Inform and Inspire

Welcome to Upstate Bouldering, designed around bouldering in the Upstate region of South Carolina. This website is intended to inform the reader of local spots in SC, Western NC and Northeast GA, as well as a blog of my experiences climbing at these great spots. I hope everyone learns of a new place to climb or is inspired to climb somewhere close to them. If you have any comments, please send me an e-mail.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Upstate Bouldering Guide...Where Your Donations Have Gone!!!

Now that the Upstate Bouldering Guide has sold out, I wanted to give everyone an idea of what the guidebook has done for local bouldering so far...

I originally had planned on releasing this guidebook as a fundraiser to help pay off the Rumbling Bald Boulders purchase that the CCC made a few years ago.  As soon as I got the book close to printing, this loan was paid off and the need to raise fund for these boulders wasn't necessary I decided to reinvest the profits from the guidebook directly into the resources and management of the resource directly.  Because the book was mainly about areas in the Jocassee Gorges of South Carolina, I felt that most of the efforts from the book should be focused on SC, but because it also gave beta to 2 other great boulderfields in Western North Carolina, I wanted to make sure to support these areas too.  I've always had the belief that if you can donate money to a cause, that's great, but if you can donate something more or directly affect your cause with that same money, then that's even better!  So, instead of simply donating the profits from the guidebook to the CCC and that money not necessarily going directly to the areas the guidebook focuses on, I decided to take action with the money that would directly effect these bouldering areas.  I supported several trail days in SC and NC with the profits by helping to organize and fund the trail day (trash bags, bottled water, snacks, food for workers the night before, libations to enjoy after the hard work, etc), donating guidebooks or other climbing related goods for silent auctions and raffles, and finally by providing monetary donations directly to the trail day event, that was then funneled to the CCC.  I can truly say that by doing and not just giving, I gained so much more of a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with this project than I originally thought I'd achieve!!! 

And that brings me to the major point of this post...and explanation of how the sales of this guidebook have helped support bouldering access in the Jocassee Gorges and in Pisgah. I don't want to go into all of the sticky details of costs, profits, donations etc involved with this guidebook, but I did want to give the readers and followers of this website an idea of where and how the profits for the guidebook were used to help access...I like to know where my money goes when I make a donation to a cause, and I'm sure y'all probably do too.

Printing a guidebook is not an easy task, nor is it very profitable!!!  The total cost of the 75 copy (15 color and 60 black and white) print run and shipping to get the books to me was around $1000. 

Profit Margin:
Because I self published I knew that my profit margins would be low, so I only marked the books up the minimal amount I could so they would sell for the cheapest price to those that bought one. The profit margin on the color books were very low because they cost SO much to print, so I only made $5 a book on these.  The black and white copies had a better profit margin at around $10 per book to consumers, and $5 per book for those sold to outfitters.

Total Profits:
Because I set the profit margin pretty low to guarantee the books would sell and actually make some sort of effect on local bouldering, I didn't make as much as many authors might make.  I made around $500 from the sell of the books and $300 by providing advertising to those interested in donating in total, I made around $800 in profit from the sell of the guidebook.  This wasn't an overwhelmingly big amount, but this was more than would have been made if the book had never been published in the first place!  So I was pretty satisfied to realize this profit and be able to slowly donate most of it to the many events that have been held in our local region over the last year and a half!!!

Where the donations have gone so far:
Before the guidebook was available, I went ahead and donated $175 to the 2011 WNC Climbers Weekend/Looking Glass Adopt A Crag, late September 2011, which supported the approaches to many of the boulders around the base of Looking Glass. A couple of months after the Looking Glass Adopt A Crag, in December 2012, I helped support the first ever Table Rock Adopt A Crag Trail Day with donations and other support in the amount of $100. Soon after the book came out in March 2012, I donated to the first ever Jocassee Gorges Bouldering Trail Day by providing around $100 in support to make it happen! The next event I donated to was the Pisgah Climbing Festival in November 2012, in which I donated items for the silent auction and an extra 5 copies of the guidebook were sold there that in total raised around $200 for the CCC at the Festival. Hot on the heels of the Pisgah Climbing Festival was the showing of Reel Rock 7 in Brevard NC. I wasn't able to attend the event, but still wanted to help out, so I donated $50 worth of books for the silent auction. The most recent event I donated to was the very successful second Jocassee Gorges Bouldering Trail Day last month, December 2012. For this event, I donated and supplied around $100 to make sure it was the most effective trail day we could of had. So the tally so far looks something like this...

Donations from the profits of the Upstate Bouldering Guide to local bouldering and the CCC so far:

-WNC Climbers Weekend                                                              $175
-Table Rock AOC                                                                           $100
-Jocassee Gorges Bouldering Trail Day March 2012                      $100
-Pisgah Climbing Festival                                                              $200
-Reel Rock 7                                                                                     $50
-Jocassee Gorges Bouldering Trail Day December 2012                 $100
Total Donations                                                                               $725!!!!!!!

I was really hoping the sale of the guidebook would generate at least $1000 for local access and the CCC, so I plan on donating $250 to the CCC here soon to fulfill this dream and make it a reality:) A giant THANKS to everyone involved with this project, from those that helped develop routes to those that donated for advertising to those outfitters that are carrying the remaining copies of the guidebook and of course those that purchased the guidebook and directly supported local bouldering access...without each and every one of y'all, this incredible project would have never happened!!!

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