As I query agents, I wonder what I should include and what is too much information. For example, I research the market. I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but I know things. I know:
--That YA sales haven't suffered from the falling market like other genres have. Neither has fantasy. (Or romance, if that's what you write.)
--I know that the market is saturated with vampire novels. Although they're still selling well, their sales are predicted to drop.
--Werewolves are in the same boat.
I want to tell agents what I know, but I don't want to come off as desperately clamoring for attention. I want agents to know that I'm aiming to reach fans of Stephenie Meyer and Patrcia Briggs (and I've included that in some of my queries), but I don't want to sound like, "Look, I'm just as good as Stephenie Meyer and Patricia Briggs."
Because let's face it--I'm not. Stephenie Meyer is a young writer, but her characters are amazingly real. Their dialogue, the voice, it's all there. Patricia Briggs also has a great voice and characters. And her stories have such depth, so many layers... No, I don't think I'm that good yet. But I hope to be.
Shadow has avoided vampires and werewolves and has a (relatively) new kind of paranormal: ghosts. Okay, ghosts aren't new, but my story uses ghosts as a medium for original ideas. The premise is, as far as I know, original. I've looked for books like mine. Either it's a relatively new idea, or I suck at looking.
So how does one say, "I know the market. I'm avoiding trends. I want to be as good as the best someday." ?