Springfield Bible publishing startup Manuscripts LLC hit its Kickstarter goal — and then some — two days after launching.
The project had $18,318 raised as of 10:40 a.m., ahead of its $12,000 goal by 153 percent. The project has 415 backers with 33 days to go. Manuscripts co-owner Jesse Tyler said the Kickstarter hit half its goal within the first hour and the full $12,000 goal in five hours after a promotional push through social media.
“Putting it out there all at once, it’s a bit scary,” Tyler said of the Kickstarter process. “The response was overwhelming.”
Tyler and business partner Giancarlo Ospina launched Manuscripts alongside marketing agency All True in January downtown at 205 Park Central East, Ste. 200, in the Holland Building. They previously worked together at Springfield e-commerce agency Classy Llama Studios LLC.
Tyler and Ospina partnered with Jordan Donaldson, of Brooklyn, New York, a former roommate of Tyler’s in Springfield and a full-time analyst at airline carrier JetBlue. Manuscripts LLC was registered with the Missouri secretary of state’s office on Sept. 11.
Through Kickstarter, Manuscripts is producing the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in pocket-size editions “designed to make reading the Bible less daunting,” according to the online campaign.
The books are 5.5 inches tall by 3.75 inches wide and under an inch in depth. Tyler said Manuscripts is partnering with Portland, Oregon-based Bridgetown Printing to release the books starting in January.
“More than pricing or convenience, we needed to have a printer that understood the mission of the product,” he said. “They totally got what we were going for.”
At its current $18,318 raised, Tyler estimated the company will be able to print 650 sets of four books. Kickstarter backers can secure a set for $28, though the co-owners haven’t determined the retail price once the fundraiser finalizes. They plan to sell the books through Amazon and other e-commerce sites, and eventually in retail stores.
Ospina said the idea for Manuscripts came from a New Testament class at Missouri State University.
“It once existed this way, as manuscripts,” he said of the Gospels.
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