Spring 2004 Meeting
Marketing Indexing Services
presented by Marc Schaefer
Saturday, April 17
Marc Schaefer, freelance indexer and vice-president of NEASI, was the featured speaker at the morning meeting at the Westborough Public Library. How to sell freelance back-of-the-book indexing services to publishing companies was the topic of Schaefer’s presentation. It focused on the procedure involved in finding prospective publisher clients, cold calling, mailing information, and following up
First he discussed getting one’s “package” together, which includes a cover letter, resume, list of books indexes, samples, and references.
After determining the types of subjects and books you want to target, Schaefer recommended researching publishers by using the Literary Market Place (2 volumes) or Writer’s Market, found at public libraries. Web searching and word of mouth are other method. When contacting publishers
Before beginning to contact potential clients, Schaefer suggested getting organized with scheduling sheets, a date book, and a call book/contact report.
For cold calling, you should prepare the “pitch” phone talk. It should be written down and practiced. It should be tailored for each client based on background research. For example, you should visit the client web site and note upcoming books, which are probably not yet indexed.
When calling, the goal is to speak with the person who assigns or recommends indexing work. (Even if the authors are supposed to select the indexers, the publisher has a list of indexers.) Ask to speak with the production editor by name, and only mention that it is about freelance indexing if asked. Don’t get transferred to Human Resources, which will do nothing for you.
Once speaking with the right person to assign or recommend work, ask what it would take to be put on their “list” of indexers. Rather than saying “I want work,” ask how should materials be sent, by mail or e-mail.
After the call, send the “package” of requested material promptly. Keep track of everything in the contact book, schedule plan sheets, and date book. Shortly afterwards, call to follow up. Confirm that they got your package, see if they have any questions, and, finally, ask if what work they have coming up and explain how you are interested in it and are an expert in it.
Schaefer recommend working on the marketing every month, adding new contacts and following up with those already contacted.