Academic copyediting for authors

Helping interdisciplinary scholars change the world
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Ideas on Fire provides interdisciplinary scholars like you the academic copyediting support you need to successfully navigate the writing and publishing process.

Like you, we know how challenging it can be to produce innovative work that improves the lives of those in your community while also meeting the professional expectations of the contemporary university.

But those intersections—between activist and academic, between culture and the classroom—they’re our jam.

Read on to find out how we can help you write and publish powerful interdisciplinary scholarship that can spark new worlds.

“I’ve received excellent feedback that I can use to continue to improve my work. Ideas on Fire gets to see a lot of academic writing in the ‘before stages,’ which gives them a wealth of information regarding academics’ writing foibles. They leverage that to help academics not only strengthen their writing but also to approach the writing process with greater confidence and equanimity.”

Sarah Keyes

author, American Burial Ground: A New History of the Overland Trail

I felt like I was just spinning my wheels on an article when I sought Ideas on Fire’s help. Afterwards, I am very excited to get back to work on it. I have a brand new perspective on the piece and very clear suggestions for discrete steps I can take. I recommend IoF to all colleagues, particularly junior colleagues.”

Lisa Lowe

author, "Appropriate, Whiteness, and the American Family Play"

“Ideas on Fire has been a vital partner in launching and sustaining Feminist Anthropology. The thoughtfulness and deep intent that go into the copyediting process are reflected in the content expertise of the team and the clear communication with our editorial team and authors. Transparency has been a steady component of this relationship: journal style is revisited and articulated as necessary, and timelines are always honored. Working with IoF gives us confidence in the quality of our journal.”

Sameena Mulla

coeditor, Feminist Anthropology journal

Academic copyediting services

Click below to learn how we can help with your manuscript

Books and book chapters

WHAT IT IS: Detailed editing of your writing and language, including sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency, spelling, document formatting, and citation formatting

INCLUDES:

  • One round of in-text manuscript edits using Track Changes in Microsoft Word
  • One style sheet to ensure consistency across the manuscript—you can keep the style sheet for your records or forward it along to your publisher as needed

MANUSCRIPT STAGE: After you’ve finished the book’s content

  • We can edit your manuscript before you’ve secured a book contract—when you’re creating a full draft to submit
  • Or after you’ve secured a book contract—when you’re polishing the final manuscript for production

TURN-AROUND TIME:

  • Determined by manuscript length, begins at 30 business days

COST: USD $0.09 per word

OPTIONAL ADD-ON (books only): Publisher research report (USD $495 flat fee) identifying 5 US academic presses that we recommend you pitch your book to. Includes for each press:

  • Relevant acquisition lists/fields
  • Book proposal submission requirements
  • Book proposal review process
  • Series your book would be a good fit for
  • Acquisition editor contact information

Get a copyediting quote

Book proposals

WHAT IT IS: Detailed editing of your writing and language, including sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency, spelling, document formatting, and citation formatting

MANUSCRIPT TYPE: We can copyedit just your proposal draft or your proposal draft + 1–2 chapters you plan to submit to presses

INCLUDES:

  • One round of in-text manuscript edits using Track Changes in Microsoft Word
  • One style sheet to ensure consistency across the manuscript—you can keep the style sheet for your records or add to it as you revise the manuscript

MANUSCRIPT STAGE: After the proposal content is complete

TURN-AROUND TIME:

  • Proposal draft only is 15 business days
  • Proposal + 1–2 sample chapters begins at 25 business days

COST: USD $0.09 per word

OPTIONAL ADD-ON (books only): Publisher research report (USD $495 flat fee) identifying 5 US academic presses that we recommend you pitch your book to. Includes for each press:

  • Relevant acquisition lists/fields
  • Book proposal submission requirements
  • Book proposal review process
  • Series your book would be a good fit for
  • Acquisition editor contact information

