When a project is expected to have a lot of changes to
its text, or scheduling constraints force indexing to be
started from a draft form of the book, hourly rates are
charged. This is due to the nature of working with changing
text, which must be re-evaluated against existing indexing,
and having to update the index file to match the new or
changed materials. Some publications go through several
sets of revisions before being finalized - a per-page fee
does not cover the extra work involved, and so therefore
cannot be applied.
Online projects, which are usually based on topics rather than pages, also are billed at hourly rates, due to the variety of topic sizes and depth, and the knowledge and tools required to build technically-demanding indexes. Taxonomy and controlled language projects are hourly-fee projects, due to the nature of the knowledge base and flexibility in the tools required to meet the clients' needs.
Embedded indexes (indexes coded directly into InDesign, Frame, or Word files, and then compiled) are usually billed at hourly rates, due to the fact that the "pages" don't really exist in a final countable form until right before the book goes to press, so a per-page rate would be very hard to calculate. In Word files, for instance, a printout from one printer could be as much as five pages shorter than a different printer's output, due to differences in the printer driver's pagination. How many pages are included therefore becomes difficult to calculate.
Embedding projects also require the indexer to own copies of expensive DTP products, know the products inside and out, keep them updated, own a machine that is capable of handling publication files, and spend time downloading and uploading large files. File corruption, missing fonts, incompatible printer drivers, unavailable files, and other troubleshooting can take time to resolve, also making a per-page rate unfeasible.
Taxonomy and controlled-language projects are always billed at an hourly rate, with a upper cap set through negotiation with the client.
eBook projects that want an active index need consultation on workflows, so that we can develop a process that will work with your tools. Getting the workflow right before beginning will ensure that your eBook index will work. Consultations and testing are billed at an hourly rate, and indexing can be billed per number of words, or hourly.
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