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Are you patient, analytical, well read, and you don’t mind working alone? Do you have an excellent grasp of language and pay good attention to detail? If so you might enjoy working as a Book Indexer.
To be honest, I had always assumed that the indexes in the backs of books were created by computer. I know that MS Word has an index function, although I have never used it. But it turns out, that computers are just not all that good at creating a useful index, and so that task falls to freelance indexers.
There is a low barrier of entry for indexing. No specific degrees or credentials are required to be an indexer. However, publishers will look to see if you have subject matter expertise for indexing a technical book or manual. You can learn indexing by taking courses offered by your local college, by taking a correspondence course offered by the US Department of Agriculture, or there are a number of self-paced course offered by ASI.
Once you gain clients and experience, you can earn decent money. This is definitely not a get rich quick scheme! Full time experienced indexers can earn up to $50,000 per year, working from home.
According to ASI, most indexers find work by sending letters and resumes to publishers. Experienced indexers find most of their work comes from networking and referrals from satisfied clients.