Querying is a tough gig, and when I first began I fell into category A - querying before I was ready. I learned very quickly that my MS and my query letter were not fit for public consumption. I took a step back, went through more revisions, and sent my query to anyone I knew who would read it. But I can proudly say I never stalked an agent (at least I didn't think so).
My process for selecting the agents I wanted to query looked like this:
- Go to querytracker and screen agents who rep my genre.
- View agent profiles.
- Visit agent websites, blogs, and twitter accounts to get a feel for how they operate as an agent and to verify they are accepting queries and looking for the kind of story I wrote.
- If I liked what I saw, I then ran a google search for interviews they'd done to learn more about them.
I think there is such a line, but where it lies on the spectrum is different for each person. Generally, I feel that people have a right to privacy. If someone writes a guest blog post or gives an interview, that's the kind of thing they want found and want read. I don't think they want some random stranger searching through images to try and glean some personal fact that can be woven into a query.
Maybe it is a tough line to walk. I want to come across as someone thoughtful who isn't just query bombing, but I don't want to seem like I've spent a little too much time on my research. Hopefully, my future agent will find my attention to detail endearing instead of weird.