I’ll be the first to admit it. I hate indexing my own work. Over the years I’ve learned it’s a particular skill and mind set that I don’t have.

But as someone who spends a lot of time doing research, I rely on the fact that others have that skill.

Yet it seems the quality of indexing is on the decline. An alarming amount of non-fiction books published today don’t have any indexes at all (and I’ll admit to being guilty on that count with some of my works), while others have indexes that are close to useless.

Here’s just two examples from this week.

Early in the week I posted on Twitter about a book that was on it’s third edition yet the index contained production notes such as “??see PDFs??” instead of actual page numbers.

Today I picked up a book on the history of jet-packs that references both James Bond and Buck Rogers on the back cover blurb, yet neither name appears in the index (and they aren’t mentioned in any Chapter titles either). I was interested to see what level of coverage and mentions these two pop culture icons got before deciding if I needed to add this volume to my bookcase. Sorry DaCapo press you just lost a sale.

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