Nope, the publication date can't be changed.
This means I can't enter it in any contest where I had planned to enter it. I feel like this poor book is not being given any chance to succeed.
I need to think how to proceed with this. It just makes my life a bit more complicated ... no, a lot more complicated.
Oh well. Nothing I can do about it. I'll have to do what I can with what this publisher is giving me to work with (which ain't much). Others have succeeded in a similar boat, right?
But it still ticks me off.