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You can buy a book on indexing method (there are several), and I would suggest doing so. The Chicago Manual of Style also has a section on indexing, which you would be wise to consult. Professional indexers are certified and worthwhile; and some publishers will require you hire one prior to publication.


From experience I would suggest as much as possible. Many writers/editors try to be smart and reduce the size of the index, but then you end up looking for something you know is in the book, but you can't find it. If you want include a qucik index with the most common or prominent items too. The other thing is the TOC, I would suggest two versions there ...


What goes into your index will be defined by your readers' needs. How will they use your book? Will they come in with knowledge of (and vocabulary from) a related subject? Are they experts or novices or some of each? An index's primary job is to have an answer when somebody comes to it with a question. Here are some guidelines that I've learned over ...


What goes in your index will be defined by your topic. A book on prefixes will list prefixes. Other books won't. Names of authors of scientific papers don't usually go into the index, but historical figures will. And so on. You might even have words in your index that don't appear in your text but are different names for the same thing (e.g. Latin plant ...

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