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Resource | Public | Article | Business of Indexing | Comments: 0 | 21 October 2022 | Modified 26 January 2024

Amazon “Look inside” Feature:  How to Find the Index!

Sometimes, as a reader, you want a sneak peek into a book before you buy it. What is the book about? Will I like this author’s writing style? Amazon’s “Look inside” feature is great for that!

But did you know you can sometimes use Amazon to take a sneak peek at the book’s index too?

Here’s a handy tip if you’re looking to hire an indexer and you want to see a sample of their work first. For various reasons, not all indexers have samples of their indexes published on their professional websites or in their direct listings here at IndexerIndex, but most indexers should have available a few titles of books they’ve indexed. You can use the Amazon “Look inside” feature to see if you like their work.

Similarly, maybe a colleague is recommending an indexer they’ve used. You can look up your colleague’s published book on Amazon.com (if it’s not already on your bookshelf) and check out the index using “Look inside.”

Here’s how.

Finding the Index Using “Look inside”

First, search for the book title on Amazon. Click on the book title topull up the full-page entry for the book.

Then look for the orange and blue “Look inside” icon at the top right of the book cover. (See image below.) If the book doesn’t have the icon, then you’re out of luck. Luckily, most books have this feature.

You will know that the book has the feature if you see the orange and blue “Look inside” icon at the top right of the book cover.  Click on the book cover, and hopefully, you will find…

 

…a magnifying glass with three lines below it. The red arrow in the above photo is pointing to the symbol I mean. Sometimes the three lines are in the exact spot you see in the photo. Other times you may need to hover at the top of the page, where the “Available Samples” menu is located.

Once you fid it, click on that icon, and you might be able to select to see the book’s index. I say “might” because sometimes Amazon will only display a few pages, especially when you have selected the Kindle version. You can easily select back and forth between the paperback, hardback, and Kindle versions at the top of the page if those formats are included with the “Look inside” feature. Make sure you have the paperback or hardback format selected.

If the book’s index can be displayed, you will see that you can select the index (circled in red below).

By clicking on the index link, you will then be brought to the beginning of the index.  Check out this article (“Tips for Evaluating an Index”) to learn how to evaluate the index you are perusng.

Authors and Publishers: How to sign your book up for the “Look inside” feature

As you can see, this feature is a very handy tool for someone who is looking at a book online. But not all books make this feature available to shoppers. If a book you wrote or a book your company published does not have the “Look inside” feature, this can be added! Amazon has a “Search inside! program sign-up form” here.

Only the exclusive rights holder can sign up for this service. So if you’re a general reader, you won’t be able to add this feature to any book you want to see. You might have to make a trip to your local bookstore for that!

But if you are the rights holder—the publisher or the author—consider adding this functionality to your book’s listing. Many people appreciate the opportunity to digitally page through a book before buying it. “Look inside” may be the deciding factor in making a sale.

Indexers – If you’re reading this article, consider encouraging your clients to sign up for “Look inside.” Doing so can boost their book sales, and “Look inside” benefits you because your work samples will be easily available to potential clients.

 

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Michelle Guiliano | Line by Line Indexing

Indexer from Etna, New Hampshire | USA
Profile | Public | Shortlisted (0)

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