Join writing communities or go to writer’s conferences in your area – network, network, network! A warm entry/referral to an agent is always better than a “cold” query. Work up an awesome one liner pitch of your novel and be prepared to sell it in a 30 second time-slot with a prospective agent or editor. Attend panels or seminars – learn what agents are looking for. Talk to other authors. Meet booksellers. Meet, mingle, and NETWORK.
I went to the Backspace Writers Conference in NYC, and it was fantastic.
I will also most likely be attending Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC, 9/18-9/20.