There are a lot of free legal options out there. There are also free general business advice options with local chambers of commerce or with the SCORE system.
Talk to friends and family. See if a friend of a friend can take a look at it. Even a sanity check is better than nothing.
Talk with the other authors who have signed with this person! Get a sense of what you are in for. Is the publisher going to tear apart your beloved work? Is the agent going to vanish for weeks at a time on vacation? The more youíre prepared for what is to come, the more you can make a decision on whether this is best for you.
Also be prepared that some publishers have a take-it-or-leave-it mindset. I have hit several publishers like that. If you didnít want to sign their contract as-is, they had hundreds of other authors eager to sign up. They werenít interested in bending.
At that point youíll have to decide if itís worth it to you to cave on your issues. But at least youíll know what the situation is and be prepared for it.
Traditional Publishing - main page
Overview of Traditional Publishing
How Copyright Works
Working With A Literary Agent
... My Concerns about Agents
Finding a Publisher
... Writer's Market
Writing a Query Letter
... Query Letter Tips
... Query Letter Issues to Avoid
Getting To a Contract Offer
Negotiating the Contract
Working With the Publisher or Agent
... Publishers and Editing
Submitting to Magazines
Tips for Submitting Short Stories
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