Friday, July 08, 2011

Misery Index


We've decided to add an index to the book. We'd bounced the idea around before, but now that the pagination is set, it's time. It's not completely necessary, but I want to do it for several reasons, both right and wrong:
  • It appeals to my sense of order and structure.
  • It's partly an ego thing -- this info is so vital it must be indexed!
  • I think the actual nature of the book calls for it. The chapters aren't divided up traditionally, so there's no one section on composing an email or delivering a speech or making a video. Those subjects are interspersed throughout lessons on, for instance, Show/Don't Tell, Tapping into Emotion, etc.
  • I imagine it might be fun for a few people to look up, say, Star Trek or Seinfeld or the Godfather, and easily get to any of those references. And it might actually be an important thing. People may forget the actual lesson but remember it had to do with something Mr. Spock did.
  • Finally, like the table of contents, I think the index has a little bit of marketing appeal. In what other book will you see Ghandi, Churchill, Star Trek and Austin Powers juxtaposed together?
So there you go. It's a lot of work, and I have to do it. There's software for this, and people who specialize in creating indexes, but at this point, nobody knows the book like I do, so I'm really the best one to put this together.

And from everything I've read, there's just no shortcut around going through the book page by page, marking a word or idea, then typing it and the page number into an alphabetized document. It took me about two hours to do four chapters.

I am trying to make it fun by doing it on the iPad, with a fancy new word processing app I uploaded. Otherwise, BLURG!

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