The Veneer of Media

Thought I'd resurrect a few articles that Q Ideas ran upon the release of my book Veneer: Living Deeply In A Surface SocietyThis week we'll hear from literary agent Christopher Ferebee on "The Veneer of Media. Enjoy! 


The world I work in is a double-edged sword. One edge of the publishing industry is the romanticized notion of what the life of an author is like. The second is nowhere near as romantic as one hoped it would be. 

There are introverted folks who never fit in, but publishing gives them a voice. Once successful, however, they’re no longer allowed to be the introvert because the world loves its celebrities. There are behind the scenes kind of folks who have great ideas, but mourn that those ideas aren’t voiced in public, so they publish in hopes of starting an important conversation. Of course, once that idea takes hold they can no longer be behind the scenes because every idea needs a public figure to champion it.

Then there’s another group that's driven to get their message to the masses and have no problem being a public figure. This group wants notoriety and often has the resources to achieve it. Their starting place is, “How do I reach the New York Times Bestseller's List?” An entire industry has emerged to help this group.

Unfortunately, this group often finds that after they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars to reach the bestseller list, it didn’t really deliver. They thought it would bring them a certain level of success or validation in their field. They thought it would mean every book thereafter would be a bestseller. It didn’t. The second edge of any double-edged sword delivers painful cuts.

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Timothy Willard loves to sit with his wife by the bonfire and make up stories about Tom the Backyard-Badger for his three lovely daughters. When he's not carving up the Appalachian Mountains on his Salsa El Mariachi, you can find him busy writing a book, collaborating on a book, or reading a book written by someone dead and gone. Timothy studied beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis under theologian Alister McGrath. The author of five books, including Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (Zondervan), Timothy is currently finishing The Life-Changing Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019), preparing his doctoral thesis for publication, and trying to find a publisher for his first novel The Tempest and the Bloom. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.