Thursday, April 28, 2011

Xanatos Gambits and Publishing - A-Z Blogging Challenge

A Xanatos Gambit is a situation where every possible outcome has been engineered to suit you.

For example, let's say I'm the evil queen of Dublin (it could happen. . .). I want to conquer Meath and Kildare. I subtly trigger a war between the two of them. If Kildare wins, I can take over the weak and vulnerable Meath more easily than Kildare can, because I'm bigger. The same applies if Meath wins. Either way, I get closer to my goal. And once I've got one of them on-side, it's much easier to conquer the last one.

(In real life, Cork would notice this and refuse to stand for it. But since I am not the evil queen of Dublin, we can assume this whole premise is fictional).

Anyway, my own Xanatos Gambit regarding being published was always this:

I'll work really hard and keep trying and I'll never give up, which will maximise my chance of getting published. And if I don't, I'll leave instructions in my will that my heirs are to keep trying so if I don't make it while I'm alive, I can hope for posthumous publication.

Yeah. I don't handle uncertainty well.

Now, though, writers have a new Xanatos Gambit:

I'll try to get published. If that doesn't work, I'll release my work as an ebook and become the new JA Konrath. And if I don't become the new JA Konrath, the man makes a darned good point that there's no limit on time or shelf-space on the internet, so maybe I'll be a bestseller in ten or twenty years - or even after I die!

Remember, with Xanatos thinking, you're the winner - no matter what!

10 comments:

  1. Nice! Do you know who I first thought of when I read the definition of this? JR Ewing from Dallas! LOL. There's been reruns on tv and I'm telling you, that was one soap opera character who had Xanatos Gambits!

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  2. I must check it out :) I've never watched much Dallas but since I was born in the 1980s and named Ellen a few people assumed my mother had named me after Sue-Ellen. Which she did not :)

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  3. I like it! I'd like to have this kind of situation right now.

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  4. It's a win-win situation! Now this is what I call positive thinking! :-)
    Take care
    x

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  5. Love this, Ellen, thanks so much for the healthy attitude about publishing.
    Karen

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  6. Now I have another way to look at strategy. Never heard of this but then I don't wage many wars. All good to know.

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  7. Good strategy Ellen. Thank you. Also thanks for the alert re Talli.

    Denise<3

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  8. I've been wondering how to pass on my torch when I die, now I have something to look forward to. Zooming over to LegalZoom and adding that posthumorous thing pronto!

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