Without a professional index the doors into your book will stay closed.


Back-of-the-book indexes

Indexes locorum for religious, legal and classical texts

Embedded indexes

e-Book indexes


on embedded indexing processes and e-book indexes


Beginning indexers

Authors who want to index their own publications


Workshops for authors and technical writers

Workshops for editors and publishers

I have been a full-time freelance indexer since 2005, working mainly in the fields of humanities, arts, law and engineering. I have over 750 commissions under my belt, and my clients include academics, authors, publishers, publishing services, institutions and businesses, including:


Amsterdam University Press

Art Institute of Chicago

Asser Press

Berghahn Books

Brill Academic Publishers

Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Cambridge University Press

Claeys & Casteels

De Gruyter

Gingko Library


Harvey Miller Publishers

I.B. Tauris

ICE Publishing

Indiana University Press

Joods Historisch Museum (Amsterdam)

Koninklijke Van Gorcum

Leiden University Press

Leuven University Press

Lexington Books

Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press

Musée du Louvre (Paris)

Musée d’Orsay (Paris)

NAP Process Industry Network

New York University Press

Oxford University Press

Palgrave MacMillan

Peeters Publishers

Rowman & Littlefield


The Sphere Project

SUNY Press

TOTH Uitgeverij

University of Massachusetts Press

University of Toronto Press

Visions of Reality Books

Yad Vashem

Yale University Press

Yarnu Publications

Van Eck Verlag

Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam)

Waanders Uitgevers

Walburg Pers

Whitefox Publishing Services

Wolters Kluwers


Jacqueline Broese van Groenou, author of: De rechtsverhouding tussen erfpachter en erfverpachter, 2019.

Het maken van een trefwoordenregister is een vak en Pierke beheerst dit vak tot in de puntjes. Mijn juridische proefschrift van bijna 700 pagina’s over een specialistisch onderwerp heeft als gevolg van Pierke’s index een extra functie als naslagwerk gekregen. Dat was mij als auteur nooit gelukt. Het misleidende van juridische taal is dat het net gewone taal lijkt, maar dat niet is. Verwijzingen kunnen de lezer dan flink het bos insturen, maar met Pierke’s index komt de gespecialiseerde jurist-lezer altijd bij de juiste pagina’s terecht.

Peter Sedgwick, author of: The Origins of Anglican Moral Theology, 2018( PDF )

An exceptionally fine piece of work that rose to the challenge of a very dense text combining theology, early modern history and moral philosophy. The index now begins one of the highlights of the book. One of the best indexes I have ever seen. It was also done in a short period.

Sita van Bemmelen, author of: Christianity, Colonization, and Gender Relations in North Sumatra: A Patrilineal Society in Flux, 2018. ( PDF )

I have been impressed by the thorough work Pierke Bosschieter has done on the index of my book ‘Christianity, Colonization and Gender Relations in North Sumatra, published by J. Brill, Leiden, in 2017. In particular her indexing of themes and sub-themes was a pleasant surprise: it is important as search engine for readers, but it is not easy for someone else apart from the author to make a good selection. Well done, Pierke!

Femke Stock, author of: Home and Migrant Identity in Dialogical Life Stories of Moroccan and Turkish Dutch, 2018.  ( PDF )

The index to my book, I must confess, fell in the category of ‘tiresome obligations standing in the way of getting the thing published’. Little did I know how Pierkes work would add a completely new layer to mine, mapping out the subject matter and making it accessible in a way I would have deemed impossible, considering the complexity and narrative texture of my book. Pierke, thank you for letting me see my own work through a reader’s eyes. Thanks also for the smooth process, your flexibility and communicativeness. Highly recommended!

Mingyuan Hu, author of: Fou Lei: An Instistence on Truth, 2017. ( PDF )

In Pierke one finds a top-notch indexer of astounding professionalism. A reader of refined culture, she understood, with empathy and with precision, my monograph on Fou Lei, which she indexed to perfection. To her I shall turn for any future projects, and cannot recommend her highly enough.

Anja-Silvia Goeing, author of: Storing, Archiving, Organizing, 2017. ( PDF )

Pierke conceptualized and drafted the index for my book “Storing…” that came out in December 2016 with Brill. I was amazed about her level of detail work. She understood the topics I treat in my book, and the index is wonderfully crafted. Also, she was on time! 5 star work.

Lena Jayyusi, author of: Media and Political Contestation in the Contemporary Arab World, 2016.

