I used the WRITER'S MARKET guide for agents in 1999. I listed all the agents that matched my genre (multicultural romance), and it was a short list of eight. I sent query letters to each of them detailing the novel I had written. Four wanted a few chapters, three said no thanks, and one never responded. Of the four, two wanted the entire novel, and one agreed to represent it. To recap: 1) find agents that rep your genre, maybe even exclusively. My agent likes romance, and he knows where to sell it. 2) Send query letters, which are short, to-the-point (a.k.a. "the bullet") descriptions of your work. 3) flood the agent market and wait ... about two weeks. Agents are much quicker than publishers are in getting back to you, and most major publishers these days won't even look at your work unless it's represented by an agent. Kind of a Catch-22, I know. You first need an agent, who acts as a go-between, to "speak" to a publisher. It reminds me more and more of an arranged marriage, and the agent is the marriage broker. NOTE: I hated writing query letters with a passion. I had a 100,000-word novel that I had to distill into 300 words or less in that query letter. Back then, I had to use real stamps. Some agents accept e-mail queries these days. Start that list of agents!