23 October 2012
By Sandrine Berges
Maybe I'm being lazy here, but...
I've just received the proofs from my book number 2. I have four weeks to go through them and produce an index. One of these weeks is holiday, so that's three.
The proof-reading isn't much of a problem, as I tend to think that any copy editor that got there before me will have caught most of the big mistakes. Also, I'm not a native English speaker, so who am I to criticize their work? A good once over will do.
As to the abstract, I was helpfully reminded that I can have it done for a mere 290 pounds which will be taken off my royalties. My immediate reaction was that I'd be lucky if I ever made that much in royalties, and that if I did, I'd like to have it, thank you very much! But that means I am left with the fairly horrible task of compiling my own index. So I'm looking for short cuts.
So: does anyone know of a good program that will create an index from a long pdf document? It has to work on either Ubuntu or OSX. I know, before you say anything, that computer compiled indexes can be a bit dumb, some things are indexed that oughtn't to be, and there isn't as much detail as one would like. So my main criterion, in looking for an electronic indexer, is that it should be editable. My intention is to create a rough index and then go through it, adding some things and taking away others. That way, I should end up with a reasonable index in not too much time.
If you have ever compiled an index, how did you go about it? And if you haven't but have given it some thought, what would you recommend? What do you look for in an index? What sort of detail are you after? This book is an introduction to Wollstonecraft, written mostly for undergraduates, so probably doesn't need the same kind of index as you would find in a monograph on something for specialists.
I'll be grateful for any comment or suggestion.