Get a copyediting quote

Journal articles

WHAT IT IS: Detailed editing of your writing and language, including sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency, spelling, document formatting, and citation formatting

INCLUDES:

  • One round of in-text manuscript edits using Track Changes in Microsoft Word
  • One style sheet to ensure consistency across the article—you can keep the style sheet for your records or forward it along to the journal as needed

MANUSCRIPT STAGE: After you’ve finished the article content

TURN-AROUND TIME: 15 business days

COST: USD $0.09 per word

Get a copyediting quote

Full journal issues

WHAT: Detailed editing of each article’s writing—fit with the journal’s style guide, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency, spelling, document formatting, and citation formatting.

Each article receives one round of in-text edits using Track Changes in Microsoft Word and a separate style sheet to ensure consistency across the article as well as alignment with the journal’s style guide.

WORKFLOW: We set a monthly start date with you in accordance with your journal’s production needs. Each month, on your start date, you deliver the monthly batch of articles you need edited. Our team gets started and we return the edited manuscripts and style sheets 20 business days later.

TURN-AROUND: 20 business days

COST: USD $0.09 per word

Get a copyediting quote

Journal style guides

WHAT: Creation of a comprehensive style guide for your academic journal that outlines your stylistic choices that structure the journal as a whole.

You’ll use the style guide to govern author submissions (how you want authors to format their manuscripts for peer review consideration), the copyediting of each article after it has been accepted, and individual journal issue elements such as tables of contents, audio-visual content and captions, and author bios.

We can work with you to either create a new journal style guide from scratch or revise your existing style guide to fit your journal’s vision and goals.

WORKFLOW: We begin with a information gathering session where we learn from you about your journal’s mission and goals. We then get to work on the first style guide draft, which we send to you for review. We revise the guide based on your feedback and then deliver you the final style guide that you can post on the journal’s website and use to meet your journal’s goals for the future.

TURN-AROUND: 6–8 weeks, depending on the specifics of the project. We set a schedule with you ahead of time in accordance with your journal’s production timeline and staff calendars.

COST: USD $2,495.00 flat fee

Get a style guide quote

How academic copyediting works

SEND

You send us your manuscript on the contracted start date, along with any style guides, publisher instructions, or specific elements you want us to focus on.

7

EDIT

Your editor(s) dive in: reading through the manuscript multiple times, adding in-text edits and revision recommendations, and filling in the style sheet.

7

REVIEW

The edited manuscript and style sheet are thoroughly reviewed by two members of our senior editorial team. If additional work is needed to ensure the edit meets our high IoF standards, our team dives back in until the text truly shines.

7

RETURN

We return the edited manuscript and style sheet to you. You then incorporate the edits and revisions you choose and go forward with your publication plans, confident you have a fantastic manuscript!

Recent academic copyediting projects

Cover of The Latinx Guide to Graduate School, with people wearing graduation hats and one person holding a diploma up triumphantly
Cover of Feminist Anthropology
Cover of Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism Across Occupied Palestine, with two people arranging photo wall against a military wall while birds fly overhead
Cover of Ernie McClintock and the Jazz Actors Family: Reviving the Legacy, with Ernie McClintock in stage makeup in front of a mirror
Cover of Queens of Afrobeat, with repeated image of a smiling Black femme person in a blue flowered dress
Cover of Ambivalent Affinities, with a blurred black and white photo of a Black femme person wrapped in the US flag

“Ideas on Fire has always provided timely copyediting for our journal’s manuscripts, saving us precious time for editorial work. I highly recommend their services!”

Darcie DeAngelo

coeditor, Visual Anthropology Review

“Working with IoF helped to revise my work substantively. The IoF team’s deep developmental work in the first phase and then careful copyediting in the next helped immensely to sharpen and clarify my writing. I recommend them to any academic looking to bring clarity and shine to their written work.”

