Eleanor Wood (B.A. New York University, M.A. Bryn Mawr College) is the founder and president of Spectrum Literary Agency. She is also Agent for The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Her list includes authors of science fiction, fantasy, suspense and other areas of commercial fiction as well as a smaller number of nonfiction writers.
What makes a writer a good choice for you? What makes you a good choice for a writer?
A writer is a good choice for me if A) I find the work compelling, and B) I have the right contacts for that kind of work. For example, I don't read self help books; even if one came along and it seemed well written and I found interesting, I'm not sufficiently conversant with what's published and my contacts in that area are limited. As to what makes an agent a good choice: beyond the scope of an agent having contacts and experience in a particular area or genre, there are other factors: Do you "click" and feel comfortable with the agent on a personal level? Do you feel he or she is trustworthy?
How much input do you expect to have on a client's work?