I'm just going to be honest here (like I'd lie to you anyway). When you're in the midst of querying, you can't help but think about it. All. The. Time. Even though you know worrying about it and refreshing your email account won't make those responses come any faster. There's a lot of research involved in making that list of agents to query. You have to make sure you choose ones that are actually looking for works in your genre, if they're open to submissions, if they prefer direct emails, sample pages, the synopsis, etc. It really can make your head spin.
If you've queried before or are querying now, you're probably using these resources already. But for those of you that have yet to partake in the joy, these could be helpful tips for you.
1. Read the acknowledgments page in your favorite books in your genre. Authors almost always thank their agent. I've added quite a few to my list this way. The way I see it... if I've heard of the book and have even read the book/it's sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, their agent did something right.
2. Query Tracker - this FREE database is a gold mine. They let you build your list, keep track of it, mark when you queried who, when and what the response was, etc. You can also search by author to see who reps/has repped them. Become "pen pals" with your friends that are also on there, and you can see each other's lists of agents they've queried. You never know who they found that you haven't, and vice versa.
3. Literary Rambles - Casey and Natalie run quite the blog here. It's FULL of interviews and a series called Agent Spotlight that pretty much tells you what you need to know about each lit agent they spotlight, complete with links to interviews and other goodies. This is my go-to info site next to agency sites, and if the agent I'm researching isn't on there...
4. There's always Google. Just a search of the agent's name turns up interviews, client announcements, sales, etc.
5. Twitter. I know, I know. But if you haven't caved yet, my bet is that you will. Check out the agent's tweets and see if you like their vibe. I like to get a handle on their personality and see how/if they interact with authors, clients, other agents, etc. Are they helping to promote their clients/other people's clients? Do they feel like someone you could work with?
There are lots of tools out there at our fingertips. We just have to put in the work and use them! Good luck to everyone querying or gearing up to start!