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Rates




Common billing methods for book indexing

All fees are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

The most common billing method for back-of-the-book indexing is billing based on a page rate for indexable pages, which are pages containing content the indexer is expected to index. The number of indexable pages in a work may or may not equal the number of pages in the body of the text; it may or may not include pages for front matter, appendices, glossaries, etc. The rate per indexable page is a negotiated rate, based on such factors as the size of pages, the number of words per page, the number of columns per page, the content to be indexed (text, figures, tables, etc.), the subject, the number of authors and the number of days between the date the work is received and the date the index is due. For example: 2-column page layouts typically contain 50 percent more words than a comparable 1-column layout. Hence, the rate per page is 50 percent higher. Typical rates based on indexable pages are:
Table 1. Typical Page Rates
Market segment Dollars per
indexable page
Scholarly books
Technical books
Textbooks
Trade books
$3.00 - $4.75
$4.75 - $7.50
$4.50 - $6.50
$3.00 - $5.00
bottom row

Another common method is billing based on the number of reference locators in the index. Reference locators are data specifying where information about the topic may be found, such as page numbers, section numbers, line numbers, file names, etc. For example: 1, 5 contains two locators, as does 5, 5 n3. For this purpose, a specification of a range counts as one locator. For example: 1-5 counts as one locator, not five. The number of locators is not negotiable; it is generated by the software used to create the index. Rates per locator vary from $0.60 to $1.00, based on such factors as the length of headings and the depth of indexing - i.e., the levels of indexing before a locator is presented. For example: indexes in which most reference locators are associated with a main heading are less expensive than indexes in which most are associated with subheadings.

Preferred billing method

The common billing methods are often unfair to either the indexer or the client. Hence, I prefer not to use them. Instead, I prefer billing based on the following formula:

Average of the rate based on pages, i.e., on
        (number of indexable pages) × (rate per page)
and the rate based on reference locators and cross-references, i.e., on
        (number of locators + number of cross-references) × (rate per locator)

The most common cross-references are see and see also references.

This formula:
  • Is based on entities that are countable and easily estimated
  • Simplifies the process of estimating best-case, most-likely, and worst-case scenarios
  • Can be used to generate intermediate results, which makes it possible to monitor progress and to bill incrementally on unusually large jobs
  • Adjusts costs downward for jobs that turn out to be easier than expected and upward for ones that turn out to be more difficult
Table 2 contains indicative results using the formula.

Table 2. Indicative Costs Based on Applying the Averaging Formula


Pages
Rate
per
page
Rate
based
on pages

Lo-
cators

Cross-
refs
Total
lo-
cators
Rate
per
locator
Rate
based
on locators
Average
300
300
300
300
300
300
$3.00
$3.00
$3.00
$3.00
$3.00
$3.00
$900.00
$900.00
$900.00
$900.00
$900.00
$900.00
900
900
1,500
1,500
2,100
2,100
20
20
30
30
40
40
920
920
1,530
1,530
2,140
2,140
$0.65
$0.75
$0.65
$0.75
$0.65
$0.75
$598.00
$690.00
$994.50
$1,147.50
$1,391.00
$1,605.00
$749.00
$795.00
$947.25
$1,023.75
$1,145.50
$1,252.50
300
300
300
300
300
300
$3.50
$3.50
$3.50
$3.50
$3.50
$3.50
$1,050.00
$1,050.00
$1,050.00
$1,050.00
$1,050.00
$1,050.00
900
900
1,500
1,500
2,100
2,100
20
20
30
30
40
40
920
920
1,530
1,530
2,140
2,140
$0.65
$0.75
$0.65
$0.75
$0.65
$0.75
$598.00
$690.00
$994.50
$1,147.00
$1,391.00
$1,605.00
$824.00
$870.00
$1,022.25
$1,098.50
$1,220.50
$1,327.50
bottom row


Shipping fees

Typically, indexes are delivered via e-mail, which is cost-free. If page proofs or printed copies of the index need to be returned or shipped to the client, I use the service the client prefers. Fees for delivery services are added to the invoice total.

Re-work

To keep an index from becoming inaccurate, entries in it may need to be changed when the text it is based on is changed. To discourage indexing texts that are not stable, re-work is billed at $75 per hour. The amount of re-work that will be required can be reduced by informing me as soon as possible about changes that may affect the index.

Late starts

Indexing jobs are done in accordance with a schedule negotiated in advance. They have an expected start date and due date. If the work cannot begin as scheduled, it may not be possible to complete it as originally scheduled or to do it at all, depending on conflicts with other jobs. Schedules for jobs beginning late may be changed without penalty up to ten days in advance of their start date. After that, the job must be re-negotiated.

Late deliveries

I make every effort to deliver work on time. However, if, for any reason, I fail to deliver an index by its expected date, for each business day the index is overdue, I reduce its price by an amount proportional to the number of days allotted to it. For example: if twenty days had been allotted and it is overdue one day, I reduce its price by one twentieth (5%); if five days had been allotted and it is overdue one day, I reduce it by one fifth (20%).

Cancellations, killed projects

I do not cancel projects once agreed-upon. If you cancel a job after I started indexing, I charge the greater of the total due based on work done or the total due that is equal to half the agreed-upon page rate times the agreed-upon number of indexable pages.

Projects other than books

Fees for Web site indexing, cumulative indexing and other indexing tasks not involving books are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Interested in working together?

Call 718.275.6641 in the United States or  Send E-mail  describing your project and how to contact you.


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Copyright © 2005 Martin Tulic. All rights reserved.