How Are We Doing?

Recently Lynda X started a thread on the Potpourri board asking people what they loved about AAR.  While we are appreciative of the sentiment and couldn’t be happier that AAR feels like home to some of you, I’d like to know what you might like – or might not like – about AAR these days.

Since Blythe, Lynn, and I took over, things have definitely changed, including a major redesign.  Some features have gone and won’t be returning (ATBF, for one), others seem to have been on hiatus for some time and obviously we need a kick in the butt to get them going again.  All of us have occupations and lives and finding the time is often difficult.

So, a few questions, but, please feel free to address anything.  Are you satisfied with our message board moderation?  Would you like to see the return of Special Title Lists? Are you happy with our regular posting of reviews these days? What would you like to see us do with the News Blog?

But the big question is back to the title of this blog: How are we doing?

- Sandy AAR

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66 Responses to “How Are We Doing?”

  1. Bonnie says:

    I registered recently to join the message board, but I seem to have forgotten my user name or my password or both. Can those be sent to me?

    I LOVE the sensuality rating that comes with your reviews. So many review websites don’t have that! It’s important. I also think your reviews are well written and really on point. I usually purchase your A reviews the same day they come out and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

  2. MD says:

    I used to be a frequent visitor, but I pretty much stopped going these days. The reason is, I now only use sites that distribute everything through RSS. I just have too many things to do to keep regularly going to a site and checking it. I have never been an active message board user, admittedly – I am primarily interested in reviews and commentary.

    Granted, this probably has implications for ad revenue. But I would be perfectly happy with the approach, as some sites use, when only headlines and the first couple sentences are on RSS, and to get more you go to the site if it looks interesting.

  3. AAR Sandy says:

    Bonnie, I’ve asked our message board moderator to get in touch with you. And thanks for the kind words.

    MD, I don’t hear much about RSS these days and, admittedly, it’s not a priority for us since it keeps people from visiting the site. We will look into it, however.

  4. MD says:

    Sandy, I should probably have said: while RSS would be my preferred way, I’d be equally happy if there was a Facebook feed I could subscribe to – that’s how I follow a number of newspaper columns. The point for me is something that posts regular relevant updates (i.e., book author / title / grade, or a 1-2 sentence summary of a new article) that let me decide whether to go and read the full thing, and this something has to integrate with aggregation tools I use, without requiring me to go to a separate site or otherwise spend time figuring out where the new bits are.

    Of course, I don’t know how typical I am – I probably place a much higher value on my time than many people.

  5. AAR Sandy says:

    There is a Facebook feed, MD. You’ll find a link on the home page. There is also a Twitter link that does the same thing.

    To be honest, RSS isn’t something we’re likely to address.

  6. MD says:

    Sandy, clicking on that link from the home page brings up a facebook group with 1 member and no useful updates from AAR. Instead there is a lot of random chatter from group members I would not want to see.

  7. AAR Sandy says:

    Sorry, MD, that is an incorrect link that I will correct. Here is the correct link. It is updated every day.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-About-Romance/116265138136

  8. LeeAnn says:

    I enjoy your site immensely. I’ve followed it for years – (although I miss “Back Fence”.) I usually check it every day for the new reviews. I think the only thing I’d like better is if you published the review before a book comes out – especially hardcovers. Because investing in a hardcover and then finding a “D” read is annoying. Then again, it’s always nice to find somebody else agrees with my assessment…….. I’d never heard the term “wall banger” before reading it here…. but I like it!

  9. MD says:

    Also, checked your Twitter feed. It is better but would still not motivate me personally to follow or visit the site. For example, a recent post says “Wednesday reviews are here”. The link takes you to a big review table. No way to tell at a glance which reviews are Wednesday reviews, and if I am catching up after a couple of days, then who knows where those new reviews are. I just give up and move on to somewhere that is easier to use.

    That’s why I was thinking RSS which effectively publishes links to individual articles. Or, for that matter, facebook feeds from sites that I follow, which again publish links to individual columns.

  10. Vic says:

    I started following AAR when I saw a link for the All About Audio feature. I’ve had AAR on my RSS reader since. I love the romance-centric audio discussions. I also really enjoy the sensuality ratings on books.

