New authors really have a tough challenge. Along with trying to land that first deal, once you do get that deal, you have even more challenges before you. I would also add that many of the things you would love to see in that first contract are simply not going to be available to you.
First of all, that first book of yours needs to be beyond amazing. I know you read stories by established authors and sometimes question why they were able to get that book published. You sometimes wonder what it is about their book that is so amazing. You might even scream, "Why do they get to do that and I get yelled at for it in rejection letters or contests!" The deal is, they are established.
Publishers know that when they drop a book to the public by established authors, they already have a built in audience. You know exactly what I am talking about. How often do you get excited about an upcoming book by your favorite author! You are already looking to pre-order it. And you do, regardless of the quality of it.
Publishers also know that the competition level is high right now so the stories that they buy have to be beyond amazing! That's challenge number 1!
What about those contracts. Why is it that you can't demand higher royalties, bigger advances or other sub-rights. Again, it comes down to whether or not you have proven yourself. Do you have sales numbers that are through the roof? Do you have a following? Have you met deadlines religiously? Are you someone who doesn't complain? All of these factors play into getting those additional benefits.
I want to go back to a statement I have made over and over again. Being successful in publishing takes time! It is not just a matter of you saying you have written a lot. It is all about proving that you are successful.