If you are a writer — with or without an agent — and if you need help in negotiating a contract, then you should consider the benefits of becoming a member of the National Writers Union. The NWU won’t act as your agent, but they will read your contract and offer you advice and counsel on what should be changed in the boilerplate. Book publishers always want authors to sign a standard contract. That puts all the advantages on the side of the publisher. With the NWU at your side and in your ear, you stand a better chance of getting a fairer contract negotiated to suit your rights and needs as a writer.