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Quotes on the Value of an Index
from Authors and Reviewers

"A nonfiction book without an index has no heft. I pay it no attention. When I am deciding on whether to review or have a book reviewed, I check the index to get a good idea of what's covered in the book to help me decide."

  • Arthur Salm, Book Reviewer and Books Editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune
    as a guest on San Diego's NPR call-in show
    [December 18, 2003]


“I would never buy a book that purports to fall into the category of serious nonfiction if it lacks an index. … I find it especially disturbing when books on scholarly subjects by academic authors issued by university presses lack indexes. … I have seen indexes that list individuals or events only some of the times they appear, inexplicably omitting some page numbers. I have seen indexes that omit certain individuals or events completely, almost certainly because of carelessness. I have seen indexes so bizarrely constructed that they defy all logic that a reader might apply when consulting them.”

  • Steve Weinberg, on "Egregiously Irresponsible Indexing" Baltimore Sun
    [February 6, 2005]


“Researchers and librarians will be much more apt to purchase books with a good index. When I review a nonfiction book, I frequently delete a star from the overall rating when the author neglected to include an index."

  • Patricia Fry, “Build Promotion Into Your Book BEFORE it’s a Book”
    SPAN Connection
    [January 2008]


"Indexing work is not recommended to those who lack an orderly mind and a capacity for taking pains. A good index is a minor work of art but it is also the product of clear thought and meticulous care."

  • Peter Farrell, author of How to Make Money from Home

Article: Good Indexes Sell Books Article: Author as Indexer


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