It has been an email I have been anticipating for a few weeks now – the one from my publisher asking me to drop everything for the next week or so and index my book. Now I know some people, more established, monied, intelligent (and less parsimonious) do the sensible thing and simply pay some lackey with a computer programme to do their indexing for them. I say they are missing out. Indexing is fab! You get to go through your book page by page identifying the most important morsels of text and get to assign page numbers to where they occur! It’s great! Instead of a dumb-ass computer programme deciding that the word ‘armpit’ should have a prominent place in your index, you can determine for yourself where people too uninterested to actually read your book will be directed in their failed attempts to see if you the keywords you were forced to assign to your beloved baby actually turn up somewhere in the pages. It’s almost a kind of panopticon! Who could ask for anything more?
The sad thing is that I’m not kidding. Indexing is kind of fun, providing you have the time to do it and you’re not so abysmally sick of your book that the mere sight of it makes you want to throw yourself in front of the nearest garbage truck (the Jack Russell I nearly ran over this morning on my bicycle must have penned a monograph recently). Perhaps the fact that I am enjoying the task means that my book ain’t half bad? One can always hope.