Seeking Academic Book Indexers - Closeup on book index

Academic book indexers

Ideas on Fire is looking to add more freelance academic book indexers to our indexing team

We are looking for social justice-oriented editors with 1+ years professional experience indexing academic books in the following interdisciplinary academic fields: cultural studies, queer studies, film/media studies, transgender studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, performance/dance studies, communication studies, disability studies, and related fields (see our portfolio for the types of projects we work on).

Ideas on Fire indexes are fundamentally interdisciplinary and thorough. Their goal is to allow diverse groups of readers to navigate the book in question and build on it to create their own scholarship.

Additionally, as a social justice-oriented company we know that the academic citations matter and are inherently political—thus our indexes highlight the full range of scholars, concepts, and histories cited in each book.

Minimum requirements

  • You are committed to interdisciplinary, social justice-oriented work and want to help our clients create awesome feminist, queer, racial justice, disability justice, and economic justice projects.
  • You have a minimum of 1 year of professional experience indexing academic books in the interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences—see above for our specific fields. You may run your own indexing company, be a freelancer working directly with authors or publishers, or have worked in-house at an academic press or packager.
  • You are experienced writing back-of-the-book indexes that follow academic publishers’ specific formatting requirements, most of which are governed by the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • You are comfortable working on multiple concurrent projects in a fast-paced work environment.
  • You are professional, organized, and thorough. You always meet deadlines.
  • You love getting detailed feedback on your work and are eager to make adjustments based on that feedback.
  • You have fantastic US English writing and oral communication skills.
  • You are deeply familiar with and keep up with the regular changes to 2 or more of the following academic style manuals: Chicago (author/bibliography and author/date), APA, MLA, Harvard
  • You work well independently, go out of your way to learn new tools and systems, research solutions when faced with unknowns, and structure your time, tools, and communication practices to ensure you do your best work.
  • You have your own computer, Microsoft Word 2010 or later, CINDEX or SKY (or similar), and regular and reliable internet access.
  • Bonus: If you have experience writing embedded indexes, let us know. The vast majority of our indexes are written from page proofs but occasionally we’ll get an embedded index request.


  • Writing back-of-the-book indexes with entries, subentries, and cross-references that include all names, titles, significant concepts, and key terms.
  • Working from publisher-issued page proofs to craft indexes that speak to the diverse interdisciplinary audiences for each book.
  • Proofreading index drafts in Microsoft Word before submitting them to the IoF CEO for review.
  • Making changes to your index drafts based on feedback.
  • All indexes are carefully reviewed by the IoF CEO and indexers make edits based on this feedback before index drafts and final versions are sent to clients. At the beginning of each project, indexers are provided with a thorough project brief to follow and at the end of each project, they are given feedback on their work as well as recommendations for future projects.


This is an independent contractor position and you can work remotely from wherever you are. IoF is a fully remote company with team members located across North America.


CINDEX or SKY (or similar), Microsoft Word 2010 or later, Adobe Reader or Apple Preview, Slack, Asana, Google Drive.


Pay is per project and based on indexable page count and turn-around time. You’ll know the full payment amount (as well as turn-around, indexable page count, subject area, manuscript type, and other logistics) before you decide whether or not to take on a project.


See our privacy policy for details on how we protect data you submit through this form. If you have questions, you can email us at general [[at]] ideasonfire [[dot]] net