Indexer - Jane Read

Jane Read is a professional Indexer and a member of the Society of Indexers. (updated in 2022 by Rohan Bolton)

The Interview

Name - Jane Read

Location - York

Family - Married to Bill; one daughter born in July 2003

Did you have formal training?

Yes I did the Society of Indexers' distance learning course which at the time consisted of four assessed modules on the theory and practice of indexing, plus a practical exercise where you index a full-length book**. It took me about a month to do each one, working in my spare time, but I didn't do the modules one after the other; there was a bit of a blip in the middle when I had a baby and wrote a book (not in that order) so it took me three years from start to finish. I'm now entitled to call myself an Accredited Indexer.

** Since Jane was interviewed a new edition of the training course was launched in 2020. There are formal tests at the start and end of the course, but in between these tests indexing assignments provide a staged progression of indexing challenges supported with one-to-one feedback. Each student is allocated a course adviser who supports learning from Module B through to Module D.

What is the earning potential?

For 2022 the Society of Indexers recommends indexing rates of £27.15 an hour, £3.05 a page or £8.20 per thousand words for an index to a non-academic text. Many publishers prefer to offer a set rate for the job, so that they know in advance how much they need to pay. Indexers who offer highly specialised subjects, such as legal and medical indexing, tend to earn more, but you should not offer a specialist subject unless you have the knowledge to back it up.

For more details on membership of the Society of Indexers, its training course, recommended fees and other information please visit: www.indexers.org.uk

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