/ Ten Best Bothies for Beginners
As an ex-MO of a busy bothy - maintained entirely by voluntary effort - it's nice to see people like Geoff Allan benefiting from them.
> As an ex-MO of a busy bothy - maintained entirely by voluntary effort - it's nice to see people like Geoff Allan benefiting from them.
In case people don't know, Geoff is MO of Dibidil Bothy, and 10% of the proceeds from his book go to the MBA.
Then 90% of the proceeds go to Geoff Allan.
Suppose the MBA had chosen to publish a similar bothy guide book (if they thought that was appropriate.. ). 100% of the proceeds would be going to the MBA.
A big part of my job as MO - on top of the usual repairs & maintenance - was simply clearing up rubbish and (literally) shit at what was a busy bothy. I was happy to do it. It was an amazing place and I enjoyed meeting people from all over the world who turned up and had a great time there. Rolling up your sleeves once in a while is just what it takes to keep places like this going (the LLTNPA's attempts to control and restrict shows exactly the wrong way to do it, IMO).
The thing is that simple, unlocked shelters with no facilities such as toilets can only withstand a certain level of use. I'd suggest that bothies should not be promoted directly. Promoting bothy work parties - fine (why don't outdoors magazines do this more?). Writing about a great walk in the Cairngorms etc and mentioning in passing that "shelter is available at " - no problem. But don't make the bothy the main feature.
It's good to encourage people to get out and explore the wild places but you've got to get the balance right. I can see how bothy guides are good for the author; I just don't see how they are good for the bothies.
I know what you mean about publicising them, and I was a bit surprised when the book came out, and definitely concerned about its impact. However, given the basic info is now on the MBA website, amongst others, its out there already. When I actually saw the book, I was impressed, and I think it will go some way towards educating people about respect of bothies and what the true ethos should be, as that is all clearly within the text. The worst case scenario would be if folk were buying the book to find "free holiday accommodation" or whatever, but I don't really think its going to be seen by that market.
Doesn't mean I'm not still quite concerned about publicity, but if there is going to be such publicity, at least the book is well done. I do see you point of view though, and know how much folk like yourself have done, with less thanks than you deserve, to maintain the unique places we love.
I doubt Mr Allan is making much more than a similar percentage. A friend of mine wrote a good selling book in a similar outdoor market, retailing at a similar price. He makes a couple of quid per copy if sold direct by the publisher, and 37p if sold through Amazon.
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