5 Self-Published Books That Were Made Into Movies | Self-Publishing Relief

by | Genre, Inspiration for Self-Published Writers, Niche, Other Helpful Information, Sales, Self-Published Authors, Self-Publishing | 5 comments


It’s a self-published author’s dream come true: Imagine having enough faith in your story that you take the leap and self-publish— and then your book not only flies off the shelves, it’s turned into a cinematic piece of art! We at Self-Publishing Relief know that nowadays, successful self-published books have the same chance at being made into a movie as traditionally published stories. Here are a few self-published books that have also appeared in theatrical release.


5 Self-Published Books That Made It To The Big Screen

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

Weir is a computer programmer who originally self-published this novel, selling a ninety-nine-cent version of the book on Kindle in 2012. When The Martian achieved great popularity online, it was picked up by Crown Publishing (2014). The story of the astronaut’s fight for survival while stranded on Mars became a 2015 film. It was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture of the year.

2. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Genova self-published her book in 2007 after reportedly receiving numerous rejections while trying to pursue the traditional publishing route. Two years later, Simon & Schuster acquired the book, and Still Alice became a New York Times best seller. Julianne Moore won an Oscar for best actress in the 2014 movie for her brilliant portrayal of the linguistics professor bravely fighting aggressive early Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown

The popular 2001 movie with Reese Witherspoon was inspired by Brown’s self-published book. This light comedy about a sorority fashionista who unexpectedly discovers herself while attending Harvard inspired a sequel movie—and even a Broadway show adaptation! After the film release, Plume Publishing picked up Brown’s book.

4. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Redfield originally sold copies of his book out of the trunk of his car. The novel, which tells the story of the search for a sacred manuscript in the Peruvian rain forest, later went on to hit number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. It was adapted into a movie in 2006.

5. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Paolini started writing Eragon when he was fifteen; his parents encouraged him to self-publish his fantasy book about a young dragon rider. The family actively promoted the book at libraries, bookstores, and schools in 2002 and 2003, and then Knopf (a division of Random House) published it. The New York Times best-selling novel became a movie in 2006. Eragon has grown into a very successful series!

Self-publishing can be a great way for niche genre writers to get their stories out into the world—stories that are sometimes so fascinating, they even become movies!

QUESTION: Have you ever watched a movie that you really enjoyed and then were happy to discover it was based on a book?


  1. Coraline G

    I love reading these kind of things. It gives inspiration to those writers like myself just getting started.

    Thanks for sharing your words.

    – Coraline Grace

  2. Duane

    I think thus is some very excellent information to have!! Thank you!!

  3. Lookman

    Am doing the same with several YA books after learning the skill of script writing. Cinema is too lacklustre these days. If you have the right type of books there is no difficulty to raise interest from TV and film.

    On the bad side I am just too lazy to send manuscripts to publishers, they often seem elitist compared with their audience. I know many previously thrown out in the last shake up find publishers unrewarding and over demanding and prefer to self publish. Lastly, it takes forever to hear back and they can go back on themselves after making the right sounds..

  4. Lisa F.

    The dream of seeing my fantasy book on screen has always made my heart skip a beat. I thought I would have to do the movie as an independant movie, just to make my dream come true. Now that I read this, I know that one day it could happen to me for real!

    Thank you!

  5. cj

    Yes. I liked The Matrix and was delighted to great thatit was originally written by Sophia Stewart. Since then I have read The Matrix 4.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Find An Article

Recent Articles



Thank you so much for all the amazing help you provided! I’m already thinking about my next project and you better believe I plan to use Self-Publishing Relief!

—Bianca Chambers Carter, Writer

Read Bianca’s review!



Using Self-Publishing Relief is the only way I would ever consider publishing my work… the process was seamless: They answered all of my questions and always kept me apprised of the next steps.

—John McCord, Writer

Read John’s review!


The team at Writer’s Relief and Self-Publishing Relief was supportive and helpful in creating my chapbook — from sending multiple cover design options to patience and thoroughness during review rounds. They made the publishing process easy and enjoyable!

Laurin Becker Macios, Poet

Read Laurin’s review!



I have found my people with Jill, Carol, Dave, Joey, Ronnie, and all the fellow “bookies” at Self-Publishing Relief. Their level of expertise is seasoned and savvy for navigating through the indie publishing landscape, as we established the imprint Occupy the Word Publishing. What is more, the team’s enthusiastic tenacity to solve difficult issues and create new opportunities in developing serious readership for my novels makes it a powerful pleasure to work with them. 

King Grossman, Novelist

Read King’s review!

Thinking about self-publishing?
Receive your FREE copy of our helpful guide...


Act now! Enter your name and email on the right to receive..
  • Design tips to boost your book's marketability
  • Insider secrets for writing the best back cover book blurb
  • The importance of a flattering headshot

Send Me My FREE Guide!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Pin It on Pinterest