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On This Page:

1. Each category broken down into wishlist, anti-wishlist, and submission guidelines.

2. Query Tips

3. FAQs

With my current client workload, upcoming conferences, and my current QM inbox, I am open to unsolicited queries for adult fiction and nonfiction in select genres, but not #KidLit at this time.

The exception here is that I am open to any genre that I rep (see below) if it’s a referral or requested material from a conference or event.

Adult Nonfiction

As a traditionally published nonfiction author, I know firsthand the weight of “platform-platform-platform.” And yet, here I am on the agent side, still saying, “Platform. Platform. Platform!”

That said, I am looking for career-driven individuals who are living out their message and not waiting for the book to jumpstart their marketing efforts.

I’m looking for books within these genres:

  • COOKBOOKS!!!!!
  • How-to
  • Self-help
  • Christian Living
  • Lifestyle
  • Home & Garden
  • Business
  • Leadership
  • Inspirational/Gift
  • Devotionals
  • Bible studies

I’m not interested in:

  • Memoir or Narrative
  • Devotionals that don’t have a strong thread running throughout
  • Projects that don’t have a tie-in to the author’s credentials or platform
  • Sports
  • Science / Technology
  • Politics

**Please note: Query Manager has a space for the audience and comps. You can type “included in proposal” in those sections to be able to bypass them.**

For the nonfiction proposal plus chapters, upload one PDF or Word document that includes the following:

  • Pitch
  • Overview
  • Genre and Word Count
  • Completion Date
  • Target Audience
  • Bio
  • Marketing Plan specific to the book, including links and numbers (where applicable) to social media, website, email list, speaking, etc.
  • Comps (Minimum of five, traditionally published within the last 3-5 years. Tell me why your book is both similar and different.)
  • First three chapters (can include an introduction)

Adult Fiction

I am open to manuscripts for both the ABA and  Christian (CBA) markets in the genres noted below.

I’m hooked on stories written in extremely deep POV and I appreciate writing that provides just enough information to the reader while letting their imagination take over…very “Master of Suggestion” Alfred Hitchcock-esque, if you will.

…and I adore an unreliable narrator…or two.

I’m looking for books within these genres:

  • Commercial
  • Upmarket
  • Historical, particularly if there is a time travel or time slip (but not sci-fi or time travel into the future). I love English history and grew up reading every Victoria Holt novel I could find.
  • Romance. Low spice. Slow burn. Sweet. HEA/HFN.
    (see Amazon categories like Clean & Wholesome Romance).
  • Cozy Mysteries with depth

Regarding cozies: please make sure that your cozy mystery is actually a cozy mystery before submitting it. If you’re not sure, please check out this article: “What is a Cozy Mystery?” to ensure you’re hitting the crucial elements that set cozies apart from other mysteries.

I’m not interested in:

  • Grimdark
  • Science Fiction
  • High spice, erotica or sex “on the page”
  • Vulgarity 
  • Extreme violence
  • Horror (with the exception of MG)

I appreciate trigger warnings in the query for suicide.

Manuscripts filled with the f-bomb are not my cup of tea.

For fiction, Query Manager will have a place for these sections:

  • Pitch,
  • Target audience,
  • Synopsis,
  • Comps (3-5)

Upload the first fifty pages. (Do not query unless the manuscript is complete, edited, and polished).

KidLit : PB, MG, YA

Reminder: I am not currently open to unsolicited #KidLit manuscripts at this time.

For Picture Books:

I’m open to both text-only manuscripts and author-illustrator.

I’m open to PBs of all kinds but am specifically looking for:

  • holiday
  • bi-lingual
  • humorous, character-driven series
  • Where the MC has a disability but it does not define who they are.

I love the back matter in  Stella’s Stellar Hair (my current fave). 

*Preference: I am not a fan of illustration notes. If you must include them, please submit a clean copy with no notes (can be in same document).

I’m looking for everything listed in the adult fiction genres above, as well as:

  • Horror (MG only) Think The Clackity by Lora Senf.
  • Cozy Fantasy / Magical Realism.
    I love stories where magic and the supernatural permeate our own world.
  • Within fantasy:

Not looking for in PB:

  • STEM, STEAM, SEL — I will reopen to these types in the future (I’m okay with these elements in MG and YA, though).
  • Rhyme

Not looking for in MG/YA:

Although these books and authors are amazing, I’m not looking for books where the comps are:

  • LOTR,
  • ACOTR, or
  • anything by Rick Riordan.

I loved The Cruel Prince series by Holly Black, but it’s at the upper echelon of my comfortability level with teen “romance.”

Not looking for Grimdark stories or any science fiction elements. No horror for YA.

For MG/YA, use the same guidelines as you would for adult fiction or nonfiction (above).

For Picture Books, submit the entire manuscript, broken down into spreads/pagination.

Additionally, please include 3-5 additional PB manuscripts as a portfolio. It can be included in one Word document or as a separate document.

As a “head’s up,” I’m not a fan of illustration notes in manuscripts (just ask my clients!). I will not automatically reject based on illustration notes, but please include a clean read-through of the manuscript if you’re sending a copy with the illustration notes.

