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:
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:
The most common cross-references are see and see also references.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Copyright © 2005 Martin Tulic. All rights reserved.