Aparna Kapadia

author, "Imagining Region in Late Colonial India: Jhaverchand Meghani and the Construction of Saurashtra (1921–1947)"

“Ideas on Fire has a superb team of editors who handle interdisciplinary scholarship with rigor and care. It was a pleasure working with them on a special issue on visual evidence for First Monday. The scope of the issue was ambitious. Ideas on Fire helped me bring this ambitious vision to fruition, copyediting articles from psychology to journalism studies.”

Sandra Ristovska

editor, First Monday special issue on visual evidence

Frequently asked academic copyediting questions

How do I know which type of editing I need?

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

Manuscript reviews and developmental editing address content. If you are still hammering out your ideas and want feedback on what makes sense, how your argument lands, how to organize your chapters/sections, or what needs to be cut or added, you are at the manuscript review or developmental editing stage (the difference between these is largely determined by whether you already have a book contract).

Copyediting addresses writing. 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.

Proofreading addresses lingering errors in the typeset page proofs issued by a publisher. It is a last-chance review of your proofs for typos, formatting inconsistencies, citations, and inaccuracies before the manuscript gets sent to the printer. If you are expecting typeset page proofs from your publisher, you are at the proofreading stage.

Can you format my citations in Chicago, APA, MLA, or another specific format?

Yes. Our academic copyediting service includes citation formatting for in-text parenthetical citations, endnotes/footnotes, and bibliographies.

Our copyeditors are well versed in the latest 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, and others.

If your publisher or journal uses a unique citation style, we can also format the manuscript in accordance with that.

What kind of manuscripts do you copyedit?

We offer academic copyediting for academic books, book proposals, and book chapters aimed at scholarly presses.

We also do a lot of scholarly journal editing: full journals, individual articles, and special issues.

We specialize in the interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences, particularly the following fields (click on a field below to see our recent projects in that field):

We do not edit manuscripts in STEM fields, business, or marketing. We also don’t work on CVs/resumes, grant applications, tenure files, or other professional documents, although we’re happy to refer you to other editors who do.

For more examples of our editing work, see our portfolio page.

Which editor will work on my manuscript?

After confirming the editing schedule with you and signing the contract, we match your manuscript with the Ideas on Fire editor(s) whose editorial specializations, experience, availability, and expertise best align with your project.

You can read more about our editors on our about us page.

Every manuscript (and every edit!) receives a thorough review by two members of our senior editorial team before it is returned.

What happens if I miss my manuscript send date or need to reschedule editing?

When we sign the editing contract with you, we set all editing due dates and block time off for your manuscript in your editor’s and project manager’s calendars. Our team works on a large number of simultaneous projects and having clear deadlines (both yours and ours) is vital to ensuring we can provide you with quality feedback on your manuscript.

That said, we are currently living through an ever-changing global pandemic and even if we weren’t, life happens.

Sometimes the writing isn’t coming along the way you planned for, sometimes family or other obligations need to take priority, and sometimes your project changes in ways you didn’t anticipate. This is totally fine.

If you need to reschedule your project, we are happy to do so. We ask you to get in touch with your project manager as soon as possible to set a new start date.

Please do not just send the manuscript whenever you finish it. Instead, we will coordinate the new start date with you in accordance with your writing schedule and the next available spot in our client calendar.

How does payment work?

We will send you an invoice with the edited manuscript. Payment is due in full 30 days after the invoice is sent.

We accept payment by credit/debit card and bank transfer only. We do not accept paper checks. 

If you are using university funds, please confirm with your university before the project begins that they will pay via credit/debit card or bank transfer (most will).

We are a registered vendor with hundreds of colleges and universities. If we are not already registered with your school, we are happy to get registered, which allows your institution to pay us directly so there is no need for you to wait for reimbursement.

Will you ghostwrite my manuscript?

NO.

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.

Academic copyediting should never include ghostwriting or producing original content for an author.

Further, we will not edit any manuscript that contains plagiarized material.

Do you have any additional resources on scholarly publishing?

Tons! Check out our resource library on scholarly publishing.

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