Inside Indexing:
The Decision-Making Process

by Sherry Smith and Kari Kells


Table of contents
for Inside Indexing

for Inside Indexing


Order Process

Kari's index
for Fodor's book

Sherry's index
for Fodor's book

Used in the Text

About the authors

Site Map

Contact us

Copyright 2006
Smith and Kells
Northwest Indexing Press


A hundred objective measurements
didn't sum the worth of a garden;
only the delight of its users did that.

Lois McMaster Bujold

In this chapter, we present our approaches to considering the audience as we wrote our indexes. Both of us thought about potential readers and made choices about entries based on our perceptions of that audience.

Kari decided that a specific type of audience would be reading this book and she built her index around their perceived needs. She began this process by defining her primary readers and then creating entries based on that group.

Sherry decided that the type of audience didn't matter and she built her index around the author's presentation.

In our chapter closing, we show you how both indexes work for readers.



How do these indexers' perceptions of the audience influence the development of their indexes?

How do these indexers' understandings of the text influence their approaches to creating entries?

How do these indexers' ideas about Fodor's primary topic impact their index structure?

How do these indexers collect information and what influenced their decision-making?

Access Routes
How do these indexers develop pathways into the text?

How do these indexers use words and phrases to support the structure of the index?

How do these indexers consider and evaluate consistency when implementing the other indexing principles?

Final Chapter
What have we learned from reading about the two indexes and the decision-making behind the entries?

Download a copy of Martha Osgood's index for Inside Indexing.