Academic Editing - Close up of hands typing on a laptop with open notebook nearby

Academic Editing for Interdisciplinary Scholars

Research and writing make your manuscript good.

Editing makes your manuscript great.

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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

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

  • 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
  • Michelle Yates
    I felt like my article was pretty good but needed some detailed editing and I know I'm not very good at that. I really like Ideas on Fire’s proofreading services, as well as being able to get help with my writing developmentally in the early stages. I’d recommend Ideas on Fire to other colleagues looking to get help with their writing.
    Michelle Yates
    author of "Re-casting Nature as Feminist Space in Mad Max: Fury Road"

Types of academic editing we provide

Book Proposal Editing - Wooden bookshelves with colorful books

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 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

Desk with computer and glasses

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

Developmental editing - Laptop on a desk next to coffee mug and small cactus

Developmental Editing

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 $17 USD per page

Copyediting - Laptop and tablet on desk next to cup of coffee and plant

Copyediting

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.

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 $15 USD per page

Proofreading - Academic Editing - Close up of hands typing on a laptop with open notebook nearby

Proofreading

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 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.

  • Ronak Kapadia wearing a black shirt, against a background of leaves
    Writing is such a solitary enterprise. 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. As someone who has experimented (and benefited from) multiple sources of writing accountability in the past, working with Ideas on Fire on my first book was one of the most rewarding experiences because of the consistency and feedback I received.
    Ronak Kapadia
    author of Insurgent Aesthetics: Race, Security, and the Sensorial Life of Empire
  • Gayle Salamon
    Cathy Hannabach at Ideas on Fire is an outrageously talented researcher, editor, and indexer. She takes meticulous care with every detail; no aspect of a project escapes her laser-like focus, yet her sights are always trained on the big picture. It is truly a gift to be able to lean into Cathy’s wide-ranging expertise, and my work has benefited enormously from her help at all stages. She is thorough, quick, and always knows how to make things on the page just a little bit better.
    Gayle Salamon
    author of Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality
  • Veronica Sanz
    When I came to Ideas on Fire for editing help, I was feeling insecure about my writing and especially the quality of my English as I am not a native speaker. Working with the Ideas on Fire team, I felt understood and appreciated for my work, which me helped to appreciate it anew. I also learned that getting help with my writing doesn't mean I am a bad scholar. On the contrary, getting professional help makes my research have a bigger impact.
    Veronica Sanz
    author of "No Way Out of the Binary: A Critical History of the Scientific Production of Sex"

Meet the editors

Each of our editors and researchers—Cathy Hannabach, Summer McDonald, Emma Warnken Johnson, and Michelle Velasquez-Potts—has extensive experience editing and indexing interdisciplinary, social justice-oriented scholarship in cultural studies, gender studies, African American studies, transgender studies, queer theory, disability studies, communication, Latin American studies, social justice movements, history, dance, film/media, and performance.

We know that interdisciplinary research comes with unique challenges and we hire the best editors and indexers to ensure your work shines.

Learn more about us

  • Inderpal Grewal
    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 and Transnational America
  • Shanté Paradigm Smalls
    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

How we edit your manuscript

Quote

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.

Consult

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.

Editing

You send us your manuscript by email or Dropbox, and we get started. The Ideas on Fire editors read through your manuscript multiple times, making 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 and editorial reports are also delivered as Microsoft Word documents.

Delivery

We deliver your edited manuscript and editorial reports (depending on what kind of editing services you booked) by email or Dropbox. You can then go forward with your publication, confident that you have a fantastic manuscript!

  • Aymar Jean Christian
    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
  • Cristina Visperas
    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
  • Mary Ebeling
    Before working with Ideas on Fire, I felt very adrift about my abilities to pull off my book project. I needed someone who could stand outside of it but also who could guide me with empathy—someone who was on the "same page" with the concept. The valuable suggestions on books and articles that Ideas on Fire gave me informed my arguments and gave me more nuanced and critical ways of thinking about my writing. IoF is very professional, bringing fresh and critical ideas to the project, but also knows a lot about the publishing industry as well, so they are able to hold the shaky hands of someone like me through the whole process.
    Mary Ebeling
    author of Healthcare and Big Data: Digital Specters and Phantom Objects
  • Marita Sturken
    My and Lisa Cartwright's co-authored project was a bit out of control when we started and were worried about it being too long, too repetitive, and too wordy. Now our book is trimmer, more concise and clearer.
    Marita Sturken
    co-author of Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture

