You’re working on your next big writing project.

Maybe it’s your tenure book and you need a meticulously researched monograph, maybe it’s a journal article you want to make a big impact, or maybe it’s your second (or third or fourth) book and you’re looking to shake things up in your field.

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 50 pages (and 6 months) ago.

A professional editor can help.

When you work with the Ideas on Fire team of editors, you can create

A strong and well-supported argument to knock your readers’ socks off

A compelling narrative arc to tie all your chapters together

Clear, concise, and compelling prose

An impact that reverberates through your community of readers and beyond

Gayle Salamon
Gayle Salamon

Cathy Hannabach 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

Minh-Ha T Pham
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

Types of 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 book proposal draft to ensure you wow publishers. You get page-by-page developmental edits and copyedits in your book proposal draft, as well as a Publisher Research Report identifying 5 academic presses that we recommend you pitch your book to, complete with each press’s strengths/areas of acquisition, submission requirements, review process, series your book would be a good fit for, and acquisition editor contact information.

When: Before you submit the proposal to publishers

Cost: $550 flat fee

Book Manuscript Review + Publisher Research Report


What: We read through your book manuscript (or unrevised dissertation if you’re starting from there) and deliver ~8 page Manuscript Review Report that includes publication potential; big-picture revision advice for the book’s narrative arc, argument, structure, and scholarly engagement; and chapter-by-chapter revision advice. Also includes a Publisher Research Report identifying 5 academic presses that we recommend you pitch your book to, complete with each press’s strengths/areas of acquisition, submission requirements, review process, series your book would be a good fit for, and acquisition editor contact information.

When: Before you submit the proposal to publishers

Cost: $950 flat fee

white desk with computer, mouse, black notebook, and black eyeglasses
Desk with desktop computer, laptop, iPhone, and tablet

Developmental Editing


What: Big picture-editing for content—argument, 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 ~8 page Editorial Report addressing the manuscript’s strengths and areas for improvement, big-picture revision suggestions, and chapter-specific advice on strengthening the text.

When: When you’re still hammering out the content of your text. Can happen before you submit the manuscript to a publisher, or after you’re received reader reports and want help implementing their feedback.

Cost: Projects start at $14/page



What: Nitty-gritty editing of your writing—sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency, typos, and citation style. Copyediting helps you polish a draft you’ve already completed to ensure your ideas are what shine. You get page-by-page edits on the manuscript.

When: After you’ve finished the content and need to clean up the manuscript. Copyediting can happen before you’ve secured a publisher contract (creating a full draft to submit) or after (polishing the final manuscript for production).

Cost: Projects start at $12/page

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Person with typing on a laptop computer, a notebook and pen are next to the computer



What: Last-chance 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, copyediting happens at the same time the index is being written (which we also provide—check out the indexing page).

Cost: Projects start at $7/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.

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. Also, I thought that editors were only “for books” and that I should be able to deal with my articles on my own (as if getting help meant I wasn’t doing my job or I wasn’t a good-enough scholar). 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 but, on the contrary, that that is a smart thing to do: 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”

Veronica Sanz
Veronica Sanz

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

Shanté Paradigm Smalls
Shanté Paradigm Smalls

Cathy Hannabach did an extraordinary job as editor and indexer of my book. She was able to detect the slightest contradictions in my writing, and her first-class intelligence and knowledge of critical thinking, gender studies, and film theory definitely helped to improve the logic of my arguments.

— Emilio Bejel, author of José Martí: Images of Memory and Mourning

Emilio Bejel 2
Emilio Bejel

Cathy and Ideas on Fire are exceptionally approachable, efficient, interested, and consummately professional. From line edits to macro-level organizational suggestions, her contributions to my manuscript undoubtedly made it stronger. They also boosted my own confidence in the book’s capacity to communicate clearly and effectively.

— Keith Feldman, author of A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America

Keith Feldman
Keith Feldman

The Ideas on Fire Editors

Each of our editors 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, area studies, 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.

Get to know our editors:

Cathy Hannabach, Summer McDonald, Sarah Grey, Emma Warnken Johnson, and Michelle Velasquez-Potts

How we work together on your manuscript


You fill out this form telling us the details of your project. We evaluate your needs to see if working together would be a good fit, then check our client calendar to determine when we can best complete your project. You get paired with the Ideas on Fire editor whose expertise best fits your projects, and we then send you a price quote that reflects the specifics of your project.


We have an initial consultation by email, phone, or Skype during which we go over the logistics. This is also when you tell us the specific areas you’d like us to focus on (argument, engagement with sources, citations, clarity, super long sentences, etc.).


You send us your manuscript by email attachment 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.


We deliver your edits and editorial reports (depending on what kind of editing services you booked—see above). You can then go forward with your publication, confident that you have a fantastic manuscript.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I reach out to you? When can we start working together?

The Ideas on Fire team is excited to get started helping you craft a strong and compelling manuscript! Our editors book client projects 1–3 months in advance, so we recommend you contact us early to get on our client calendar. To get started, fill out this form to share the details about your project with us and we’ll be in touch shortly.

When is my manuscript ready for an editor?

We work with authors at all stages of the writing process: those who have just started researching their project and are producing free writes and chucks of text, those who have a chapter or two and need feedback, those who have a completed or almost completed manuscript draft, those who have reader reports from a publisher and need to incorporate that feedback, and those who are all done but need one last proofread before sending it off to the typesetter.

What kinds of texts and subjects do you edit?

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

Our areas of expertise are the interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences. We mostly work on texts in 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 past client work, see our Portfolio page.

Will you write my manuscript for me? Do you do ghostwriting?

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.

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

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