Index Confidential: A conversation about how indexing can make better books

A "Coffee Break" Webinar: Presenting useful information in just 30 minutes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM (EDT)
Category: Webinars

How can publishers and indexers work together to make better books? What should publishers know about how indexers do their job? An index created by a professional indexer can add tremendous value to a book. However, indexing can seem like a Black Box for editors and publishers. The manuscript goes out for indexing, and the index that returns isn’t always what was expected. What happened in between? What makes the difference between a good indexing experience and a less-than-satisfactory one? Good communication between publishers and indexers is the key that opens the box. Two experienced indexers will raise the lid and reveal the benefits publishers experience when they make use of indexers’ specialized knowledge and experience.


Devon Thomas ( has been a freelance indexer since 2006. Devon indexes in a wide range of topics, with an emphasis on the humanities, but enjoys books from many subject areas. Her work includes traditional back-of-the-book indexing and embedded indexing in InDesign, XML, and Microsoft Word. She is a past president of the American Society for Indexing, and is an instructor for the University of California, Berkeley Extension Division online indexing course: "Indexing: Theory & Application."

Kate Mertes is sole proprietor of Mertes Editorial Services, providing indexing, information retrieval, and editorial expertise for complex, challenging projects in law and the humanities. Kate took her B.A. in medieval studies, a Ph.D. in medieval history, and a post-doctoral degree in theology, and after teaching at university level moved into publishing, starting her own business in 1998.  Kate has been president of ASI twice, and is a founding member of the Institute of Certified Indexers. She has twice won ASI’s Award for Excellence in Indexing.

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