I've received an offer of representation from an agent I'd like to work with, but her contract has some specifications that I'm not sure I fully understand. Here they are:
1. Contract says: "We agree to counsel and advise you with respect to the further development and completion of the Work, to use our best efforts to place the Work for publication with a publisher acceptable to you, and to exploit and turn to account such other publication and subsidiary rights in and to the Work as may be appropriate under the circumstances including self-publishing. We shall have the right to use and/or employ sub-agents and corresponding agents for such purposes, and we shall be solely responsible for any commission or other compensation due them."
My question: what does this imply? If she isn't able to sell the book to a publisher after 6 months, I would like to have the option to self-publish on my own if I wish, and I would think in that case, the agent should not receive a percentage. Your advice?
2. Contract says: "In addition to the aforementioned commissions, we shall have the right to be reimbursed out of monies received on your behalf for the following expenses when incurred on your behalf: photocopying, unusual (we cover local submission expenses) shipping by Federal Express or messenger, bank wiring fees if any, faxes and overseas postage in connection with submissions for foreign sales, long distance telephone calls, and copies of the published book when purchased by us for subsidiary rights submissions, and other similar and related charges. Before any charges beyond $200 are incurred, the agency will obtain your written approval."
My question: does this reimbursement apply if there is no sale?
3. Contract says: "Either of us shall have the right to terminate this agreement by written notice to the other party in the event the Work has not been placed for publication with a publisher acceptable to you within twelve (12) months from your submission to us of your completed proposal or manuscript (as the case may be)."
My question: 12 months seems long. Is this industry standard?