29 JANUARY 2005, Page 45

Q. I have written a memoir which will be published

in September. I do not expect a huge audience, but there will certainly be a degree of interest shown in Scotland and by the sort of people who buy books in John Sandoe and Heywood Hill. My worry is that quite a few potential purchasers may just browse the index for their own name, read the references, then put it down again without bothering to buy it. I could dispense with an index but I myself resent a memoir without one, so how do I get round this, Mary?

Name and address withheld A. Point out this pitfall to your publishers. No doubt they will be happy to supply the memoir shrinkwrapped in the manner of luxurious photographic tomes and ask booksellers to keep the seals intact.