This is a good assessment of why these days you can succeed in publishing if you can connect with readers who will love your book, even if traditional publishing tells you it won’t sell. At a smaller scale, I guess I’m proving that with my Human Legion books. A few years ago they would have been rejected by all the top publishers because ‘no one reads military sf any more’. Year-to-date I’ve sold 66,000 — hardly Andy Weir territory, but enough to live off 🙂
Recently I read The Martian. It’s been the big buzz book over the last year or two, with a new movie out. Usually I don’t dive into a lot of the best-seller adult list, but I decided to give it a try after getting recommendations from friends in the sciences who enjoyed it. Psyched by the idea of a sci-fi novel that was heavy on the sci, I requested a copy from the library and (about four months later; thanks, Matt Damon), I read it.
It was fun and exciting. Mark Watney was a clever protagonist with a good sense of humor, and the rest of the astronaut team felt real. The science was well explained to the reader and seemed feasible, like manned missions to Mars could actually happen in my lifetime. The dynamics between NASA and the media and international governments felt genuine. Reading it, I could totally imagine this as a…
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