There are some old TV commercials for Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups that are variations on a basic theme. One person is eating peanut butter, another is eating chocolate. Through a lucky mishap, they stumble into each other and one exclaims,

 "Hey, you got chocolate on my peanut butter!"

 The other retorts with "You got peanut butter on my chocolate!"

Now in today's world this would have escalated quickly into cries of oppression and cancel culture, possibly leading to a full scale riot and a Tucker Carlson special on how America is being destroyed by forced integration of snack foods. 

But in those halcyon days when TV only had four stations (plus a few fuzzy ones on UHF) and you changed channels with a pair of pliers, it results in the happy mutual discovery of "two great tastes that go great together!".

As Faithful Reader knows, in addition to having several books and hundreds of articles in circulation, I also have been doing some voice over work. A few weeks ago, I was recording an audition for narration of an audiobook when it suddenly dawned on me that maybe I should see what I need to do to record some of my own written words for release. After all, I've got all of this recording equipment sitting around, right?

I did a little checking into the market, and was surprised to see that the audiobook business is expected to reach $1.3 billion dollars by the end of 2021, with growth of at least 25% per year predicted for the next 5 years.

So, as Benjy Mouse from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy might say - yes, the purity of the written word, and yes, my books are like my children, but if it comes to a choice between the sanctity of art or taking the money and running, I for one could do with the exercise.

With that in mind, I created an account on ACX, confirmed my book "Living Abroad: Challenging the Myths of Expat Life" qualified, and printed out the required format for the recordings. This is pretty basic, really - a separate audio file for each chapter, certain type of file at a certain bit rate and decibel level, and so on.

I got out a fresh SD card, powered up my little studio, and over just a few days recorded the raw files for the project. This turns out to be the easiest part, taking just under six hours in total.

The next step is a little more time consuming: editing each chapter file. This involves loading each one into a digital editor program, in my case called WavePad, and then going through the  file removing any extraneous noise, cutting pauses between sections, deleting parts I re-read while recording to correct errors or just for a better take, and finding any faux-pas that I might need to re-record.

True to industry norms, this process took a little over 12 hours, or twice the time to make the raw recording. The total edited run time for the book turned out to be 4 hours and 45 minutes.

The last step was to create the cover image in their required format (seen below), and upload everything to my account. Nothing to do then but wait for ACX to review and hopefully approve.

Just eleven days later, I received the email stating that my audiobook was approved, and now available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. Huzzah! I got my chocolate on my own peanut butter!

As this announcement came on Thanksgiving week, I figured I would wait until the beginning of December to begin any type of promotional work. Imagine my surprise and delight to log in this morning and find that copies were already selling, without any advertisement on my part! In fact, since the release of the audiobook on November 22nd, the audio version is out-selling the e-book and paperback copies by almost 5 to 1!

It is of course, as they say on British detective shows, still early days. I've posted in social media just yesterday, and a press release went out this morning, so I'm cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year.

But it would be great if I have a Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup situation on my hands.