  11. AAR Sandy says:

    MD, there is a Facebook feed.

    Also, these are designed to be teases to intrigue you to come to the site, so if you are looking for title, author, grade – or all the info you need – you’re not going to get it.

    Most AAR readers know that reviews are listed in chronological order on the review page, so this will not go over the head of most readers.

  12. farmwifetwo says:

    I follow the blog on google and it comes in, in full – thanks I hate the shortened posts that expect me to go to the site. I don’t always post a comment but I like having the choice.

    I haven’t been on the boards in a long time. I have pretty much moved over to goodreads and I forced myself to shorten my online time – was getting a little excessive.

    I do come and check your new reviews about every couple of weeks. Look around, check any that appeal. It’s my favourite feature.

  13. BevBB says:

    Oye, the things that will pull someone out of deep lurkdom. And here I thought it was going to be the fantastic post about missing authors yesterday. ;-)

    I don’t hear much about RSS these days and, admittedly, it’s not a priority for us since it keeps people from visiting the site.

    To be honest, RSS isn’t something we’re likely to address.

    You know, I’ve followed this very blog through an RSS feed and have pretty much since it was created. How long ago was that?

    Now while I haven’t commented here or on the message boards in, well, about the same about of time, I do visit AAR fairly often to look stuff up when doing research – either in the reviews database or in the message boards – because it is and always has been a valuable resource. I also use feeds to follow comments on blog post that I’m interested. You know what’s odd? I generally follow those comment feeds here to the site to actually read the threads here because reading them in FeedDemon can seem so, I don’t know, sterile I suppose.

    So, what would “selectable” or “topical” feeds on either of those two things – the reviews database or the message boards – accomplish? It would allow me and others to screen what we’re interested in and might actually encourage more people to “visit the site” for whatever reason rather than give it a pass because they simply don’t have time otherwise due to the volume of material that’s already here and what’s routinely generated. It’s about giving us a reason to click through rather than expecting us to, oh, I don’t know, live here daily in a community.

    Because that ain’t gonna happen. It isn’t going to happen anywhere on the web because I just don’t have that kind of time. That’s why I use feeds. To help find what I’m interested in quickly and efficiently and websites that don’t use them get ignored unless I’m actively looking for something. That is simply a fact of life.

    Just some food for thought.

  14. AAR Sandy says:

    BevBB, thanks for your perspective. The blog is automatically set up for RSS, so that is not a problem.

    We have a basic conflict between why we create and run the site and what some users want to get out of it. We already do have Twitter and Facebook which are updated every day.

    We’re not just here to “generate content.” We’re more than that to a lot of readers and I don’t think the two will meet. I’m sorry you don’t have time to visit us more often and hope that you find us more often in the future.

    • BevBB says:

      We have a basic conflict between why we create and run the site and what some users want to get out of it. … We’re not just here to “generate content.” We’re more than that to a lot of readers and I don’t think the two will meet. I’m sorry you don’t have time to visit us more often and hope that you find us more often in the future.

      There is something I’m honestly curious about. How exactly are any visitors supposed to find the site in the first place – excluding Facebook & Twitter? I ask because I’ve noticed that AAR is showing up on about page 3 if it shows up at all on searches I do on the web lately – even on romances I know are reviewed here because I do find them in the database. I used to see it at the top of the search engines all the time. Seriously, a sense of community is a great but I can’t for the life of me figure out how making sure phenomenal content like the reviews done here that so many have already worked so hard on is readily available on the greater web runs counter to that function.

      • Yulie says:

        I think that having been around for so long, AAR is an excellent resource with lots of useful content (I’m confused as to why you would say that generating good content is not your goal). Browsing some of the older stuff is really fun. But there are several things that would make AAR more appealing to me.

        First, it would be good to have the Special Title Listings back. It’s great to have them even in their current form, but not being able to keep them up to date is unfortunate. I would actually like to see an option to suggest updates for any list, at any time. Maybe you could sticky a forum post where readers can make suggestions; I don’t think it’ll run into the dozens per day, and it’s one more way of getting people involved.

