Greetings from Sue Klefstad, Junior Co-President
I’m really pleased to be coming in as Heartland’s Junior Co-President. This is my second year as a freelance indexer and the Heartland Chapter has been a valuable resource for me.
My first Heartland meeting was in the spring of 2009. I was working at a book production company as an editorial assistant and taking the ASI Training in Indexing course. At that meeting, I was with people who were actually indexing and it was nothing short of inspirational for me.
I thought I’d offer a few bits about my book production background as a way of shining a small light on that big publishing industry we work in. In 2000 I started working at Omegatype Typography, setting college textbooks. It was the days of paper manuscripts and at first I simply applied the edits marked on the manuscript to the Word document. I graduated to being a compositor and working with page layout software. I especially loved setting the boxes and tables that abound in college textbooks. Allyn & Bacon was a primary customer and their parent Pearson started off-shoring comp. That’s when I moved to editorial.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a typesetter and a compositor? In the olden days, a typesetter produced a column of text of some specified width. That column of text was given to the page layout person, who cut it into page pieces and worked it around floating elements such as photos or figures. These days page layout software is used, and the typesetting and page layout jobs are being done by one person, called a compositor, aka “comp,” who works in the composition department, aka “comp.”
In my later editorial days, I was a packager. A packager shepherds a manuscript through copyediting, art, comp, proofreading, and indexing, hiring freelancers as necessary along the way.
Many large publishers use packagers instead of tracking those details themselves. An indexing job from a packager will probably have a lower page rate than a job directly from the publisher, since the packager is taking a cut. On the other hand, the jobs may be more regular, because a large publisher will funnel a lot of books through their packagers. And a busy packager loves nothing better than a dependable freelancer.
When it comes to marketing, packagers and book production companies are listed in Literary Market Place. Check to see if your library subscribes to the online edition so you can access it for free.
I live in the Monticello area in central Illinois on the banks of the Sangamon River with my partner and dogs. We’ve been container gardeners for years because our soil is glacial till—clay and small rock; it makes for fun rock collecting! We’ve been “growing” garden soil with compost and will have our first in-ground garden this year.
I look forward to hearing from you about what you need Heartland to provide, to assist your indexing: let me know.