Frequently asked questions - Eduardo Chillida's sculpture Peine del Viento. Sculpture is thick iron twisted into a claw-like shape, attached to the surface of a rock jutting out over the ocean

Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about our business hours, the editing or indexing process, or something else?

GENERAL

How do I get in touch with you?

You can email us through our contact page, email us directly at general [at] ideas on fire [dot] net, or give us a call at ‭(267) 607-3903‬.

What are your business hours?

Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Standard Time. You are also welcome to contact us outside those hours and we will get back to you when we return to the office.

What kind of manuscripts do you edit or index?

Our team of expert editors and indexers specializes in academic editing. We work on books (monographs and edited collections), journal articles, and book chapters published by scholarly presses. We also occasionally edit dissertations (carefully adhering to your university’s academic integrity guidelines).

Our areas of expertise are the interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences. Wemostly work on textsin the fields of gender and sexuality studies, performance, art, film/media studies, disability studies, area studies, social justice activism, ethnic studies, legal studies and prison abolition, science and technology studies, and humanities and social-science approaches to medicine.

For examples of some of our client work, see our Portfolio page.

INDEXING

Which indexer will work on my book?

When we confirm the indexing schedule with you and sign the contract, we will match you with the Ideas on Fire indexer whose subject-matter expertise, skill set, and schedule best align with your project. You can read more about our indexers Cathy Hannabach, Sarah Grey, and Emma Warnken Johnson on our About Us page.

Our editors and indexers have 36 combined years of editing and indexing expertise in the interdisciplines, humanities, and social sciences, particularly fields like gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, ethnic studies, politics, communication, history, anthropology, sociology, area studies, literary studies, continental philosophy, and education.

How far in advance should I hire an indexer?

The minute you know from your press what the tentative publishing schedule is, you should start looking around for an indexer.The Ideas on Fire indexers book client projects 2–4 months in advance, so we recommend you contact us early to get on our client calendar. It’s okay to not have specific dates yet: “My press tells me I should have page proofs around September/October” is fine. Good indexes take a long time to write and good indexers are booked up far in advance, so this isn't something you can leave to the last minute.

Should I index my own book?

No, and there are two big reasons for this:

1. Although you may be the person who is most familiar with the topics your book covers,you aren’t your reader. By definition, your reader won't know what you do about your topic—that's why they bought your book. This means they will not look at your book the way you do. Publishers recommend hiring a professional indexer for a reason: we do this for a living. As professionalindexers, we approach your book as readers,knowing which entries readers will be looking for. We craft indexes that reflect their thought-processes. Indexes are for readers, not authors.

2. Indexes must comply with publishing industry standards that most authors don’t know about.Professional indexers understand the industrial standards regarding index structure, run-in versus indented formatting, headings and subheadings, classification schemes, double posting, cross references, function words, reference locators, numbering schemas, alphabetizing rules (there are several formats), the correct use of en dashes, each individual press’s requirements, software, and what gets indexed and what doesn’t. We get training in this stuff so you don’t have to.

 

EDITING

Which editor will work on my manuscript?

When we confirm the editing schedule with you and sign the contract, we will match you with the Ideas on Fire editor whose subject-matter expertise, skill set, and schedule best align with your project. You can read more about our editors Cathy Hannabach, Summer McDonald, Sarah Grey, and Emma Warnken Johnson on our About Us page.

Our editors and indexers have 36 combined years of editing and indexing expertise in the interdisciplines, humanities, and social sciences, particularly fields like gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, ethnic studies, politics, communication, history, anthropology, sociology, area studies, literary studies, continental philosophy, and education.

How do I know what kind of editing I need?

Developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading are the stages a manuscript progress through as it moves toward publication. All manuscripts will need all three types, whether you do them yourself or hire a professional.

Stage 1: Developmental editingaddresses content, so if you are still hammering out your ideas and want feedback on what makes sense, how your argument lands (or whether you actually have one), how to organize your chapters or sections, or what needs to be cut or added, you are at the developmental editing stage.

Stage 2: Copyediting addresses writing, so if your content is all set but you need help fixing the sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and citation formatting, you are at the copyediting stage.

Stage 3: Proofreading ONLY happens on typeset page proofs issued by a publisher. It is a last-chance review of your proofs for typos, formatting errors, citations, and inaccuracies before the manuscript gets sent to the printer. If you are working on Microsoft Word pages, you need copyediting, not proofreading.

Check out our editing page for more information on the difference between these types of editing.

Can you format my footnotes/endnotes, in-text citations, and bibliography in Chicago, APA, MLA, or another specific format?

Yes. Our copyediting service includes citation formatting for in-text parenthetical citations, endnotes/footnotes, and bibliography. Our editors are well versed in the latest (and often changing) formatting styles used in the interdisciplines, humanities, and social sciences, including those set by the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), Harvard, Associated Press (AP), and others.

Will you ghostwrite my book or article?

NO. We will not write your manuscript for you, whether it is a manuscript for publication or a thesis/dissertation (that would be plagiarism).  We have a strong ethical and political commitment to academic integrity—for scholarship to have credibility it needs to be researched and written by the person whose name is on it. We do not ghostwrite. Further, we will not edit any manuscript that we believe contains plagiarized material. We work with authors to polish writing they themselves have produced and help them create their best work.

PRICING & PAYMENTS

Do you offer discounts?

We do not offer discounts as our services are priced to ensure everyone working with Ideas on Fire is paid a fair wage for their highly specialized expertise, and are aligned with industry standards. We recognize that different clients have different financial resources, which is why we offer services at varied price points. As a feminist company committed to fair labor practices and economic justice, our prices ensure we can continue to provide you with excellent service over the long term.

Can I use university funds to pay for your services?

If you have university funds, yes. We are already a registered vendor with dozens of universities across the United States and Canada, and if we are not already registered with your school we are happy to do so. That ensures the university can pay us directly from your research funds.

When are invoices sent and payments due?

For products (like Book Marketing for Academics), and courses (like Introduction to Professional Academic Editing), payment is due upon purchase.

For editing and indexing services, we will send you an invoice with the finished edited or indexed manuscript. Payment is due in full 30 days after the invoice is sent.

What payment methods do you accept?

For products (like Book Marketing for Academics), and courses (like Introduction to Professional Academic Editing), we accept payment by debit/credit card and PayPal.

For editing and indexing services, we prefer payment by PayPal or debit/credit card, as this is easiest and quickest for everyone. We also accept payment by check and direct deposit.

Have a question not answered here?

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