        Next, AAR’s content currently skews toward shorter material – the reviews are usually several hundred words, the blog entries are fairly short, and a lot of the older features are no longer being updated. I know the shorter reviews work for many – Xina has mentioned several times that it works for her, for instance – but I would like to see some longer entries similar to the old ATBF, even if such things aren’t as frequent.

        I’ve never been a fan of the redesign, but I understand that’s here to stay. Still, a less graphically busy header and front page would be nice.

        Finally, I’ve suggested this before and I’ll suggest it again: switch the forums to vBulletin or some other platform, but not the current one. Specifically re vBulletin, it’s easier to use and probably easier to moderate as well. I often see posters struggle to quote posts or insert links, which is super-easy in vBulletin forums. They also seem to work better and faster, so there would be no need to cut off threads once they start getting longer.

      • AAR Sandy says:

        BevBB: We have a basic conflict between why we create and run the site and what some users want to get out of it. … We’re not just here to “generate content.” We’re more than that to a lot of readers and I don’t think the two will meet. I’m sorry you don’t have time to visit us more often and hope that you find us more often in the future.
        There is something I’m honestly curious about. How exactly are any visitors supposed to find the site in the first place – excluding Facebook & Twitter? I ask because I’ve noticed that AAR is showing up on about page 3 if it shows up at all on searches I do on the web lately – even on romances I know are reviewed here because I do find them in the database. I used to see it at the top of the search engines all the time. Seriously, a sense of community is a great but I can’t for the life of me figure out how making sure phenomenal content like the reviews done here that so many have already worked so hard on is readily available on the greater web runs counter to that function.

        Bev, I’m not sure what you’re searching for, but when I Google romance novels or romance novel reviews, AAR is right up front.

        The reviews googling is due to the way the database was set up years ago where reviews don’t have a static address. We’re working on that. Until then anybody who wants to find romance novels is sure to find us. It must be working because our numbers are healthy.

  15. LeeF says:

    I had not idea what RSS is so had to research it. Thanks for making me learn something new today ;-)

    I am not a long time AAR follower so I don’t miss anything that has been removed. I particulary like your review format, especially the grading and sensuality reatings. Your power search is terrific. And as someone mentioned above, All About Audio is my favorite. I have only recently gotten on the forums and find some of the discussions funny and informative but I’m not much of a discussion group kind of reader.

  16. Melinda says:

    Since I began reading romance (and many other genres) a few years ago – and discovered your website – I check it everyday for your new reviews and blogs. I find that I agree with your reviews about 90% of the time! Your site has also helped me find wonderful books from the 80′s and 90′s from some of the great authors that I have come to love. I check out a couple of other sites too, but I faithfully come to yours everyday.

    I miss the Special Title Listings. I would love to see that updated again.

    I rely on your site to guide me for my new puchases. Thanks for all of your hard work and wonderful recommendations!

  17. Jeannie says:

    I would like to see more Top 100 romances – it stopped at 2010. Maybe also for different genres. I always find something new to try on those.

    I am also enjoying this site – I try and check in a few times a week.

    • Jean Wan says:

      Jeannie: I would like to see more Top 100 romances – it stopped at 2010. Maybe also for different genres. I always find something new to try on those.
      I am also enjoying this site – I try and check in a few times a week.

      Jeannie, we do the Top 100 Romances poll every two or three years. I can’t speak for the editors or the pollsters, but I know it’s very, very time-consuming, especially in addition to the Annual Poll.

  18. Jeannie says:

    You know what might also be nice? A table that can decode some of those acronyms that are scattered throughout blogs. I just came across DIK and I have no idea what that means! My brain just can’t hold anymore…..

  19. dick says:

    I do miss the ATBF essays, primarily because they gave posters something to react to. Good discussions are often missed as well, because original posts may not interest and the good discussion comes up when those original posts veer off way down the thread. I don’t know what it’s called but would it be possible to stagger the responses to original posts, so one could see them without reading an entire thread?

  20. Kate says:

    I love the site – one thing that I REALLY, REALLY miss is the special titles listing. I miss thinking to myself, “Hmm, I’m really in the mood for a book about people on a roadtrip. Click on the appropriate link and BAM! 20-30 books to choose from. The special titles listing was actually the reason I first came to AAR (and kept returning).

