Our Book Indexing Services

An index is a bridge between the author and the reader. It helps readers find and understand the author’s information in a way that makes sense to them. Indexing is a specialized skill that takes a long time to master, and uses expensive software. It’s also hard. And because the whole point of an index is to raise the value of your book, it is obvious that amateur book indexing services defeat their own purpose.

Index Busters are here to give that value to your book! We are a partnership of three indexing professionals with decades of combined experience in multiple areas.

Producing a quality index that meets all of your specifications before your deadline is our goal. With our book indexing services, you can be sure that your:

  • the project will be managed by a professional indexer.
  • deadline will be extremely important to us.
  • the index is guaranteed to be reader-friendly.
  • the index will be spellchecked.
  • will be able to control the depth and style of the index.

Our indexes are based on the Chicago Manual of Style, which serves as a standard for index formats. A significant number of publishers refer indexers to this source, which is why we’ve adopted it too. However, we can always create an index according to your requirements. A sample index or written guidelines provided by you can still be helpful in this case, or you can explain to us what you need.

From the technical point of view, we can offer you two types of indexes: back-of-the-book index and embedded index.

Back of the book indexing

The term back-of-the-book index refers to probably the most common version of indexes. This index is prepared from the final proofs of the manuscript that will be delivered to us as a PDF file. In this case, page numbers are used as locators for index entries. Based on proofs, we will create an index that will be sent to you as a Word file, and your designer will just copy and paste it to the final document. And there you go: your book with the back-of-the-book index is ready for print.

Embedded indexing

In embedded indexes, index entries are electronically inserted into the document. Embedded indexes will allow you to update the index easily, even if the pages are changed, so books that will be revised could benefit from them. They are prepared in MS Word, Adobe InDesign software, or using LATEX. Neither Word, nor InDesign, are professional indexing tools, and because of that embedded indexing is a very complex and time-consuming task. On average we will need 30% more time for embedded indexes, and therefore they are 30% more expensive than back-of-the-book indexes. If you think that you are going to need an embedded index, it is important to mention that to us.

Subject specialties

As we are a partnership of three indexing professionals with experience in multiple areas, we can cover different subjects from a lot of areas. We’ve worked with over 400 individual authors so far, and indexed more than 850 books. Our indexing experience, and the relationships we have formed with our clients have increased our expertise. If you think that your book is very specific, we are ready to index one chapter of your book so you can see if we can fit your needs. Read more about free samples here.

When to Index

Indexing is usually the last stage in the production process, and many authors wait until they have proofs to contact indexers. This could be late because most indexers book weeks and months in advance of when the job will start. Therefore, start searching for a preferred indexer early, as it could be very hard to find an indexer who can start working on your book immediately. We prefer if we add your project to our schedule at least 3 weeks before, so we can organize our time better. Then, when you receive the page proofs, send them to us so that indexing can begin.


Our book indexing rates are structured by the indexable page. Indexers usually charge between USD $2.50-$6.00 per ‘indexable page’ (which is any page with text on it that needs to be indexed). If a 250-page book, for example, has 210 indexable pages, then the cost will probably be $500-$800. Although every book is different, there are some general guidelines for different types. You can read more about it here.

Style of the index

According to the principles of the Chicago Manual of Style, we use the indented-style index and not run-in style. Having all subentries in a new line, indented, is more reader-friendly. However, if you insist on run-in style, we’ll format your index according to your instructions. Run-in style saves a lot of space, so if that’s an issue, this style might be a better solution for you.

When it comes to the principles of alphabetizing, we can follow the letter-by-letter or word-by-word principle. Which principle we use depends on your index. For instance, if your index contains a large number of names, it’s better to use a word-by-word arrangement. Regardless of your indexing needs, we can sort out the arrangements and respond to all specific requests to accommodate the style of your index. Just let us know what you want, and we can discuss what’s most suitable for your index.

run-in style indexing and Indented style indexing for book indexing services

For more information about our book indexing services reach us via email: info@indexbusters.com