Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What One Misses the Other Catches

Two-For-One Editing is a new, high-level book-editing service whose mission is to help little-known but serious authors realize the full potential of their novels and nonfiction books.

The upside of today’s low barrier-to-entry to publishing is that nearly anyone can do it. The downside is that a review of self-published books makes it appear as if just about anyone is doing it. The authors we work with may be inexperienced, but they have no desire to be in the middle of a mediocre pack. They want to excel and be recognized for their excellence.

As our name implies, there are two of us, and we each work on every book-editing project. Our complementary strengths ensure each manuscript is thoroughly edited from broad organization to punctuation and syntax.

We do not aspire to be the low-price leader among book-editing services; rather we aim to provide the best work. Contact us at 601-445-4014 or dfurlow@cableone.net to discuss your book project.


A complete book-editing assignment involves three discrete steps, each with its own fee structure:

Step One – Understand the author’s goals. We can’t do a project justice until we’ve done this. Does the author expect to have an agent and hardback distribution through bookstores? Is the book intended to bolster the reputation of his/her main business? Is the plan to create an ebook best seller or just to sell a few books online for fun? We don’t jump into a project until we are clear about what the author is trying to accomplish. (No charge)

Step Two – Analyze the manuscript. We read the book and give honest feedback. Is it interesting? Does it seem professional or amateurish? Is the content great but the writing poor? Are there fatal flaws such as a confusing structure or poor character or plot development? How does it compare with other books of its genre? Should the author do more work before investing in editing? We give our best – polite but realistic – assessment of the book’s quality and the kind of editing it needs to achieve the author’s goals. ($275 for up to 80,000 words; $325 for more)

Step Three – Edit. With the assessment in mind, the author selects from three levels of editing services:
• Polishing – copy editing (grammar, punctuation, word usage, tenses); elimination of superfluous words and phrases; proofreading. We’ll go through the book twice. If you think your book fundamentally is in good shape, this may be the best editing option. ($12 per 1,000 words)
• Intensive editing – a rigorous workup of the book. We challenge the weakest parts of the manuscript and advise about structural issues and other serious problems; we will reorder sentences within paragraphs or paragraphs within sections, rewrite awkward sentences and polish as outlined above. If you agree that our analysis has identified problems that must be addressed before you can achieve your goals, this level of editing is well worth the investment. ($25 per 1,000 words)
• Rewriting – work with the author to remedy fatal flaws and other major problems, including the complete reworking of sections. (fee and scope of work to be negotiated)

The Editors

Although Two-for-One Editing is a new book-editing service, Davilynn and Bill Furlow come from long careers as professional writers and editors – newspaper reporter, content editor, copy editor, writing instructor.

Davilynn’s career includes considerable work with young or new writers, having edited what was then one of the nation’s best community newspapers in La Jolla, California. She also has been a copy editor on large daily papers, and in an 18-year career at the Los Angeles Times, edited specialty magazines and worked as deputy editor of the Food Section, including editing a Times cookbook.

Bill was a newspaper reporter covering police, politics, government and courts. As a Los Angeles Times editor, he assigned and edited news, feature and arts stories. He has designed and taught courses on writing for public relations agencies and other industries.

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