Producing an eBook – How hard can it be?

At the beginning of this year, Maureen MacGlashan, editor of The Indexer, came up with the idea of publishing collections of Indexer articles based around particular themes. We had already made every single issue, right back to 1958, available online but being told ‘there’s 54 years of articles – what you want is in there somewhere’ is understandably a bit daunting. Having the best and most relevant articles selected for you would be useful.

At first, we thought of publishing the collections as paper books through the print-on-demand company, Lulu, which I have used for a long time and through which we recently started publishing single issues/back issues of The Indexer. Looking at the costs, it became clear that we could achieve the same income for the The Indexer but with much lower prices for purchasers by producing an ebook. Essentially, we eliminated the cost of printing, packing and shipping heavy paper. I had already made a Society publication, OP5 Indexing Children’s Books, available on Kindle, with a linked index, in 2011. We would need this new book to be available on all platforms, including for those without eReaders, but how hard could it be?

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Posted in e-books, iPad, Kindle, SIdelights (SI newsletter) | 3 Comments

Faceting and indexes

One topic which seemed to come up repeatedly at an SI conference recently was Faceting, being presented by publishers as something new, overcoming problems with Search engines, allowing people to get to the information they want more quickly.

In fact, faceting is something which indexes do, but which is usually the aspect of indexes which is very rarely understood by non-indexers and often one of last things properly understood by indexing trainees. Continue reading

Posted in client communications, SIdelights (SI newsletter) | Tagged | 1 Comment

Tips for MS Word

I think many of us use MS Word and if you use it often then it is worth looking at the keyboard shortcuts available regularly to see which would be of help for the tasks you frequently. The full lists are available online, for Word2010 at (including a quick reference card) and for earlier versions at

These are a few of the lesser known ones which I find really helpful. Continue reading

Posted in MS Word, SIdelights (SI newsletter) | Leave a comment

Book Review: Top Secrets for Using LinkedIn to Promote Your Business or Yourself

The author, Gini Graham Scott has no connection with LinkedIn but runs workshops and seminars on using Social media to promote oneself and expand one’s business. The approach is that LinkedIn can be an important part of your PR strategy.

The book is in four sections:
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Posted in book reviews, finding clients, freelance business, Not published elsewhere | Tagged | Leave a comment

Using book cover-images on your website

As an indexer one way to inject a bit of colour into your website is to include cover images from some of the books you have indexed. There are several ways to do this. The way not to do it is to ask the publisher for permission to use the images. Continue reading

Posted in SIdelights (SI newsletter), web presence | Tagged | 2 Comments

Assessing Risk

As indexers we rely upon our technology for our business and our livelihoods, yet very often we take it for granted. What we should all do from time to time (OK, at least once!) is a risk assessment. Large companies do these regularly and they can have significant benefits.

So how do you do a risk assessment? Continue reading

Posted in SIdelights (SI newsletter), technology | 1 Comment

Use multiple machines and avoid UPS

Every year, when we have a dry spell followed by heavy rain, the electricity supply to my house trips out and, almost immediately, comes back on, but not before causing my computer to restart. This year this happened 6 times in one day, losing me several hours work, and I firmly resolved (again) to get round to buying an Uninterruptable Power Supply. However, laptops use batteries Continue reading

Posted in SIdelights (SI newsletter), technology | Tagged | 1 Comment

On using Word2010

Well, finally I have received a book from a client in .docx format and I am compelled to index it in Word2010. Continue reading

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Kindle and the Index

When Amazon first introduced Kindle, way back in 2007, they said it did not support indexes. In 2011 this has not changed – the Formatting Guide at Kindle Direct Publishing says, under Creating Back Matter:

Back matter consists of the last pages in your book which provides additional information the reader should know about, such as Bibliographies, Appendices, Notes or Glossaries… Indexes are not recommended at this time.
Kindle Direct Publishing

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Posted in e-books, Kindle, SIdelights (SI newsletter) | 9 Comments

Future publishing technologies and indexes

A recent discussion on an indexing discussion list got me thinking that what indexers needed was a guide to everything they didn’t know about the future indexing technologies. So here it is. Continue reading

Posted in e-books, embedded indexing, Kindle, SIdelights (SI newsletter), technology, XML | 8 Comments