Pierke did the index for my book, Media and Political Contestation in the Contemporary Arab World (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016). She was professional, meticulous and very responsive to the needs of an index that included a lot of transliterated words and names using a specific set of conventions. I was very pleased with the results, and would certainly ask her to prepare an index for me again.

Walter Homolka, author of: Jewish Jesus Research and its Challenge to Christology Today, 2016.

Pierke has now done the second project for us, both in the humanities, and we are very content with her precision and her punctuality. One book was for DeGruyter Berlin/Boston, the other for Brill Leiden. We looked for the best and will always contact her again for a future project.

Julie-Marthe Cohen, editor of: Neglected Witnesses: The Fate of Jewish Ceremonial Objects During the Second World War and After, 2011.

In this very dense and complicated book the index is an essential part that contributes very much to the scholarly quality of the book. Pierke’s has very well succeeded in making this index. She is a very flexible and dedicated person, it was very nice working with her.

Robin Lane Fox, editor of: Brill’s Companion to Ancient Macedon, 2011.

Pierke did such a quick and efficient index for the very complex, scholarly volume Brill’s Companion To Ancient Macedon; I could never have done it myself.

Ton Derksen, author of: De ware toedracht, 2o10.

Je hebt prachtige indexen voor De ware toedracht gemaakt. Veel handiger en inzichtelijker dan ik zelf als schrijver voor mogelijk had gehouden. Index-maken is kennelijk inmiddels een echt vak geworden waar de professional de auteur aangenaam kan verrassen. Voor de auteur is er één gevaar: straks lezen mensen liever de index dan het boek.

Lidwien Kapteijns and Annemiek Richters, editors of Mediation of Violence in Africa, 2010.

It was a challenge to make an index for Mediations of Violence in Africa, with its six different authors, and its wide range of sources in many languages. However, the editors were pleased with the index. They appreciate both its quality (and thus Pierke Bosschieter’s insights and problem-solving), and the timeliness of its completion (and thus Pierke’s reliability and punctuality). 

Frank van Eck, publisher of, Der Staat im dritten Jahrtausend, by Fürst Hans-Adam II. Von Liechtenstein, 2010.

Wir danken ISB&Index für die ausgezeichnete und problemlose Zusammenarbeit. Die Leser von «Der Staat in dritten Jahrtausend» von Fürst Hans-Adam II. von Liechtenstein werden vom exzellenten Index zusammengestellt von Pierke Bosschieter profitieren können.

Ian Cressie, assistent editor of: Tomorrow’s Answers Today, 2008.

Your expertise, as well as your flexibilty and perseverence, was greatly appreciated by me, and indirectly, by the rest of the team.

Ralph Melnick, author of: Senda Berenson: The Unlikely Founder of Women’s Basketball, 2007.

The index arrived. IT LOOKS GREAT! Thanks so very much for all of your wonderful work. It will be a wonderful part of the book.

Dr. Ahmed El-Ashker, author of: Islamic Economics: a Short History, 2006.

Thank you very much for doing a great job, it has been a pleasure working with you.


The average fee for a subject index to an academic book ranges between €5.25 and €6.75 per indexable page. Name indexes or biblical citation indexes are usually less time consuming and accordingly the fee is lower. The pages that count to determine the price are all the pages in the book minus the table of contents and acknowledgements Of course, the bibliography is not indexed, but as I must go over it time and again, those pages are important when deciding on a price. The fee depends on the complexity of the text, the level of detail required, the number of indexes required and, sometimes, when tight deadlines are involved, the need to work unsocial hours.

Fees include up to two hours of modifications to the index after delivery. If more time is needed to fine-tune the index, an hourly fee of € 60.00 applies. After the index is completed, it is vital to avoid making subsequent changes to page numbering due to copy editing, or by moving illustrations and tables. This can lead to a considerable amount of extra work and consequently significant additional costs.

My quote is based on word count. If the word count of the final manuscript differs noticeably from the word count of the manuscript I based my estimate on, I will have to adjust the amount.

For bigger assignments, which will take more than four or five weeks to complete, I sometimes will ask for part of the payment upfront. This should be discussed in advance.

Front Matter

After you have given your approval to my quote, but before I start working on your index, it is advisable to agree on the following:

  • The delivery date of the proofs

  • The delivery date of the index

  • House-style instructions, if applicable

  • Space restrictions, if applicable

  • Author’s lists:

There is no need to compile a list of keywords, even if an editor tells you this is customary. I will only use the list after I have completed the index, to check if I maybe missed something.

