Proper Job is a book what I wrote based, indirectly, on my experiences of surviving (more or less) my student days when I was an ice-cream man. The book was great fun to write. Finishing it, I thought I’d discovered my natural genre–comedy–and I was probably correct, though most of my published output since then has been science fiction. The book didn’t get unfair treatment from publishers; several said they’d love to publish it but there was no chance of it selling because of the small humour market. To shift sufficient quantities, I’d need to be a famous stand up comedian and, given that my public speaking focuses on cognition, this is not the case.

I have made valiant attempts to start follow-up comedy books, but writing (and sometimes re-writing) the Saskia Brandt series is slow going at the best of times. Comedy has taken a back seat.

Audiobooks! I’ve always loved audiobooks. Ever since getting an iPod Touch back in the day, I’ve thought it a privilege to have someone read to me while doing the dishes, running, or cycling to work. Audiobooks also turned me on to poetry, which, with a few exceptions, I’d never really appreciated; turns out poetry is a phonological business.

Having been down the Kindle self-publishing route with Déjà Vu and gained so much satisfaction from it, I was excited to read a couple of years back that Audible were launching something called ACX, or the Audiobook Creation Exchange, where self-publishers and audiobook producers can get together to make audiobooks. I was frustrated to see that it was US-only, and kept checking month after month to see when it would be launched in the UK. I chanced across ACX again a few weeks back, hunted around once more for the ‘US only’ text, and couldn’t find it.

Bingo, my droogies.

I signed up and posted a description of Proper Job. I had about ten audtions–all of which were very good, though some American efforts at the British accent didn’t quite do it for me–and whittled them down to one.

Once again, my membership of the Society of Authors came in very handy. They checked over the contract and translated some of the more arcane bits into plain English.

This weekend, I finished ‘audio-ising’ the Proper Job manuscript to make it clearer to a listener when the narrator is thinking, speaking, and so on, and I hope to have the finished audiobook by January. The plan is for the book to come out exclusively on Audible, which is really only game in town as far as audiobooks go.

Very, very excited.

Published by Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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