Salt Lake City resident Trevor McKendrick has developed and is selling an audio Bible app for Spanish-speakers online and is making thousands of dollars per month. There’s only one problem: He doesn’t believe a word of the book he’s selling.
A former Mormon and self-professed atheist, McKendrick says he feels guilty about making so much money selling a book he believes is fiction, but the money is too much of a draw for him to quit. McKendrick sold the La Biblia Reina Valera online for about $73,000 in net revenue its first year and for over $100,000 in the second. He says it took a $500 initial investment and currently takes about an hour of his time every month to maintain.
“What if you sold Harry Potter books or Lord of the Rings books, but you told people it was real?” McKendrick said during a podcast. “And you told people if they would just learn how to write spells themselves, they could heal their children? And if you sold that as a real thing? I would feel terrible about that … But that’s really the situation I am in selling the Bible. I am selling this thing I truly believe is fiction, but other people are trying to use [it] and mold their lives to fix large and small problems.”
McKendrick said that users sometimes emails him with prayer requests, or even to interpret the Bible for them. “They think I’m a preacher,” he explained. “If you’re emailing the maker of an app to get help for your son, you’re probably not a in a great spot. Trading that for profit weighs on me a little bit.”
But McKendrick says he doesn’t feel bad enough to stop, though, since “the money is too good,” and according to BusinessInsider he’s using the money to fund a new company called BackOffice—which makes a product he actually believes in.