A New York Times bestseller and film box office smash hit, The Martian has achieved stratospheric popularity since its publication in 2014 and film adaptation in 2015, but this story of one man’s survival in the most adverse of conditions began its journey in a way which may just surprise and inspire you.
Mark Watney began his fight for survival on a series of blog posts by his creator Andy Weir.
After gaining some traction with readers, Weir placed the book on Amazon, selling it for the lowest possible price $0.99 and it was this decision which led to the novel launching into the stratosphere where publishing dreams are made. The novel reached the top spot of Amazon’s list of science-fiction bestsellers after more people downloaded the Amazon version than had downloaded the free version.
Following this success, Weir was approached by an agent and it was not long before Random House was offering to publish the book in hardcover. Shortly after this, Weir was contacted by Hollywood to discuss the potential of making a movie adaptation. The novel went on to rank 12th on the list of New York Times bestsellers and 6th on the Sunday Times bestsellers list in the UK.
Industry critics and readers alike have suggested that what sets The Martian apart from other books of its kind is that Weir laced ‘real’ science – a subject about which he is intensely passionate – throughout the plot. This ‘real’ science, as opposed to fictionalised factors is attributed to keeping Mark alive in the novel and the reader sees him depend upon it again and again for survival.
Ridley Scott’s film adaptation which starred Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, was released in September 2015 and reached the number one spot in both the U.K and U.S box offices.
If Weir’s success inspires to try your hand at writing the next big science-fiction novel, head over to One Giant Write and launch your novel now!