They are now. But I’d argue that they were the original software: they help you learn things and skills, they are communication tools and they are easily reproducible. And now they actually are software, as digital files.
I’ve been thinking about this because I’m teaching, with two others, a launchpad class of twelve software startups, while simultaneously finishing my first novel and starting a second (that’s why I haven’t been blogging for a few months). I’m asked what my software startup would be and my answer is ‘By Martin Edic’. Writing fiction is what I want to do and selling it is my startup. My friends on Facebook are going to get an invite with a code that will allow them to download a free Kindle version of The Rememberers, my first novel. All I’ll be asking is that those who read it, write a brief review on Amazon, good, bad or indifferent.
The beauty of an ebook as software is this ability to distribute review copies to whomever I want, at no cost other than my work developing the book (writing, editing, having covers designed, etc.). Money is very secondary at this point as I’m very much at the beginning of the learning curve as a fiction writer. My experience writing non-fiction was useful only to a point. This is very different territory.
I’m also writing a brief book about the process of writing a first novel called Novel In Progress, Getting Started, Keeping It Going, Getting It Done. The process has been so fascinating that I needed to keep notes as I learned it. And I did a lot of reading about how other writers do it. They are remarkably consistent in their approach. More about that soon. I’ll be putting that book out there for free once its done.