I just had a talk with my agent, who had gone back to the publisher after they made their offer to me. He was asking to retain translation rights and other things "to sweeten" the deal, as he said. But the publisher is having none of it. They feel that they are already going out on a limb offering a decent advance for a book they want to make some changes to - they want me to make changes that would highlight the romance aspect of the book, not that they want to turn it into a "romance" with a cheesy book cover sporting Fabio in a kilt - they could, and it would kill me. I think the book will only gain from heightening that, and I still get to make the points I want to make in the book - historical points, religious points. And, face it, I am a first time novelist (not really, but I am for their purposes) and if they want world rights, they've got them. What do I have to bargain with? It's pretty normal, this situation I'm in. Audrey Niffenegger who wrote "The Time Traveler's wife," got next to nothing for that book, but a whole lot more mulla and say in her next. Anyway, money's not the point. That's what Steve Jobbs said, and it certainly didn't hamper him. Nobody goes into the writing life as a means to making a bundle.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, I gave the go-ahead to my agent and got an immediate response from the editor. The actual physical contract won't come into my hands for another month. Molasses. Sweet, though.