How 'The Martian' Author Andy Weir Launched by Self-Publishing

When it comes to becoming a writer, “The Martian” scribe Andy Weir tells Made in Hollywood that the path begins with the obvious.

“You have to actually write,” he asserts. “It’s so easy to daydream — until you write it, it’s just a fantasy.”

The author began writing the science fiction novel in 2009, but was snubbed by literary agents when he attempted to get it published — so he published it for free online in a serial format.

After gaining fans, it was listed on Amazon Kindle, a request from his readers, later shooting to the top of Amazon’s best sellers list, which attracted the attention of the literary community, ultimately leading to a publishing deal.

For aspiring writers, Weir says it’s important to “resist the urge to tell your story to friends and family.” “If you tell the story verbally, it satisfies your need for an audience, and the need for an audience really drives the writer.”

Weir, whose “The Martian” is his first book, insists that self-publishing is the way to get discovered. “This is the best time in human history,” he says, “because you can publish for free with no financial risk. There’s no more ‘old boy’ network between you and reader.”