Praise the book and pass the kohlrabi

Nan Badgett makes a great case for the indexing life in her new book, The Accidental IndexerThat’s not to say she doesn’t point out the perils, pitfalls, and personal suitability issues that anyone should weigh before diving into a career in freelance indexing–she does, unequivocally–but after spending the last several months living and breathing this text I’m thinking my next foray in publishing might be to the Land of the Indexers.The Accidental Indexer

Certainly, with Nan’s terrific (and hot off the press) book to guide me, I couldn’t be a complete failure … right? Of course, I’d need to get my hands on one of the indexing software programs she describes, and a handful of the reference books, and maybe get some serious hands-on training at Indexing Boot Camp or during the annual ASI Conference–but I think I could do it. I think I’d even like it. Of course, there’s marketing and promotion to think about … and deadlines. Indexers are always up against deadlines. Plus they have to deal with publishers. Ugh.

So … maybe I’m not quite ready to stop editing books and start indexing them, but it’s good to know that the skill is in demand and that Nan Badgett and ASI will be there to help me along when my time comes. (Did you know that machines are not likely to replace indexers any time soon, and that search engines complement but don’t supplant indexes?)

In the meantime, if you’ve ever wondered what an indexer does, and what she has in common with a misunderstood cabbage cultivar called kohlrabi, and why an indexing career might be a great fit for you or someone you know, grab a copy of [Spoiler Alert–Table of Contents and Sample Chapter Ahead!] The Accidental Indexer. This is a really informative book that’s also fun to read.

Okay, I’ve praised the book–will someone please pass the kohlrabi already?


About John Bryans

John B. Bryans is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the book publishing divisions of Information Today, Inc. (ITI) and its sister company, Plexus Publishing, Inc. Since 1979 John has worked in book publishing as an editor, book packager, and publisher. He began his career in the world of New York mass-market publishing, specializing in historical fiction and popular nonfiction before moving into technology publishing in the late 1980s. In 1995, at Online Inc., he launched CyberAge Books—a popular line of titles for online searchers, librarians, and business information professionals. In 1998 ITI acquired CyberAge Books and John joined the ITI staff on the edge of the Pine Barrens in rural southern New Jersey. Currently, he acquires and edits books and ebooks in diverse genres including library and information science and technology, cyberculture, education and careers in the information professions, educational technology, knowledge management, networking and customer engagement, indexing, and clinical research, and—regionally for southern New Jersey—mystery and suspense, history, nature and the environment. In 2001 he acquired and published Boardwalk Empire by Nelson Johnson, which inspired an Emmy-winning dramatic series on HBO and became the publisher's first New York Times bestseller.