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Terms & Conditions

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Structure of fees

Generally my fee is based on the number of set indexable pages in your PDF proof. Indexable pages include introduction, chapters, pages with footnotes, and pages with illustrations. Foreword and appendices will only be indexed if they contribute to the actual contents of the book. 

In some situations I may opt to charge by number of words rather than by number of pages to keep the rate more fair in comparison to the amount of work. For instance, if

  • a large part of the book consists of pages with illustrations (in general meaning less work), or
  • the book format or layout is so that there is considerably more text on one page than usual (meaning more work)

On average, a single-spaced PDF-page contains between 400 and 500 words.

An as from rate of € 5.00 per set indexable page or € 13.50 per 1,000 words can be taken as a first indication (going rate 2023). This rate applies to academic texts with a single combined index of subjects, names, places and titles.

My fee includes up to two hours for processing any modifications to the index after delivery of the index on request of the author. Any work exceeding these two hours will be charged with an hourly rate of € 60.

The fee also includes checking the set index before it gets printed.

A surcharge is applicable if the index needs to be modified due to changes to the proofs during or after the indexing process (for instance in case of slipping page or footnote numbers). This surcharge is based on the hourly rate of € 60.

Factors of influence on the fee

The following factors may lead to a higher or lower rate or to an additional flat rate:

  • complexity of the text
  • type of index needed (single combined index or multiple separate indexes)
  • level of detail required in indexing
  • time required for extra research (for instance, if many people, events, etc. are not mentioned by their proper names or occur under various names throughout the text)
  • page size and density
  • single language or multilingual text
  • type and amount of diacritics/special characters in text
  • non-standard house style/presentation
  • turnaround time: extremely tight deadlines and necessity to work unsocial hours can lead to a higher rate
  • changes in text, pagination or footnote numbering during the indexing process or after delivery of the index


Pre-made lists of keywords don’t save time or money

Under the assumption it could save time and money your publisher may advise you to provide a list of keywords and names to which the indexer ‘just’ has to find the matching page references. Unfortunately, nine out of ten times the contrary is true and will it take the indexer more time than writing the index from scratch. Moreover, by using this method the indexer will largely miss the context of the text and accordingly could miss important cross-referencing and so on. The result will be an index of inferior quality and higher cost for you. If you or your publisher insist on working this way, please note that I will only accept the work if I can charge by the hour rather than by page or number of words.  

Tailored Offer and Validity period of quotes

Please contact me for an individual offer tailored to your needs. Quotes are valid for six months.

Required information

Information I need from you beforehand

Before I can provide you with a tailored quote to your needs and I commit to your assignment, please provide me with the following information:

  • Title, author(s), publisher and subject in general.
  • Type of publication and its audience.
  • At least some sample pages, such as the table of contents and introduction or a sample chapter, but most ideally the manuscript in its current status.
  • Estimated number of indexable pages/words.
  • Type of index needed (single combined index or multiple separate indexes).
  • House-style instructions (if none available I will use the British Standards – BS ISO 999:1996 / BS 1749:1985).
  • Any maximum number of pages/space allowed for the index.
  • Delivery date of first proof, or estimated date.
  • Deadline, or estimated deadline for the index.
  • Format of the index (RTF-file, Word file, PDF-file…).
  • Confirmation beforehand that embedded indexing is not required by your publisher as this is a service I do not offer at the moment.

What I don’t need from you is a list of keywords. If supplied anyway, I will only use it afterwards to double-check if I haven’t missed any important headings.

Planning and delivery

Inform and keep me updated on your planning

As soon as your manuscript has been accepted by a publisher you will probably start looking for an indexer. At this point the actual availability of the first proof is probably still pretty uncertain. I will ask you for an estimated date and put your work in my provisional schedule. Please be aware that at this point I cannot block and commit to a fixed time period for your book yet. During this stage of the publication process publication schedules can get moved around quite a bit still and considerable delays on either the publisher’s or authors’ side are not an exemption. For that reason it is important you keep me updated as soon as there is major progress in the publication of your book.

At some point your production editor will provide you with a more definite delivery date of the proof. Only then I will be able to block a fixed time period for you.

Provided your proof will arrive at the agreed time, I will start indexing upon receipt of the first or the second PDF proof.

If a publication contains a lot of illustrations or if you expect major textual corrections or changes in page numbering between the first and second proofs, it can be advisable to wait with indexing until availability of the second proofs. This way extra work for me afterwards and extra costs for you is avoided.


Delays in availability of proofs

If there is a considerable delay in the agreed delivery date of the proof, I may need to reschedule your project if the delay leads to conflicts with subsequent scheduled work for other customers. In case of extremely long delays, I may need to adapt my rate to inflation or, in the worst case, need to cancel your assignment completely. If the latter is the case, I will obviously do my best to help you finding another indexer.

Throughput time

Indexing is mentally intensive work. It requires a high amount concentration and energy. Most indexers therefore do not work eight hours in one go. On an average, but this really depends on the text, you should calculate for a week throughput time per 100 pages. This includes the indexing itself and editing of the index. The latter should not be underestimated as, depending on the publication, it could count for 30-40% of the work. 

Please be prepared I may contact you during the process if I have questions about the subject, names, and so on.


Delivery of your index

I index on the basis of the set first or second proof (mostly sent to me in PDF). I will compose the index in my indexing software and send you the index as an RTF-file once finished. Some publishers require embedded indexing, but at the moment I do not offer this service. I So before commissioning me with your index, I advise you to confirm with your publisher if this is ok!


Review of your index

Upon receipt of your index please go through it thoroughly. If any modifications are required please add them as comments in the RTF/Word-file and return the file to me. Please do not change or delete headings by yourself. Some corrections may affect other headings or cross-references. I use a specialised indexing software which facilitates me to process small changes efficiently without running the risk that inconsistencies will happen. Also I’ll be in a better position to explain you why certain choices in indexing have been made.

As soon as your index has been set in the final proof and is about to be printed, please send the set index to me once more so I can check if it has been set correctly.

Payment, copyright, and feedback

Invoicing and payment

  • Invoicing is in Euros (€). Any exchange or bank costs are to be borne by the client.
  • For projects taking longer than a month I may send you an interim invoice.
  • According to the German small businesses regulation (§ 19 Abs. 1 USt.G.) I am not liable for VAT. Therefore I do not charge VAT and do not have a VAT-number. A reference to this clause will be stated on your invoice. If you need your VAT-number stated on your invoice, please let me know.
  • Payment within 14 days after the invoice date.

Some clients provide me with a complimentary of the book I indexed. This is something I really value and appreciate!


Although you acquire the right to publish the index I wrote for you, please note that I like to lay claim to copyright. After all, a professional index is a creative product with a whole way of thinking behind it. I therefore ask you not to make any changes to the index without my permission and not to publish the index under your own or any other name. I would appreciate it if my name is mentioned somewhere in your work, for example at the end of the index, in the table of contents, in the imprint or in the acknowledgements.

Your feedback

It is of great importance to me to know if my customers are pleased with my work, so your feed back is highly appreciated. If you are happy with the quality of my indexing work I obviously would love to hear that. If you think there is room for improvement, however, please do tell me honestly. Lessons are there to be learned from.

I like to put customers’ feedback on my portfolio site. If you prefer not to have yours on there, feel free to let me know.

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