This is it: Gather.com is sponsoring an author's showdown. Post your novel on the their site and it might just be voted the next American Masterpiece. Or even nail you down to a publishing contract. Doubt your deft handling of plot and characterization? Harbor illusions of literary genius? Don't spend another moment in a dither. Take it to the readers.
The way it works: Forget about that dented manuscript scattered in chapters around your house, in your car, and at the bottom of your to-do list. You won't even need to print off a fresh hot-ink perfumed version. E-mail your full-length commmerical fiction manuscript to Gather.com. You must be 17 (or older) to submit yourself to your reading audience.
They will publish your novel online one chapter at at time. And the reading public will vote to keep you alive (or vote to eliminate you, I mean your novel). If you survive three rounds of voting and are chosen the next American Author-to-be-published, you will receive assorted cash prizes AND a publishing contract. Beware: by entering the contest you agree "that if you are selected as the Grand Prize Winner, you will sign Simon & Schuster’s standard publishing agreement within five days of receipt of the agreement."