  • The treatment of passing mentions:

My indexes are compiled according to ISO 999:1996 International Standard on Information and Documentation (last reviewed and confirmed in 2015) and the American NISO standard of 2021. These have the following to say about how the indexer must treat uninformative references (passing mentions):

Discriminate between information on a subject and passing mention of a subject, or as the NISO standard expresses it: Distinguish between significant and insignificant mentions (major and minor treatments) of particular topics or manifestations of particular features. Exclude passing mention of subjects that offer nothing significant to the potential reader.

Passing mentions are thus not indexed normally. The judgment is, of course subjective. But keep this rule in mind when you discover that not every mention of a certain topic is stated in the index. This is where an index differs from a global search. It leads the user to only the really important information in the text.

  • The treatment of authors’ names.

Modern authors are generally only indexed if they are discussed in the text or substantively in a footnote: simple bibliographic references are not indexed. If you want every reference indexed, you should indicate this beforehand. Consequently, this will also raise the price.

I will include authors’ names as they appear in the text. So the index could contain names with initials and first names.

Slipping of delivery dates

When the delivery date of the proofs slips considerably, there is a small chance I will need to renegotiate my fee or perhaps even decline the assignment altogether, due to planning conflicts with jobs scheduled for other clients. In that case, I will try to help you find another indexer available to do the work.

PDF file

If making a normal back-of-the-book index from a .pdf file I need the ability to highlight, copy, paste, delete pages, and remove borders.  You must see to it that I can work with a file from which this is possible. Working from a protected file may influence the price. I also rather not work from a pdf file with distinctive watermarks, as it makes copying and pasting almost impossible and slows me down considerably. This again will be reflected in a price increase.

Back Matter

An index is a delicate thing, full of careful choices about wording, sub-headings, cross-references and double postings. Therefore I kindly ask you to discuss all changes to the index with me first, so I can explain the choices I made. When we nevertheless decide that some fine-tuning is necessary, it is advisable to let me make those changes – the first two hours are free anyway – for it will guarantee that they are implemented correctly.

The window in which I can make these changes with ease is not indefinite. After several weeks I have already moved on to the next assignments and have mostly forgotten the setup and structure of your index. It is impossible to keep this all fresh in my mind. So if you return after more than three weeks with proposed changes, this could raise the price if I need more than the two free hours for corrections. If the index was already approved of and paid for, I must renegotiate a price and check if there is room in my schedule. 

If you want me to make changes to the index, please use Track Changes in the Word file or Comments in the pdf file I send you. That way I can see what revisions you have made and adjust them in the database of my indexing software and generate a new index file. If there are global issues, like a space between the main heading and subheading instead of a comma, I can make those changes in one go, so don’t feel obliged to find every instance. Although you may want to make more than one pass while reviewing the index, please send me only one revised document when you have completed the reviewing process.

I would appreciate it if you would let the editor know that I want to review the typeset index. I need one or two days to check it, depending on my workload.

You can find a blog post on how to review an index here.

The Indexer, Volume 36 number 1, December 2018

Index-Manager Revisted (PDF)

The Indexer, Volume 35 number 3, September 2017


The Indexer, Volume 34 number 4, December 2016

Continuing professional development (CPD) and online learning (continued) (PDF)

Index-Manager Reviewed (PDF)

The Indexer, Volume 34 number 3, September 2016

Continuing professional development (CPD) and online learning (PDF)

The Indexer, Volume 34 number 2, June 2016

Continuing professional development (CPD) and the potential of new media (PDF)

Review of Cataloging the World by Alex Wright

The Indexer, Volume 28 number 3, September 2010.

The Kindle™ and the Indexer (PDF)

The Indexer, Volume 27 Number 1, March 2009

Book review: Shanachie tour: a library road trip across America

Basisboek Technische Communicatie, Koninklijke Van Gorcum, 2008

Hoofdstuk 14, Indexeren (PDF)

Information Wissenschaft & Praxis, 8/2007 

Translate the Index or Index the Translation (PDF)

Tekstblad, 04/2007

Registers: een kwestie van scherp waarnemen (PDF)

Tekstblad, 01/2008

Registers: het praktische gedeelte (PDF)

The Indexer, Volume 25 Number 3, April 2007

Book review: Website Indexes by James A. Lamb

The Indexer, Volume 25 Number 2, October 2006

Back-of-the-Book indexing in the Netherlands Today (PDF)

I make use of the following index-specific software:

SKY Index