Experience, not credentials

When I’m not living the life of a superstar blogger and novelist (/slurps iced tea from Chipotle), I work in IT. I got into computers in middle school, which for me means shortly after the end of the stone age. My first PC was a Commodore VIC20, with a whopping 20 _kilobytes_ of memory. (Its successor, the C64, is much better known.) When I got out of high school in 1989 with a slacker C average and no hope of college, I went into the Air Farce as a computer programmer and that, as they say, was that.

I’ve been in IT 20 years now, been tinkering with computers for 25, been taking things apart to see how they work for damn near 40. I only managed an Associates Degree in college, mostly testing out of courses for the credit hours on Uncle Sam’s dime, but I don’t regret it. Through independent study, innate curiosity and a love of reading, I’m probably better educated than most people with Bachelors Degrees.

Why am I telling you all this? So you know where I’m coming from when I explain why I hired the editor I did. As she [mentioned](http://www.kathleendale.com/?p=117) on her blog, Kathleen Dale was surprised when I asked her to edit the [_Unification Chronicles_](http://www.jeffkirvin.net/unificationchronicles) series. She doesn’t have an English degree or formal training in editing a novel.

But I know from my own life that credentials don’t matter as much as people think they do. Credentials are shorthand for people who don’t want to find out for themselves what you’re capable of. I’ve known Kathleen for a year now, have read one of her novels in our [critique group](http://denverfictionwriters.com) and have seen the critique suggestions she’s already given me for _Revelation_. I know we work well together and I trust her judgment. Kathleen has great attention to detail, a keen literary mind and I know her suggestions–which she delivers with tact I’ll never have–will make the book better.

And this, in turn, reinforces my feeling that I am On To Something here. I think we’re going to see a lot more partnerships like this in publishing, not unlike a musician and producer, only without the omnipresent weight of the studio (publisher) overhead. Between the two of us, Kathleen and I have most of the bases covered. We’re both graphic artists, I know the internet marketing and promotion parts of the process. Together, we can produce a great SF series that spans genres and centuries, the way I’ve only seen Card’s Ender series and Asimov’s Robots/Empire/Foundation series do. It’s a tall order, and we’re only two people, but I’m confident we can pull it off. Without a big New York publisher. Without a publisher at all.

Welcome to the future.