Research and writing make your book good.

Editing makes your book 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, 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.

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.

A professional editor can help.

Build a fierce argument and compelling storytelling arc to knock your readers' socks off

Find the publisher who is already looking for your fantastic book or article

Make an impact that reverberates through your community and beyond

  • 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 editing

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 of acquisition, submission requirements, relevant series, and review process.

When: Before you submit the proposal to publishers

Cost: $650 flat fee

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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 of acquisition, submission requirements, relevant series, and review process.

When: Before you submit the proposal to publishers

Cost: $1050 flat fee

Desk with computer, tablet, and phone

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/page


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 $14/page


What: Final review of your typeset page proofs before they get printed. We read through your book or journal article multiple times fortypos, formatting errors, citations, and inaccuracies.

When: Last stage of the publishing process, whenyou receive proofs from your publisher. For books, proofreading happens at the same time the index is being written (which we also provide).

Cost: Projects start at $8/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
    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. 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"

Meet the 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, 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

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

Cathy Hannabach, Summer McDonald, Sarah Grey, Emma Warnken Johnson, and Michelle Velasquez-Potts
  • 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 work together on your manuscript


You fill out this 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.


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 tell us the specific areas you’d like us to focus on—for instance, strengthening the argument, implementing reader reports, updating or trimming sources, or formatting citations. We then match you with the IoF editor whose subject area and skill set expertise best fit your project.


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 usingTrack Changes in Microsoft Word. Publisher research reports and editorial reports are also delivered as Microsoft Word documents.


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!

  • 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
Stack of books with How to Do Things with Words on top

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.

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