I can't wait to hear about your project.
Please, please (pretty please) read through what I'm open to looking at and what I'm not.
Since joining the Cyle Young Literary Elite Agency in 2018, I've learned what books I work well with and which ones I don't. I've gotten my clients 40+ deals as of January 2020, so I do know which niche I fit well. If you don't see your genre listed, please query me. If your genre is listed under the WANT or WILL LOOK AT Category, send a proposal and the first three chapters as an attachment (or full manuscript if it's a picture book). Email me at hope@cyleyoung AFTER you've read the wishlist below.
And if it's listed under the WON'T LOOK AT, I'm sorry. We're not the best fit for each other.
- YA (especially speculative, OWNvoices, or neurodiverse)
- MG (especially speculative; I like whimsical and silly)
- Some neurodiverse picture books
- Christian Living (if you have a strong platform)
WILL LOOK AT
- Romance (especially contemporary), nothing too heated
- Picture books with STEM theme, nonfiction, or social issue-based
- Some historical
- SFF is ok, but I prefer YA/MG SFF
WON'T LOOK AT
- Anything preachy, didactic, or too on-the-nose
- New Adult (YA crossover is fine)
- Sweet, or rhyme-y picture books (unless it fits the above categories)
- Christian fiction (unless it can be ABA crossover, think about BlinkYA and Tyndale Wander as good references for ABA/CBA crossover)
Closed to Submissions
- If I meet you at a conference and request materials during your pitch
- If I like your Twitter pitch during a Twitter pitch party
- If I post a recent MSWL and your book fits that MSWL (please don't send a book if it isn't a fit for that MSWL)
Trust me, when I was a writer in the querying trenches it would drive me crazy when agents or publishers were closed to submissions, but because I've been working as an agent for 2+ years now, I've developed an established list. I really need to focus on my clientele and devote my time to getting their projects in front of publishers.
Because I was getting (literally) thousands of submissions each year, I wasn't able to devote as much time to my clients as I wanted.
In this industry, most agents work more than one job. If you check out this YouTube video, you can get a peek into the agenting process. Most agents work another job for the privilege of working as an agent.
For those reasons, I am temporarily closed to submissions. I don't know when I'll reopen them.
If you really want to collaborate with an agent at CYLE and can't meet me at a conference, I highly suggest checking out the websites of my colleagues who are open to submissions:
How long until I can follow up?
If you sent a partial or query, please give it a month. If I don't get back by then, your email has been lost somewhere in cyberspace.
If you pass, can I send a rewrite?
No. So I'm one of those weird agents who will usually send along something you did well and something that needs to be improved. I do this because when I was querying, I was so frustrated that I never got feedback. But no. Unless I explicitly ask for a revision, I'm passing on the project and don't want a rewrite.
The reason for this is I was burned by agents before. They would send a ton of revisions and then just pass because they'd never intended to take me on. I don't want to be THAT agent.
If you reject me, can you send me to another agent?
No. I know you mean well when you ask this, but it's like going for a job interview, and when you don't get the job, saying, "Hey, can you send me to another place that's hiring?" Unless I have an agent in mind who I know would be a good fit, I can't refer you.
Why is platform important?
I don't place as much emphasis on this as some other agents at my agency, but I can't tell you the number of times we've had publishers reject a book because, "It was well-written, but there's not enough platform." I'm a writer, so I get the frustration. But believe us, we hate having to turn down people, too, because we know a publisher will likely turn them down because of social media numbers.
I usually don't reject based on platform, but I do expect you to be working on marketing.
Do you edit your client's manuscripts?
Sort of. I expect the manuscript to be 95% there. I'll help point out ways to improve it, so you have the best shot with publishers, but if it needs a lot of work, I can't take it on.
Make sure it's really polished before you get it to me.