A few of the books we've edited

Want to see more? Check out our full portfolio

  • Cover of Aren Aizura's book Mobile Subjects. Cover is black with red letters and "Rubyscape" depicts red and pink swirled liquid with red bubbles each containing a person wearing a red shirt

    Mobile Subjects

    *Editing, *Indexing, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Press: Duke, Queer Studies, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of Aymar Jean Christian's book Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television. Cover is white with raised blocks and a multicolored band at top and bottom

    Open TV

    *Editing, *Indexing, Communication, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Press: NYU, Visual Studies
  • Cover of Heath Fogg Davis's book Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? Cover contains a close up of a person looking directly at the camera, with white writing over their face

    Beyond Trans

    *Editing, *Indexing, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Press: NYU, Queer Studies
  • Cover of Julie Burelle's book Encounters on Contested Lands: Indigenous Performances of Sovereignty and Nationhood in Québec. Cover contains one canvas from artist Nadia Myre's series Indian Act, which is dark grey with a red beaded canvas in the middle with blurred writing on it, taped with tan tape

    Encounters on Contested Lands

    *Editing, *Indexing, Ethnic Studies, Indigenous Studies, Performance Studies, Press: Northwestern
  • Cover of Nora Draper's book The Identity Trade: Selling Privacy and Reputation Online, white cover with black barcode and red lettering

    The Identity Trade

    *Editing, *Indexing, Communication, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Press: NYU
  • Cover of Marié Abe's book Resonances of Chindon-Ya: Sounding Space and Sociality in Contemporary Japan. Cover contains a brightly colored illustration of a chindon-ya performance group playing instruments in the city street

    Resonances of Chindon-ya

    *Editing, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, Performance Studies
  • Cover of Megan Ankerson's book Dot-Com Design: The Rise of a Useable, Social, Commercial Web, images of computer windows and websites overlaid on each other

    Dot-Com Design

    *Editing, *Indexing, Communication, Cultural Studies, History, Media Studies, Press: NYU, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of book: Inderpal Grewal, Saving the Security State. Cover is white, with red bricks stacked into the shape of a plus symbol

    Saving the Security State

    *Editing, *Indexing, American Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Press: Duke
  • Cover of Minh-Ha T. Pham's book Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging. Cover shows Susie Bubble wearing orange and blue chevron-patterned pants an a multicolored shirt

    Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet

    *Editing, *Indexing, Asian American Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Performance Studies, Press: Duke, Visual Studies
  • Cover of Vincent Bruyere's book Perishability Fatigue: Forays into Environmental Loss and Decay. Cover has black, blue, and white writing and a close-up image of a door handle frosted over with ice/snow

    Perishability Fatigue

    *Editing, Press: Columbia, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of Adrienne Shaw's book Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture. Cover shows glitch art of multicolored fields and a pink sky with clouds

    Gaming at the Edge

    *Editing, *Indexing, Communication, Cultural Studies, Game Studies, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Press: Minnesota, Queer Studies
  • Cover of Clare Croft's book Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange. Cover has three dancers sitting on the ground in brighly colored tank tops and pants and above their heads are three more dancers in the same costumes flipping upside down

    Dancers as Diplomats

    *Editing, *Indexing, American Studies, Cultural Studies, Dance Studies, Performance Studies, Press: Oxford
  • Cover of Leigh Gilmore's book Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives. Cover contains author and subtitle in black and white text against a grey and black background, and the title in cut-out newspaper letters

    Tainted Witness

    *Editing, Gender Studies, Literary Studies, Press: Columbia
  • Cover of Gayle Salamon's book Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality. Cover shows a person's bare back, with another person's arm reaching toward them and another arm crossed across the cover, overlaid with a image of telephone poles in a dusty field

    Assuming a Body

    *Editing, *Indexing, Gender Studies, Press: Columbia, Queer Studies
  • Cover of Keith Feldman's book A Shadow Over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America. Cover contains author and title in black tex against a flag with blue and white stripes, white stars against a black background, a linen-colored block in the middle, green rectangle, and red triangle on its side (a mashup of the US and Palestinian flags)

