This 34 page .pdf document by Sean P. Fodera and C. E. Petit provides an overview to publishing contracts.
Publishing contracts are, as a rule, neither well organized nor well written. Related, but critical, provisions are often scattered in provisions from the front to the back, and a provision on page six will often negate or vastly modify a provision on page two. Further, there is no such thing as a “standard” contract that cuts across publishers, across types of books, or across much of anything.
We have organized this presentation thematically, rather than trying to perform a paragraph-by-paragraph dissection of a contract that may bear little resemblance to either a preexisting contract you might encounter or your (or your clients’) particular needs. In the appendices, you’ll find two representative publishing contracts. Materials from the morning session include more publishing contracts and clauses, and comparing all of the materials should be educational—if all too often frustrating.