Freelance academic book indexers

Grow your academic book indexing career with Ideas on Fire

We are looking for social justice-oriented indexers with a minimum of 1 year professional experience indexing academic books in the interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences (see our portfolio for the types of projects we work on).

Ideas on Fire indexers are responsible for crafting interdisciplinary and thorough back-of-the-book indexes that allow diverse groups of readers to navigate our clients’ books, build on those books create their own scholarship, and ultimately build better worlds.

As a social justice-oriented company, we know that the academic citations matter and are inherently political—thus our indexers 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 build more just worlds.
  • You have a minimum of 1 year professional experience indexing academic books in the interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences—see our portfolio for specific fields.
  • You pursue ongoing professional development/training in academic indexing to improve your skills, learn new techniques, and keep up with industry best practices.
  • 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 your index drafts, and you 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 changes to the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • 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.


  • You’ll work from publisher-issued page proofs to write back-of-the-book indexes with entries, subentries, and cross references that include the full range of people, concepts, and histories cited in each book.
  • You’ll ensure your index drafts fully address the project brief provided to you at the beginning of each project.
  • You’ll proofread your index drafts in Microsoft Word before submitting them to the IoF project manager for review.
  • You’ll make changes to your drafts based on feedback to ensure the index speaks to the interdisciplinary audiences of each book.


This is an independent contractor position and you can work remotely from wherever you are.

IoF has always been a fully remote company and we stay connected with digital tools like Slack, Zoom, and Notion.


You’ll use your own copies of CINDEX or SKY (or similar), Microsoft Word 2010 or later, and Adobe Reader or Apple Preview.

Additionally our team uses Google Drive, Slack, Zoom, and Notion for project management and communication.


Pay is per project and based on indexable page count and turn-around time. IoF indexers are pitched specific projects based on their indexing skills, subject matter expertise, and availability. Each pitch includes all project logistics so you can decide whether you want to accept the project.


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