    Granted, it’s still there, but considering all the books that have come out in the last 2 years, it’s really getting out-of-date.

  21. mjain says:

    I check your website everyday – I just love knowing what’s going on in Romance land. I usually agree with the review and go right over to amazon to read more. I like that you post books on sale… and books anticipated… but I would really like if you had a weekly post of what is coming out that day. I lose track sometime when it goes by the month:(

  22. Lucy says:

    You definitely need to update the special title listings! Like Kate says above, they’re the reason I originally visited this website. I’m sure plenty of people would be happy to send in suggestions.

  23. Jessica says:

    I have to agree with a couple of points made upthread.

    1. RSS for reviews. I read almost all of my blog content — including this very blog — using a feed reader. I don’t know if it would be too difficult technologically, but I would like to get those new reviews (or even snippets of them as in a partial feed) in my feedreader. Although I disagree that partial feeds are more likely to get readers to click through, I would be happier with that than nothing.

    2. Tweets. I follow 300+ people on twitter, many of them tweeting daily links to their reviews. I would be more likely to click on a link if I knew the author and title, than a generic “two more reviews today.”

    There seems to be an undercurrent here that keeping all your content in one spot — at http://www.likesbooks.com — is better than spreading it around. But everything I have read suggests that you need to go where your readers are. I personally think making your content more accessible in more places will be better for your readers.

  24. Alesta says:

    I miss the Special Title Listings, the Purple Prose Parody Contest and the Isn’t it Romantic? Contest. Might we see them return?

  25. Heather says:

    I have been following this site for forever and would *love* to see the Special Title Listing kept up to date. Without proposing to have *any* idea what it takes to run this amazing site, it seems like it would be an easy thing to keep up. If every reviewer simply ran down the list when they do a review to see if any of them apply, it should hopefully be easy-ish to keep it updated.
    It’s by far my favorite feature of site and one I use all the time as I tend to read based on my likes / dislikes (ie Road Romance, Beta Heroes, etc.)
    Thanks for ALL that everyone here does! You are VERY appreciated!
    -Heather

  26. JulieB says:

    I enjoy the website immensely, and as it only takes a second to look at the new reviews, and I only have a few sites that I like, I don’t need or want a filter telling me what’s new. I can easily ignore topics that aren’t of interest to me, and move on to what is. On the other hand, I may not be in your desired demographic (although as an avid romance reader and active web user, I might fit right in!).

    I would love to see a return of Purple Prose, along with Worst Covers? Love the audiobooks piece, and am indifferent to most of the forums except the top two. I may not agree with all the reviewers grades, but I’m always happy to read the review. I think in general, the AAR community is more peaceful than many of the other forums, and I appreciate the admin staff stepping in when things start to get a bit messy. I mostly lurk, and will continue to do, but please know that there are those silent of us who really appreciate all that you do. I’d be lost without AAR!

  27. Corinna says:

    Add me to the growing list of those who would love to see the Special Title Listings brought back to life. I loved going through those lists in search of a book with that special something I’m looking for. We all have certain types of heroes/heroines/settings/plots that we enjoy above all others, and it was always so nice to be able to find that special type of story among those lists. Indeed, I think it was the one thing that set this book review site apart from so many others out there.

  28. Gale says:

    I’ve been following AAR for years and it still my favorite site.

    I would very much enjoy a return of updates to Special Title Lists. They are a great source when you’re in the mood for a particular story setting.

    I’m also a fan of the Favorite Books by Favorite Authors listings which haven’t been updated since 2009. This is a great reference.

    For something new, I’d really enjoy if the Audiobook reviews could be incorporated into the Reviews database and have a summary section in New Reviews. I discovered a lot of fantastic references in Speaking of Audiobooks but they get lost over time. The rating system might be a bit tricky to rate the story vs. the narrators interpretation. I’d be happy the rating reflected the overall experience. And I’d want the summary and search to be by both author and narrator.

    AAR is still by far my favorite reference site. Thanks for asking for our feedback

  29. Lourdes says:

    I wish we would be able to comment right on the same page of the reviews, something like Amazon. That way we would have the review and the opinions of other readers.

