A few months back, I came across a competition page which asked for a solution approach for a new and tricky dataset in the domain (I will keep all the details anonymous).
Now, it was a new area of research for me, so I felt curious; interestingly I wrote a solution and submitted it. They also asked for a paper alongside the solution (the solution will be ranked based on some performance metrics) explaining the solution.
I also submitted the paper. I got acceptance email a few days back mentioning it will be added to a book series.
After the competition period, I uploaded my solution (Github) and the accepted manuscript to research-gate too (now I feel it was a mistake).
Yesterday, I got an email asking me to register for the conference with a registration fee. Now, kindly forgive my ignorance, but I was not expecting the registration fee in the competition track where the competition itself didn't have any monetary prize.
It's not that I can't pay the registration fee, but I left my lab a few years ago and currently work at a private company, now at best I'm an independent researcher without any funding. I don't feel like spending the registration fee from my own pocket for a paper that I'm not proud of and when I can not even attend the conference (due to COVID-19 situation the presentation will be online).
I applied for a grant to the committee, I'm not sure if it'll be accepted or not.
Now, should I withdraw my paper if the grant is not accepted?
Another problem I created is by uploading my accepted pre-print to the research-gate, the paper is already indexed to my google scholar profile too.
What should I do in this situation?