On Textbook Publishing

I was happy to see the flowchart for tracking a textbook up to its publication,1 but I think one important aspect of the publication process was missing from the chart. Your flowchart is missing the construction of an index to the material. Information is useless if it can't be located when it's needed. The writing of an index belongs in the chart just before the printing stage. Indexes are important to the reader, and because librarians and textbook purchasing groups use them when evaluating bo

Sharon Hughes
Apr 25, 2004
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I was happy to see the flowchart for tracking a textbook up to its publication,1 but I think one important aspect of the publication process was missing from the chart. Your flowchart is missing the construction of an index to the material. Information is useless if it can't be located when it's needed. The writing of an index belongs in the chart just before the printing stage. Indexes are important to the reader, and because librarians and textbook purchasing groups use them when evaluating books, they translate into more sales for an author. An author who avoids having a professionally drafted index written for his or her work is devaluing it from the beginning. The readers deserve this service.

I admit my bias. I'm a professional indexer and I specialize in writing indexes for scientific and medical texts.

Sharon Hughes

Hughes Analytics Goreville, Ill. SHughes512@aol.com