I just wanted to make a couple of quick links to Passive Voice posts regarding shit contracts. They are still very much out there, and as Harlequin novelists recently discovered, if the contract provides for you to be ripped off, and then you get ripped off, there's not much recourse for you, because you agreed to let it happen. Remember, when you sign a contract with a publisher, you do not have the same protections as, say, a consumer signing a contract with a credit-card company.
Passive Guy points out in the Harlequin post:
Who you deal with – the publisher writing the contract – is very important. If you do business with an entity that is willing to treat authors badly, you should not be surprised when you receive bad treatment.