Many writers either have finished a novel, or hope to. One thing that is good to know, before or after finishing, is what lies in the future. Yes, my friend, that is research. I watched a really neat interview the other day that basically said that writing is one thing, and that publishing is another...it's a job. One thing that I remembered being said is that when we go interview for a job, we don't go in knowing zip about the company, instead, we do our research.
It's the same thing with publishing. We need to know how the publishing world works, what all does an agent do? What are our responsibilities? Oh, and we need to research how to actually submit our work in a proper way. There is a book by Moira Allen that you might find helpful. There's a picture of it below. There are also really good websites. One website I recommend is Query Tracker. This will lead you to thousands of agents, in which you can usually find websites concerning them and what they've represented. The internet really is a good resource.