You’re working on your next big writing project.
Maybe it’s your tenure book and you need a meticulously researched monograph placed with a top press, maybe it’s a journal article you want to make a big impact, or maybe it’s your second (or fifth) book and you’re looking to shake things up and get a wider public audience.
You have a great idea, but you’re stuck. The writing isn’t flowing, you’ve gotten conflicting feedback, you’ve read the same sentences so many times your eyes are blurry, the citations are a mess, and you forgot what your point was fifty pages (and six months) ago.
Our team of professional academic editors is here to help
"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
"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 K. Kapadia, author of Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War
What can professional editing do for your manuscript?
It ensures you build a fierce argument and compelling storytelling arc that speaks to your specific readers
It helps you find and woo the publisher who is already looking for your fantastic book or article
It enables your work to make an impact that reverberates through scholarly and public communities
"Working with Ideas on Fire was terrific. They were incisive and clear, and could identify strengths and weaknesses in my manuscript. The book got much better because of their editing and very helpful comments. I was able to trust their judgement and comments and know that they understood the project and was making it better."
— Inderpal Grewal, author of Saving the Security State: Exceptional Citizens in Twenty-First Century America
Types of academic editing we provide
Book Proposal Editing & Publisher Research Report
What: Developmental editing (editing of content) and copyediting (editing of writing) of your proposal draft. You get page-by-page, in-text edits on your proposal as well as a publisher research report identifying 5 academic presses that we recommend you pitch your book to, complete with each press’s areas/lists of acquisition, submission requirements, relevant series, and review process.
When: Before you submit the proposal to publishers
Cost: $695 USD flat fee
Book Manuscript Review & Publisher Research Report
What: We read through your book manuscript (or unrevised dissertation) and deliver a manuscript review report that includes publication potential; big-picture revision advice about narrative arc, argument, structure, and scholarly engagement; and revision advice for each chapter. Also includes a publisher research report identifying 5 academic presses that we recommend you pitch your book to, complete with each press’s areas/lists of acquisition, submission requirements, relevant series, and review process.
When: Before you submit the proposal to publishers
Cost: $1200 USD flat fee
What: Big picture-editing for content —argument, analysis, organization/flow, engagement with sources, and authorial tone. Developmental editing helps you foreground your argument and assemble all the pieces in a clear narrative arc. You get in-text edits on the manuscript as well as an editorial report addressing the manuscript’s strengths and areas for improvement.
When: When you’re still hammering out the manuscript content. This can happen before you submit the manuscript to a publisher or after you’re received reader reports and want help implementing them.
Cost: Projects start at $0.08 USD per word
What: Nitty-gritty editing of your writing — sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency, typos, and citation formatting. Copyediting helps you polish a draft to ensure your ideas are what shine. You get page-by-page, in-text edits on the manuscript and a style sheet.
When: After you’ve finished the content. Copyediting can happen before you’ve secured a publisher contract (when you're creating a full draft to submit) or after (when you're polishing the final manuscript for production).
Cost: Projects start at $0.07 USD per word
What: Final review of your typeset page proofs before they get printed. We read through your book or journal article multiple times for typos, formatting errors, citations, and inaccuracies.
When: Last stage of the publishing process, when you receive proofs from your publisher. For books, proofreading happens at the same time the index is being written (see more on indexing here).
Cost: Projects start at $6 USD per proof page
Many of our clients want more than one of these editing types for their manuscript, and we are happy to work with you over the various stages of your manuscript’s preparation.
"Before working with Ideas on Fire I felt good about my project but knew it needed the keen eye of outside readers who really had time to consider its merits and weaknesses. After getting developmental editing by Ideas on Fire, I feel much more confident about my project. The questions, suggestions, and probes are so helpful that I feel a sense of buoyancy about my project. I have more direction and clarity."
— Shanté Paradigm Smalls, author of Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City
"Previously, the managing editor and editorial board members of Catalyst copyedited the manuscripts in our journal. It was time-consuming and we were very excited to work with Ideas on Fire, which was recommended by a board member.Working with the group was straightforward and hassle-free. We are extremely happy with the results of our joint effort and look forward to working with Ideas on Fire on future issues."
— Cristina Visperas, managing editor of the journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience
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.
"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
How we edit your manuscript
You fill out our project inquiry form telling us the details of your project, including the services you're looking for (or trying to decide between), publishing plans, timeline, and goals for the manuscript. We evaluate your needs to see if working together would be a good fit, then check our client calendar to determine when we would be able to work together. We then send you a price quote so you can decide what works best for your needs and budget.
After you've looked over the price quote, we have a discussion by email, phone, or Skype during which we go over the logistics. This is also when you can tell us if there are specific areas you’d like us to focus on like strengthening the argument, responding to reader reports, updating or trimming sources, or formatting citations. We then match you with the Ideas on Fire editor whose subject area expertise, skill set, and availability best fit your project.
You send us your manuscript by email or Google Drive/Dropbox/other cloud server, and we get started. We read through your manuscript multiple times, making page-by-page, in-text suggestions and changes based on the type of editing you want and your manuscript’s audiences. We do this using Track Changes in Microsoft Word. Publisher research reports, style sheets, and editorial reports are also delivered as Microsoft Word documents.
We deliver your edited manuscript and editorial report, publisher research reports, or style sheet (depending on what kind of editing services you booked) by email or Google Drive. You incorporate the edits and changes you want. You can then go forward with your publication, confident that you have a fantastic manuscript!
"I was pretty nervous about my manuscript and overwhelmed thinking about the work of copyediting it. Ideas on Fire cleaned up the formatting, specified specific areas for improvement, and indexed the book—making my life a whole lot easier. Their services have improved my productivity immensely. I’d recommend Ideas on Fire to any colleague on tenure-track looking for more productivity and manuscript editing."
— Aymar Jean Christian, author of Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television
"My manuscript gained consistency and clarity after it was copyedited and quote-checked by the IoF team. English is not my first language and this was my tenure book so the stakes were high. I wanted another set of eyes and minds looking at it before it went to external reviewers and it paid off. I’d recommend IoF to any scholar working on a first book and I will certainly be returning to them for my own future projects!"
— Julie Burelle, author of Encounters on Contested Lands: Indigenous Performances of Sovereignty and Nationhood in Québec