The query letter is your first impression, so make it count! For more info on writing a great query letter can be found here.

Query Tips

While not all agents feel the same way regarding queries that come into their inbox, here are some things specific to me:

Please don’t stress if there is a typo. (Multiple typos are a different story!)

I’m not picky about how I’m addressed in the query letter, but these options are always good: Bethany, Bethany Jett, or Mrs. Jett.

I don’t require a specific format for how your query is crafted, as in, I don’t auto-reject based on the query not being in a specific order.

That said, here is an easy formula for writing your query letter:

          • Greeting
          • Opening (personalized if applicable, i.e., “I met you at a conference,” “I follow you on TwitterX,” etc.)
          • Metadata (genre, word count, comps, tropes if applicable, a taste of your platform if it’s NF, etc)
          • Pitch for the book
          • Short bio
          • Close

Querying FAQs

Can I submit via your agency email?

Can I submit via your agency email?

No. Submissions must be submitted through my Query Manager (QM) here: QueryManager.com/bethanyjett

You can set up a free account on the author side of QM called Query Tracker. If you are unable to use Query Manager, you can submit to the submissions inbox of the CYLE agency.

That said, I strive to be as accessible as possible, so if you have issues using a form, please let me know via my Contact page and I will assist you in querying me via email.

When should I expect a response?

If I’m interested in representing your work, I will be in touch. I do my best to respond to each query, even if it’s with a form rejection (sorry!) My goal is to be in touch as soon as possible, although it can take 12-15 weeks.

That said, unsolicited submissions sent outside of Query Manager are automatically rejected.

Do you offer feedback if you reject my query?

Not always. I know how much time goes into well-crafted queries, so I try to provide feedback if I have something specific to share that will be helpful.

That said, it’s challenging to provide feedback to all queries due to the ratio of queries in the inbox and the time it takes to review them. If you’re looking for feedback, finding beta readers and critique groups is your best bet.

Can I submit or remind you about a query in Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or Instagram DMs, or by texting?

Please don’t. These messages will not be responded to.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

Yes. I assume all queries are being sent to other agents.

However, if you’ve submitted to someone else within the C.Y.L.E. Agency, do not submit to me. 

I haven’t heard back and would like to “nudge.” Should I?

I know waiting is hard! I’m not a fan of the nudge because I have two “nudges” set up in Query Manager that alert me if a query has gone unanswered after xx number of days.

If it’s been five months and you’ve not received a response, please nudge because it may have been missed.

Can you explain how you utilize R&Rs?

An R&R means that you’ve been invited to revise and resubmit. This doesn’t mean your resubmission moves to the top of the inbox, but it does give you the opportunity for a second chance.

I’m not a huge proponent of the R&R because I don’t want writers to put in a lot of developmental work only for me to turn around reject the manuscript.

If I’m interested in an R&R, I’ll request to set up a conversation to discuss editorial visions. 

Why does it take so long to hear back if the website says an agent is open for submissions?

An agent’s first priority is to her clients, which means a lot of time is spent with their work, shopping the manuscripts, contract negotiations, and the business side of agenting.

While agents who are open to submissions are willing to add new clients to their list, they must make sure they’re managing their time well (which is something you want your agent to do for you!).

Am We a Good Fit? Q's for "Before The Call"

You're an Associate Literary Agent. Will I be working with anyone else at the agency?

While I have autonomy with my clients, Cyle Young, the owner of C.Y.L.E., oversees all contracts and is my go-to for questions or assistance.

Do you use a written agreement or contract?

We have an electronic contract that we send via Adobe DocuSign.

Who is your ideal client?

I believe the agent/author relationship is a partnership with mutual respect for each other’s roles. 

I look for authors who are:

  • Career-oriented
  • Teachable (Able to handle edits/critique)
  • Respectful of deadlines
  • Professional
  • Willing to market their books
Do I have input in what publishers get shopped?

I appreciate when my clients are interested in which publishers we send their manuscripts to. I’m always open to my client’s suggestions and take them into account when I’m creating my submission list. 

That said, one of my jobs as an agent is to create and build relationships with editors and to understand which houses will be a good fit for each project.

Is the contract for all books or just for this one book?

Our contract is for all books because I want to work wholly with an author for their entire career.

The exception: In some cases, we’ve amended the contract to be for a specific book. This is dependent on the client’s backlist, genre(s), and goals, and how we can best work together.

I've published books before. Would you get a percentage of those sales?

No. Those sales are yours!

Can you share about your process or role?

My submission strategy is tailored to each client, but I hope this offers an overall general understanding of some of the roles I have with my clients:

  • If you’re writing in more than one genre, we can shop multiple manuscripts as long as they’re non-competing. There is a strategy to this, though. I don’t just throw manuscripts out on submission willy-nilly.
  • I work with you on the proposal, particularly the marketing section.
  • I help with the developmental edit of the proposal portion of the manuscript and chapters. Once a publishing contract is offered, their editorial team steps in.
  • During contract negotiations, I ensure you understand the aspects of the contract.
  • I am available if any situation arises with the publisher.
  • I will help with career guidance to give you the best possible chance of success!