It’s SO easy to go a little crazy while searching for an agent, whether you write for children, adults, or zombies (maybe especially, if you’re writing for zombies). But there are a ton of wonderful resources to help you keep your sanity.
If you’re the tactile type, you can try the very hefty Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents or the Guide to Literary Agents, 2011. But you’ll want to supplement your search with the latest information. And for that, you’ll need to do a little surfing on the net.
You can zip over to AgentQuery, or try Query Tracker, where you’ll find buckets of swell statistics. But if you want to skip right to the nitty gritty of children’s, middle grade or young adult agents, you’ll want to check out Literary Rambles, where Casey McCormick interviews agents, and includes interesting stuff from all kinds of resources. And it goes without saying that you should check over at SCBWI’s Market Surveys (you’ll need a membership to see the goodies).
You can’t count on one single resource in your agent search. But you can find just about anything if you know where to look. As for finding the time you need to get it all done, you’re on your own with that. I’ve got enough trouble, keeping these zombie agents from going crazy.