Audacity captures your performance in “WAV-ish” format and it’s not a file. Audacity can’t use actual WAV because many production effects and filters would quickly destroy the work. It’s in a super format while you’re performing or editing.
When I record, I leave all the mistakes in place and then go back later to edit them out.
It is very highly recommended that you export a perfect quality WAV (Microsoft) file at the end of a performance. Audacity Projects are not recommended for this. There should be no such thing as having to reread the work later.
you get the 'Do you want to Recover this Project?" window
So Audacity knows there’s something wrong. I think there’s a condition where Audacity can’t write the work to the cache (temporary storage) system and you can get magic problems such as all the timeline waves vanish for no apparent reason. I believe once that happens it’s the end of the performance. The timeline waves and the digital show are different, but Audacity keeps trying to resolve them—keeps trying to make them sync. If it turns up trash…that’s a problem. Do you have any other programs running when you perform? I have some applications that quietly, in the background, use up all the memory or processor capacity. That will bring Audacity to its knees.
If you change your performance technique and then lose the protection WAV file (you’re going to start making), that’s very serious. You should start capturing your work on a different computer and/or subject the machine to Windows Diagnostics.
I know somebody is going to tell you to upgrade to the current Audacity 2.2.1. 2.0.3 is pretty old and not directly supported.
Then, the bad news. Unless somebody has similar problems and/or you can cause the problem any time you wish, there isn’t much that can be done. That’s why I say you should be investigating this problem while you record your audiobook on a different machine.
It can be a stand-alone recorder. It doesn’t have to be a computer. Most people plan on using the computer and are flummoxed when that plan doesn’t come out right. What usually happens is the computer fan noise gets into the show, so the choices are announce with no computer or compute with no voice.
Have you posted to your audiobook publisher yet? Is this your third book?