We have long felt that the role we play with our clients isn’t adequately conveyed by any single conventional term such as literary agent, lawyer, manager, or counselor. Agents typically just get you a deal and then disappear. Attorneys negotiate contracts, managers handle the details, and counselors provide wisdom and advice when needed. We do all of this and more.

Our holistic approach combines agency representation, expert legal advice, marketing guidance, career coaching, creative counseling, and business management consulting. We’ve come to see ourselves as something akin to a Sherpa, or guide, because we enable our clients to successfully navigate all the issues and challenges related to the maximization of their ideas. We work with our clients to focus their efforts, hone and sharpen their message, obtain broad distribution, increase their influence, and build a lasting and successful career. In short, we help our clients make their ideas matter.

Sealy Yates, Senior Partner

Born in Texas as the middle child of five boys
Began practicing law in 1969
Became the first literary agent for Christian authors in 1988
Helped establish the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and served as its legal counsel for over 16 years
Sic ‘Em Bears!  UCLA Fight Fight Fight!
Loyal, Empathetic, Hard-working, Passionate, ENFP
Married to sweetheart, Susan, for over 50 years
Proud Bubba to 10 beautiful grandchildren

Matt Yates, Partner

Joined “the firm” in 1995
Extensive business and non-profit legal experience, the person in the firm most recently in a courtroom
Gregarious, Optimistic, Funny, ESFJ
An economics degree from Baylor University and a law degree from Pepperdine Law School
Drummer, former college lacrosse player, and sports enthusiast—he even used to be a sports agent
Married to Heidi and father to four daughters

Curtis Yates, Partner

Childhood dream was to be a baseball player or the POTUS
Started practicing law and serving authors as their literary agent in 2000
Reaganite, avid book reader and baseball enthusiast (Go Halos!)
Graduate of Westmont College in Economics and Pepperdine Law School (Law Review)
Honest, Intentional, Funny, Competitive, ISTJ
Working memory akin to a Mac
Former college baseball player who savors beach strolls and sunsets
Married 15 years to Karen and father of three (two boys and one girl)

Mike Salisbury, Associate Literary Agent

Started in publishing in 2005 and worked for Zondervan and David C Cook in their marketing divisions until joining Yates & Yates in 2014
Double major in Professional Writing and Communication from Grand Valley State University
MFA in Creative Writing, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
Strategic, Creative, Hard-working, Team-player, ENFJ
Runner, hockey player, Detroit Tigers fan
Married to Amy and father to Lina

Karen Yates, Editorial Associate

NorCal mountain girl
12 years non-profit experience in Marketing and Communications
Worked on her first book with Yates & Yates in 2001
BA English, writing track, Westmont College
Currently pursuing Spiritual Formation Certificate from Talbot Theological Seminary
Officially joined the firm in 2014 with an eye for editorial, marketing, and market trends
Strategic, Intuitive, Optimistic, Determined, INFJ
Volleyball player, worship leader, pianist, sushi lover
Married to Curtis for 20 years and mother to three short people


40+ New York Times Bestsellers
since 1998

Over 49 Publishers Weekly

More than 28 ECPA Gold
Medallion Book Awards

2007 Audio Book of the Year

Over $130 Million in
Publishing Deals Since 2003

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