[Margie shared these tips in a mini-presentation at the Heartland chapter's Fall 2016 meeting.]
Beginning indexers, don’t skip this post! You don’t have to be an expert to write for ASI publications. Indeed, there are several reasons that every serious indexer should consider writing for ASI:
- To gather information and gain knowledge
- To share your perspective and expertise
- To promote your indexing business
Right now, there is also an opportunity for all indexers to be involved in the forthcoming kohlrabi cookbook. Interested in contributing and/or testing recipes? Contact Pilar Wyman: pilarw [at] wymanindexing [.] com!
Another easy entry to this level of writing is to share your perspective through book reviews, chapter and national meeting reports, and on specific ideas, such as John Bealle’s KW article on when to index author citations and Carol Reed’s article on working with authors. Contact the KW editor to discuss the possibilities.
With a bit more commitment, you might consider serving as the editor for one of the Indexing Specialties series books. I edited the volume on history just 4 years after I started indexing. This series includes History, Scholarly Books, Psychology, Cookbooks, Law, and Medicine. There are certainly other topics that could be added. The editor’s (or coeditors’) tasks include, for example, soliciting articles from experts, editing those articles, and keeping the project organized and on schedule. This kind of writing project serves all three of the above points. Got an idea? Contact Pilar.
As you develop into an expert in particular areas, you might be asked to write for one of the specialties books or for the more recent series, Index It Right! Writing a single article is obviously easier than editing a collection, but both are helpful in getting your ideas and your indexing bona fides into the limelight.
Another batch of ASI books are what I would call “one-offs,” that is, books of either collected essays (e.g., Indexing for Editors and Authors) or single-authored volumes, such as the two newest ASI books, Janet Perlman’s Indexing Tactics and Tidbits and my own Ten Characteristics of Quality Indexes. As a new indexer I never envisioned writing a book about indexing, but it has been a very satisfying endeavor—and one that I wouldn’t have attempted if I hadn’t been writing for ASI all along.
As you can see, there are many avenues into writing for our professional organization, each of which has different expertise and time commitment factors. You just have to pick one and get started!