Lots of advice available on queries and pitches. It seems like any pair of agents will have four takes on the process.
Found this recently:
It’s a little bit of trial and error but I suggest figuring out a) what the heart of your conflict is, and b) what element of your book is the most enticing, and building from there.
Two crucial elements: The Mage’s Fight against his own Temple, and the discovery of new forms of magic, forbidden by the Temple. The war is context. The Red Knight is a complication. Cth Ghaou may be mythological evil, or an actual person with a deep-seated malice; not sure this matters because we’re beyond the “element” that’s most enticing.
I think the two topics are present in most of my pitches. I wrote thirty four distinct descriptions. It was fun. Clearly, I should review them to see if I can bang them into the suggested shape. If possible, one will be the shiny new subject for next month’s blast of queries. The others will sit an sulk sullenly, hoping someday they could be part of an email.
I’m not too happy with the suggestion of trial and error: it’s hard to know if the agent is simply uninterested in #grimdark generally or the agent doesn’t like this pitch specifically, or the agent suspects I’m not the kind of author they want to work with. There are a lot of unknowns in marketing, that’s clear, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to gather much data.