The Story Behind “The Martian”

I had no damn idea:

1) It was originally self-published
2) It was originally a serial
3) It was once free

Andy Weir and his book ‘The Martian’ may have saved NASA and the entire space program

The story unfolded as a serial over the course of several years. At the request of fans, Weir repackaged it in an e-reader version. Some readers struggled with the downloading process, so Weir then put it on sale at Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing, charging the required minimum of 99 cents per copy. More people downloaded it at that price than had ever downloaded it for free. They gave it positive reviews.

Not a single damn person in my bookish Twitterstream ever mentioned it to me.

And you would think Amazon would have pimped the shit out of it. They fell down on this job!

Podcast page: How Andy Weir Took ‘The Martian’ From Blog to Bestseller to Blockbuster Movie (Starring Matt Damon)

— thanks to @JulietaLionetti



Filed under Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Marketing, Writer, Writing

4 responses to “The Story Behind “The Martian”

  1. Just this week I listened to Jonathan Strahan and Gary Wolfe review The Martian on The Coode Street Podcast. They discussed the book (and it’s failings), but I don’t think they mentioned that it was originally self-published. Or if they did I missed that bit.

    They were not kind to the book though. The phrase “iron characters and wooden prose” sticks in my head. However, despite the criticism I think it’s hard to argue that the book has not been successful, wooden prose notwithstanding. That’s even more impressive after learning that the author struggled to get it published.

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