Indexing Books (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

Mulvany, Nancy C.

Indexing Books will be welcomed by authors and professional indexers as a much-needed guide to index preparation that is thorough, accessible, well organized, and up-to-date. Nancy C. Mulvany builds on various style guides, particularly The Chicago Manual of Style's extensive chapter on indexing. She expands its treatment of mechanics with more in-depth discussions of analysis and editorial judgment calls--deciding what is and what is not indexable, and establishing the structure of entries. She also discusses the concept of indexing and how it fits into the publishing process; deciding when to prepare one's own index and when to hire a professional; deciphering publishers' indexing guidelines; and choosing appropriate software. Mulvany's evaluation of available embedded and dedicated software is especially useful as a current guide to what works best for which tasks. While she advocates use of computers for certain tasks, she demonstrates that no software can replace the analysis provided by a good indexer. Appendixes provide a worksheet for general index specifications, the table of ASCII characters, tables of commonly used generic characters, and a list of additional resources. The most extensive and up-to-date reference available, this will become the standard indexing guide for authors, technical writers, editors, beginning and advanced professional indexers, and all others involved in writing and publishing nonfiction books. This practical and thorough guide to indexing shows how to determine what is and what is not indexable, select terms to create clear and succinct entries, establish the external and internal structures of entries, choose headings and subentries, cross-reference, manage foreign names, abbreviations, acronyms, numbers, and multiauthored works, lay out an index, and edit an index.

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