    A Shadow over Palestine

    *Editing, Activism, American Studies, Black Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, History, Middle East Studies, Politics, Press: Duke
  • Cover of Emilio Bejel's book José Martí: Images of Memory and Mourning. Cover is an oil painting by Vicente Dopico Lerner with Martí wearing a black suit and tie with yellow paint on the top part of his face

    José Martí

    *Editing, *Indexing, Cultural Studies, History, Latinx Studies, Literary Studies, Press: Palgrave Macmillan, Queer Studies, Visual Studies
  • Cover of Thomas Beamish's book Community at Risk: Biodefense and the Collective Search for Security. Image of a silver security door and elevator, and a green hazmat suit hanging upside down

    Communities at Risk

    *Editing, Press: Stanford, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of Mary Ebeling's book Heathcare and Big Data: Digital Specters and Phantom Objects. Cover shows a darkened cobblestone street with a showy figure

    Healthcare and Big Data

    *Editing, *Indexing, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Press: Palgrave Macmillan, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of Bonnie Ruberg and Adrienne Shaw's edited book Queer Game Studies. Cover contains editors and title in white and yellow text against a teal background, accompanied by the outline of a game controller

    Queer Game Studies

    *Editing, *Indexing, Game Studies, Press: Minnesota, Queer Studies
  • Cover of Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwritgh's book Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. Cover contains authors and title in black text against a white background and several photos: one of a grey and blue swirling art work, and three of brown and white and gold architecture that is difficult to discern

    Practices of Looking

    *Editing, *Indexing, Communication, Media Studies, Press: Oxford, Visual Studies
  • Cover of Eric Tang's book Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the NYC Hyperghetto. Cover contains title and author in black text overlaid on a low-saturation photo of an abandoned and crumbling apartment building with signs reading "broken promises" and "false promises"

    Unsettled

    *Editing, *Indexing, American Studies, Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, Press: Temple
  • Cover of Women and the Subversion of the Community

    Women and the Subversion of the Community

    *Editing, Activism, Gender Studies, PM Press, Political Economy, Politics
  • Cover of Bonnie Ruberg's book Video Games Have Always Been Queer. Blue with various controllers

    Video Games Have Always Been Queer

    *Editing, *Indexing, Cultural Studies, Game Studies, Media Studies, Press: NYU, Queer Studies, Visual Studies
  • Cover of issue 3.1 of journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Cover is white with black writing and has a photo of a robot opening a dishwasher

    Catalyst 3.1/2: Science Out of Feminist Theory

    *Editing, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of issue 2.2 of journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Cover has colorblocked illustration of person with Afro hairstyle

    Catalyst 2.2: Black Studies & Feminist Technoscience

    *Editing, Black Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of issue 2.1 of journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Cover has photo of art installation containing four yellow dresses, a yellow scarf hangs on the wall in the background, and a blue and green film plays behind

    Catalyst 2.1: Feminism & Digital Militarisms

    *Editing, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Science & Technology Studies
  • Cover of Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste, Robert Irwin, and Juan Poblete's edited book Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America. Cover contains author and title in white text on a background photo of green grass

    Sports & Nationalism in Latin/o America

    *Editing, *Indexing, Cultural Studies, Latinx Studies, Press: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Cover of Juana María Rodríguez's book Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings. Cover contains author and title in pink and yellow text against a black background, with three photos on top of each other. First photo is of legs in stockings and garters, second is of a woman posing in front of a colorful background with her hand over her head, third is a closeup of a woman laying on her stomach. Photos are film stills

    Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, & Other Latina Longings

    *Editing, *Indexing, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Latinx Studies, Performance Studies, Press: NYU, Queer Studies, Visual Studies
  • Cover of Brooke Duffy's book (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work. Cover is white with a photo of a white desk with computer monitor, keyboard, coffee mug, and desk chair with pillow

    (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love

    *Editing, *Indexing, Communication, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Press: Yale
Stack of books including J.L. Austin's How to Do Things with Words and Chicago Manual of Style

Great texts aren’t born, they’re made through editing.

We can help you craft a manuscript that is clear, compelling, and captivates the audiences you seek.

Get a quote