Academic Book Proposal Editing - Wooden bookshelves with colorful books

Academic Book Proposal Editing

In today’s crowded academic publishing market, book proposals are more important than ever.

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Academic Book Proposal Editing - Book covers: Heath Fogg Davis's Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?; Aymar Jean Christian's Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television; Eric Tang’s Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the New York City Hyperghetto; and Ronak Kapadia’s Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War

We help interdisciplinary scholars get their books out into the world.

  • Heath Fogg Davis wearing a navy suit and blue striped button-down shirt
    Like many academics, I struggled with conceptualizing my second book project, and getting it in motion. I felt like I was spinning my wheels in a sea of wonderful, scattered ideas that could take forever to sift through and synthesize into a completed manuscript and book proposal. Working with Ideas on Fire, I gained a pragmatic game plan for completing my proposal and project, and academic writing feels fun again.
    Heath Fogg Davis
    author of Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?

Book proposal editing includes

Publisher Research

We identify 5 academic presses that we recommend you pitch your book to and provide a report with each press’s strengths, areas of acquisition, submission requirements, review process, relevant series, and acquisition editor contact information.

Developmental Editing

We developmentally edit your book proposal draft for content including the book's argument and narrative arc, project stakes, fit with the proposal genre, match with specific publishers’ submission requirements, structure/organization, contemporary relevance, and authorial tone.

Final Copyediting

We copyedit your book proposal draft for nitty-gritty writing issues including sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency, typos, formatting, and citation style. As the final stage in the process, copyediting polishes your proposal to a shine!

  • Lena Palacios
    Before working with Ideas on Fire, I felt stuck and unable to move forward with my book proposal. Working with them, I was finally able to gain some clarity about the project moving forward. My writing is more crisp and coherent and I feel good about submitting the proposal to a publisher.
    Lena Palacios
    author of Media Necropower and Race-Radical Feminist Activism

How we edit your book proposal


You fill out our project inquiry form telling us the details of your project. We evaluate your needs to see if working together would be a good fit, then check our client calendar to determine when we can best complete your project. We then send you a detailed price quote for your project.


You send us your book proposal draft by email attachment or Dropbox, and we get started. The Ideas on Fire editors read through your proposal multiple times, making developmental editing and copyediting suggestions and changes. We do this using Track Changes in Microsoft Word.


After our editors have polished your proposal, our researchers find academic publishers that are a good fit for your manuscript. We focus on presses with strong lists in your book's fields—presses whose goals align with your own so you can find the best champion for your awesome book. Our publisher research report is delivered as a Microsoft Word document.


We deliver your edited book proposal and publisher research report. You can then move forward, submitting your revised proposal to the publishers of your choosing.

  • Minh-Ha T Pham
    Ideas on Fire’s advice to maintain rather than resolve the tensions embodied by the fraught position of my research subjects [Asian American fashion bloggers] helped to draw out my book’s critical framework and gave me important direction for revising and re-organizing chapters. They are wonderful readers who offer exactly the right amount of critical feedback and positive nudging forward.
    Minh-Ha T. Pham
    author of Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging

Meet the editors

Our editors and researchers have extensive experience editing interdisciplinary, social justice-oriented scholarship and placing books with academic publishers.

We know that interdisciplinary research comes with unique challenges with regard to audiences, publisher fit, and translation across fields—so we hire the best editors to ensure your work shines.

Cathy Hannabach wearing a black shirt and teal glasses


Cathy Hannabach

Developmental editor and copyeditor

Cathy's bio

Summer McDonald wearing a blue blazer and button-down shirt


Summer McDonald

Developmental editor and copyeditor

Summer's bio

Emma Warnken Johnson wearing a tan sweater


Emma Warnken Johnson

Developmental editor and copyeditor

Emma's bio

Michelle Velasquez-Potts wearing a black jacket and shirt in front of a striped wall


Michelle Velasquez-Potts

Researcher and copyeditor

Michelle's bio

Stephanie Cohen-Perez wearing black glasses in front of a wall with black and white wallpaper of buildings


Stephanie Cohen-Perez


Stephanie's bio

Laura Poole wearing purple glasses and a red shirt


Laura Poole


Laura's bio

  • Ronak Kapadia wearing a black shirt, against a background of leaves
    Working with Ideas on Fire was an oasis, an opportunity to receive affirming, consistent, and constructive feedback on my writing from a knowledgable but impartial source. I trust my scholarly voice more consistently, have discarded the perfectionism that comes with long writing projects, and have more confidence with my capacity as a writer and thinker from their edits.
    Ronak Kapadia
    author of Insurgent Aesthetics of the Forever War: Art and Performance after 9/11


The investment for book proposal editing and publisher research is a flat fee of $695.00.

Many of our clients use university research funds for our services and we’re happy to work with your university to get set up as a vendor to facilitate this.

  • Tala Khanmalek, wearing a brocade blazer
    “I can't tell you how helpful it was for me to work with Ideas on Fire as a first generation scholar of color in particular. There are so many things that I have to learn along the way, and writing a book proposal was one of them. The editors' confirmation, guidance, and publisher report—as well as affirmation—were key. Ideas on Fire is an indispensable resource!”
    Tala Khanmalek
    author of Living Laboratories: Remapping the Legacy of Experiments in American Empire
Books and a basket with stones in a red bookcase

Write a successful book proposal that captures the attention of presses in your fields

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