AAR Annual Reader Poll: A Heads Up About Some Changes

voting_mWe’re coming up to our yearly tradition here at AAR and we wanted to give our readers a chance to prepare for a few changes in the Annual Reader Poll.

The annual poll when readers get to choose their best (and worst) of the year got a face lift last year and the pollsters came out of it with some great reader feedback and a few thoughts of our own.

The first change is big and we knew our readers would need a heads up.

Last year was our first year to enter ballots, and we quickly discovered that a full month isn’t necessary for voting since the vast majority of your ballots were entered either on the first three or on the last few days of the poll. The weeks in between were largely dead, with only a trickle of ballots entered. This was a sure sign to us that the voting period could be shortened, provided we give ample notice to AAR readers.  So, here goes:

The AAR Annual Reader Poll will be open for 2 weeks only and will run from Monday, January 18th, 2009 until midnight Sunday, January 31st.

We realize there are readers who power read in January and February for last minute reads for the previous year, but you won’t have that option this time around.  So definitely get your 2009 reading in early!

Also new are two additional categories being added to the ballot this year: Best Kick-Ass Heroine and Most Tortured Hero categories are back by popular reader demand.  Keep in mind that AAR is still going with the streamlined approach  that we first took in the 2008 Annual Reader Poll, but, based on your comments after least year’s poll, it was clear that these two categories were missed.

We know many of you keep reading charts to help you keep track of books read, personal grades, and special notes for categories.  If you haven’t kept a reading chart, you’ll find the AAR Power Search is a great way to search for reviews for the 2009 reading year.

We’re very excited about the 2009 Annual Reader Poll, and look forward to seeing all of your ballots in January. So, get reading!

– Cindy, Lee, and LinnieGayl

Ready to see the Categories for the Upcoming 2009 Annual  Reader Poll?

Best 2009 Romance Novels

Best Romance

Best Contemporary Romance

Best Romantic Suspense

Best Paranormal Romance

Best Historical Romance Set in the U.K.

Best Historical Romance Not Set in the U.K.

Funniest Romance

Biggest Tearjerker

Best Love Scenes (in a Mainstream Romance)

Best Debut Author

Best Series Romance

Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction

Best Erotica

Best Romance Short Story

Guiltiest Pleasure Romance

Best 2009 Characters

Best Romance Hero

Best Romance Heroine

Most Tortured Hero

Best Kick-Ass Heroine

Best Romance Couple

Worst of 2009

Worst Romance

The 2009 AAR Annual Reader Poll opens on Monday, January 18th and ends at midnight on Sunday, January 31st.

14 thoughts on “AAR Annual Reader Poll: A Heads Up About Some Changes

  1. It was kept nice and streamlined. Yay! I was under the impression from some of last year’s feedback that there may be a category for best book read in a non-romance category in 2009. Many of us read outside the genre and AAR does review books beyond the romance field occasionally. Just wondering.

  2. Thanks, Tee. We were reluctant to add back too many categories this year, in an effort to keep it streamlined. Based on reader comments, we definitely wanted to add back in kick-ass heroine and tortured hero. We’re going to be keeping more notes this year, and will look it all over after the poll closes and the final results are tallied. (And as a big mystery reader with romance overtones, that’s definitely a category I could get behind….after all, there’s a new Amelia Peabody due out in April of 2010:)). )

  3. I know that you are trying to keep the format streamlined, but in the future I have a suggestion to put under “Worst.” How about “Most Disappointing?” In some ways, that is worse than worst! This is the book that I have been looking forward to all year, or that has been praised to the skies by other readers, but just didn’t live up to expectations. Often, this is far from the worst thing I’ve read all year, and I won’t say it was, but it had a bigger impact on me than any old lousy book that came with no expectations attached.

  4. No more “romance author you gave up on?” And I actually had 2 possibilities this year.

    Just to be clear, by series romance do you mean category? Or actual series with recurring characters?

  5. What happened to romance author you gave up on? I LOVED reading the answers in that category and it’s one of the few places where the READER’S voice can be heard. There is a HUGE difference between Worst Romance and Romance Author you gave up on — bring it back please!

    Worst is stupid: it’s so subjective: my worst could be your best. How about praised to the sky and fell to earth?

  6. library addict, by series we do mean category romances, not books in a series.

    library addict and Janet W. Romance Author You Gave Up On turned out to be a very problematic category. Only a low percentage of voters actually posted an author in that category, and they were spread out over so many different authors, that until the last few days, we weren’t certain we would be able to announce a winner. Noting your comments, and will definitely take them into consideration next year.

  7. Janet W, I’m curious as to why you think romance author you gave up on is one of the “few places where READER’S voice can be heard”? It’s a Reader Poll.

    And I think Most Disappointing is a great idea — and entirely different from Worst.

  8. Thanks for asking me to clarify — by “reader’s voice” I mean, for me, AAR is one stop shopping for everything a romance reader needs: up to the minute reviews, fantastic boards that cover the gamut (especially liking the thread right now about authors who — in the opinion of some — almost write themselves out — and of course the comparison of La Mary B to La Nora R was great!) … blogs, “If you like” … it’s all there.

    I have no problems with Most Disappointing — I have been very disappointed to buy a book praised to the skies, only to discover that imo, it was a dud. Worst is just mean: can you imagine being the author awarded with the coveted AAR Worst Book of 2009 prize?

    But I see great value in “Authors you have given up on” — why? Because it’s interesting, it’s telling, and most importantly, it’s a matter of taste. How many times has an author been on the given up list AND on the best historical list (just to use an example). But I’m a reader, not an owner, and this is just one woman’s opinion.

  9. Janet W, thanks for the clarification. As LinnieGayl said, few people actually voted in that category, indicating that it wasn’t of great interest to most readers.

    We wanted to offer a streamlined poll that would be simpler and easier to complete than in years past and got good feedback last year on that. But they’re taking notes and everything will be taken into consideration for next year’s poll.

  10. I really like the idea of “most disappointing,” and agree that it’s quite different from worst. Taking notes for next year.

  11. @LinnieGayl So you’re going to keep Worst Romance this year? I wasn’t sure if that was what you were saying.

    It truly is so different from Most Disappointing and perhaps I’m being old-fashioned but it sure doesn’t seem in keeping with the tone of AAR.

  12. I am so very looking forward to the Reader Poll coming in January. One of my favorite things is revisiting favorites I may not have seen in a while, as I make my selections. I have to say that one thing I LOVE about AAR is the great things you are exposed to while you’re not even looking. I was reading some other postings and LinnieGayl mentioned Amelia Peabody in one of the responses. As someone who just finished the last Lady Emily, Sebastian St. Cyr, and Lady Julia Grey, I was in serious historical mystery withdrawal. I immediately looked up a review for Liz Peters’ Amelia Peabody, liked what I saw and have ordered the first three. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered there are 18..count ‘em 18 more books for me to discover in this genre. Keep up the good work, all of you at AAR. Thanks!

  13. I really like the idea of period of time to vote. While every year I say I’m going to power read during that time – I never do – and it always seems like such a long time between the poll being announced and the results.
    And count me as another who likes ‘most disappointing’ better too.

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