Andy Weir put The Martian on Amazon, selling it for the website’s lowest price of 99 cents. The book went on to top Amazon’s best-selling list of science fiction and debuted at number 12 on the New York Times best-seller list for hardback fiction.
Director Ridley Scott is currently directing the film adaptation, starring Matt Damon.
The book is about astronaut Mark Watney, who ends up stranded on Mars when his crew is forced to leave without him. The book uses a lot of real science, as the main character is forced to rely on science time and time again to keep himself alive.
For Weir, the challenge was keeping the science interesting, telling Business Insider that he had feared the science parts would read like Wikipedia articles. Early chapters that Weir published on his blog had attracted attention from chemists who had pointed out issues with chemistry.
When word spread about the book and people began to ask for copies of the whole file, Weir uploaded the complete book to Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing.