Indexers are the people who read through non-fiction books and catalog
keywords alphabetically and by page number. That helps the reader to find
the information they need quickly.
"My typical day is wonderful!" says Belle Wong. She is an indexer. "I think
it's all bound up with the idea that I'm getting paid to read a book -- to
do what I love."
Indexers also have other duties. They enter the index entries into a software
program for formatting and edit the index. They also contact the publishing
house and sometimes the author that contracted the index.
Indexers can work for a publishing company. Or they can be freelancers
who work from home. Christine Jacobs is an indexer. She says there are basically
two ways of ending up in indexing.
"Through the publishing world -- most people who go that route become back-of-the-book
indexers -- and through the library world, where people have a wider range
of skills and tend to work with databases and a variety of different materials,
as well as book indexing."
The average workday for an indexer is usually about eight to 10 hours long.
Sometimes overtime can be expected when a rush project needs to be completed.
Indexers work in offices and usually on computers. Therefore, there is
the danger of repetitive stress syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome and