The University of Wisconsin Press
Communications / Books on Books
Indexing Your Book
A Practical Guide for Authors
Sina K. Spiker
With a Foreword by Thompson Webb
The purpose in indexing a book is to give whoever may consult it a tool for finding quickly any item of detailed information that it may contain. The book needing a subject index requires an analytical index to be useful. Sometimes bare mentions of people and places cannot be analyzed, but an index made up of catch-words followed by masses of page numbers is not of much help to the person who consults it.
This little index manual began simply as a sheet or two of suggestions to assist the authors of books published by the University of Wisconsin Press. It has been gradually expanded—tested at each step on actual indexes—until it seemed that it might be useful to other authors as well.
This is a guide to the making of only one kind of index, the analytical index of matters. The procedural suggestions will be helpful to the maker of any index—whether an index verborum, an index of names, or any other alphabetical table of topics; this manual, however, concerns itself exclusively with the index appropriate to a book of serious nonfiction. If, through it, a few such books are better indexed in the future, this manual will have served its purpose.
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40 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $6.95 x
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Updated September 14, 2009© 2009, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System