Although keeping those vital secrets about your book are important to "tease" the reader into wanting to read more, and yes, we certainly don't want to tell the reader the ending, the editors and agents do need to have this critical information.
When you put together that pitch or the query letter, you have to think about including specific key information:
- Who are the protagonists? What are their personal goals, motivations and conflicts?
- What is the external conflict?
- What is the central story arc?
- What is the theme and the high concept of the book?
- If this is in a unique setting, you have to give us a bit of world building.
But wait, this element of now surprises continues to you and your book. If you feel as if you have to keep thing hidden from the agent or editor because you think we won't sign you is just the information you have to include. Maybe this is also a sign that tells you this isn't the right time to pitch. So, what do we need?
- Has this book already been marketed and now you are turning to the editor or agent?
- Have you self-published this book?
- Is the book finished?
- Am I your third agent for this book?
The same thing has happened when we find the book isn't even finished? Ugh! Why are you even pitching us the story?
No secrets! Please!
P.S. Of course, please keep a few of those personal secrets hidden. We don't want to know about those strange things you might do at home.