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Why Literary Books at OYB?

October 10, 2008

OK, OYB is an outdoor sports publisher. So what's it doing publishing and promoting literature? (And philosophy?) Isn't that what NPR people and grad students are into? Isn't that a separate niche?

First off, you people are bright and I know that you read novels! So don't get shy on me. And I know that you ride bikes and paddle boats because you wonder about the meaning of life. Art and philosophy are the roots of outdoor sports, baby! I know you're in.

I mean, Hemingway published a lot of early stuff disguised as fishing stories. Outdoor sport is as good of a lead-in to art as anything.

But what could I know about lit? Well, like you, I read. I've read widely. I've read from the point of view of someone who is a biker, who likes the outdoors---like millions of folks. Do the regular lit experts like the outdoors? Typically: NO. That's why the literary journals are so bad nowadays! They don't start from something that people can relate to.

It's not the art that's special, people. It's life!

My idea is that outdoor sports people are a GREAT audience for innovative literature. ...If that lit relates proactively to the real world. That's the kind of lit that active readers can appreciate, I think.

Another thing is that, as I say elsewhere in ULA info, American lit is in the tank. It's in trouble. I say this is because it's been isolated for several decades, as a special interest, apart from everyday life. I'm bringing it back home.

US lit got a big shot in the arm from ye olde Hemingway. A big reason why is NOT his critical praise in elite lit mags. He was well-received because he was a hunter, fisherman and hearty-lad---regular people could relate to that. It's time again for lit for regular people.

We've recently seen a lot of lit for every identity group. Chick lit is a recent big niche. It's time for a new niche. An inclusive one. If you're someone who's living their own life, then ULA and OYB-type lit is for you. No other rule or litmus test applies.

It's the kind of lit I'm looking for. And finding. And showing you.

I note that no one else is doing this. That I know of.

I mean, let me know if I'm wrong. I need to team up with other voices out there. That's what the ULA is about. Indy voices teaming together.

An indy voice can come from anywhere, of course. Anyone could decide to stand up on their own, for life. It's just that we haven't seen this much, the past few decades, from the usual places. That is, we haven't seen the indy "for life" spirit coming AT ALL from academia and NYC and from affiliated writers. SO. I conclude that I'll have better luck searching among the totally committed gungho lifelong writers who are nonacademic, nonNYC, unaffiliated. Who've been DIY publishing and growing their readership by hand. I note also that anyone who does this will be prevented, rejected, ignored, refused, by the lit world. Won't be reviewed. But, again, the ULA is here to change this if it can. The old rules are just so stupid, after all. I mean, the Net is here. And, literally, the rules of the lit world are from decades ago. The PEOPLE of the country have blown past them, leaving lame books behind. A new voice is needed.

Anyway, outdoorfolk and folkway folk seem like as good an audience as any for fresh lit. So here it is!

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