As technologically advanced and user-friendly as everything has become these days, it’s ironic that we still have to go about finding an agent or a publisher the “old-fashioned” and tedious way; that is, querying. Querying entails going through lists of agents/publishers, identifying who might best represent you and your book (usually by genre), and following their guidelines to submit your work. Often, this means going to a publisher or agent’s website and uploading your manuscript or work according to their very specific rules (e.g., “include the first 15,000 words of your book, a cover letter, a synopsis, an explanation of your qualifications, a small sacrificial goat, and a magical purple woodland flower that bears thorns…”). Each publishing house/agent has their own guidelines. So, make yourself some tea, get cozy, and set aside a few days to knock out submissions.
Go into the process with the expectation that you won’t hear back as many offices don’t reply to submissions (aside from automated messages). If you do receive a response, it will be some four to nine weeks later, depending on the publishing house or agent office.
Google is your best friend as it will give you lists of publishers open to submissions. You can also visit Reedsy.
If you would prefer to go about querying with pen and paper, Writer’s Market is a good place to start. It lists all publishing houses and agents open to submissions for a given year. The book can be purchased online or at bookstores like Barnes & Noble.