're reading it, and yet for me it inspires me to want to try indexing more challenging books. I can't recommend this one enough for both new and experienced indexers! My review.

Starting An Indexing Business Fourth Edition
Enid L. Zafran and Joan Shapiro
Information Today
Copyright: 2009

Although this one's from 2009, the information is still mostly valid and useful today. I'd say it's worth getting if you're thinking about starting, or just starting out as an indexer. My review.

Handbook of Indexing Techniques: A Guide For Beginning Indexers
Linda Fetters
Information Today Publishing
Copyright Date: March 4th 2013

Definitely a good introduction to the art of indexing. Also, of the books I've seen to date, this one has the most up-to-date information on e-book and embedded indexing. My review.

Indexing Names
Ed. Noeline Bridge
Information Today Publishing
Copyright: April 2012

A thorough reference to a deceptively complex element of indexing practice. I highly recommend adding Indexing Names to any professional indexers' library. Well written and interesting, with plenty of examples given for each particular culture/language or problem (i.e. names in fiction and performing arts). I have to admit now that I have two copies of this. One in paper form, and one an e-book, I've used it that frequently. My review.

Indexing Tactics & Tidbits - Janet PerlmanIndexing Tactics & Tidbits
Janet Perlman
Information Today Inc.
Copyright Date: March 2016

Currently the newest addition to my reference shelf. It's clearly written and covers aspects of the indexing business - marketing, contracts, clients etc. as well as the indexing process itself. I only wish the book was a bit longer, but there doesn't seem to be anything left out. My review.

The Indexing Society of Canada
The American Society of Indexers
The Society of Indexers (United Kingdom)

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