Janet Reid has an excellent blog post today, and I highly recommend you drop everything and read it. Janet sat in on a seminar by Ballantine editor Mark Tavani, who gave an insightful discussion about the driving force behind a book. He breaks them down into categories and gives wonderful examples of what they are.
I found this particularly noteworthy because I see a lot of queries where the author doesn’t know how to sell their book because they don’t think about its strengths. His talk is geared toward thrillers, but the categories are pretty one-size-fits-all.
I can’t stress this enough – you really must know your book’s strong suits. Is it character driven? Or is it based on more of a concept? Will readers align themselves more with your plot and its twists?
The main thing to consider is what will readers TALK ABOUT after they finish reading your book? THAT is what you could concentrate on when you write your query.