    • Jean Wan says:

      Lourdes: I wish we would be able to comment right on the same page of the reviews, something like Amazon. That way we would have the review and the opinions of other readers.

      Lourdes, I can’t speak for the editors, but from what I know of web design, this would basically entail rehauling the entire website from top to bottom, inside out.

  30. DJ says:

    Love the huge database of reviews, the new reviews, and the blog posts dealing with books to be released in any given month.

  31. Victoria S says:

    I check your site every day, and depending what I’m looking for, it can be several times a day. I have tried other sites, and I find them too cumbersome to move round in. I really enjoy the format of AAR and am grateful for all the time and effort. The only thing I can think of that I miss is the Cover Contests, that was an extra I really enjoyed. Like DJ, I love the huge review databases. This site is where I learned about Judith Ivory, Joanna Bourne, Candace Camp, Lisa Gardner, Heather Killough-Walden and Judith James, ( I can only be grateful for the people who introduced me to Broken Wing), to name a few.
    The first time I looked up an author and there was no review of her book I was shocked! I use your site so much, I fgured you reviewed pretty much every book ever printed :-).

  32. Jeannie says:

    Okay – I understand why you can’t do the Top 100 Romances every year. I will look forward to the next one, and keep getting ideas from past ones (lord knows I have a large enough TBR pile lol).

    I did like the idea of the Special Title Listing.

  33. Karat says:

    I would really love if the Special Title Listing was back. I found many authors who are now some of my favorites after trying new books with a “Beta Heroes” or “Reunited” theme, for instance.

  34. LinnieGayl says:

    One of the pollsters here. We do the Top 100 every three years for a couple reasons. As Jean alluded to, it’s a huge investment of time for the pollsters. Even though there are three of us (me, Cindy, and LeeB), it truly sucks most free time we have not only for the month we poll, but for several weeks before getting ready for it and for a few weeks after while we’re tallying and checking votes and then preparing the write-up and winners’ listings. Don’t get me wrong, we love it, but just couldn’t physically give up that much time every year.

    And we truly believe that it wouldn’t be as effective if we had it every year. The three year time period seems to be a pretty good interval to allow some new books and authors to settle into the mix. We did the last one in October of 2010, so tentatively plan on doing the next one in October of 2013.

  35. Tinabelle says:

    I am a long-time visitor to AAR and appreciate all of the work that goes into keeping the site running and up-to-date. So thank you for for all of your efforts.

    I visit the site daily to check for new reviews, read the blogs, and check in on the forums. I appreciate the honest, unbiased reviews most of all. I enjoy the discussions on the forums and feel comfortable commenting even if my views differ from others. I have added so many new authors to my reading lists thanks to discussions/reviews here. I always check the monthly “Romances on Sale” and appreciate that feature which gives me a heads up to what is coming down the line.

    Some things I miss are ATBF and Pandora’s Box. The ATBF columns were very intelligently written and insigthful and provided great incentive for discussion. And I loved it when 2 reviewers discussed the same book and shared their opinions in the PB column. I know that it shows up occasionally but I wish it was more of a regular thing.

  36. xina says:

    I love AAR. Well, who doesn’t know that? :) However…I do miss Special Titles Listing. And I know there was an attempt at a book club sort of thing. I didn’t participate…probably because I was away in the summer months, but I would love to have that back at some point. Not sure if it would work, but the idea of discussing a book, as a group, really interests me. I just have no luck with online book clubs, but this group at AAR is interesting in their opinions.

  37. Kathy W. says:

    Although I am an infrequent poster, I do visit this site daily to see what has been reviewed. As was said earlier, I consistently buy the “A” rated books (using the Amazon link so AAR gets credit…hopefully you get credit when I am linked to the hardcopy and then I click on the Kindle version!!!!) I use the advanced search database often and especially love “Anxiously Awaiting” – the cover reproductions really help build anticipation!
    I visit AAR After Hours about 2x month – I especially enjoy the posts from Reike’s window into Germany.
    I like the year’s best contest, but have gotten too busy to vote since 2008.
    Thank you to the entire hardworking team for a great site – and for working to continuously improve it for us!! You haven’t lost the edge!!!

  38. June says:

    I will echo Gale’s comments. Favorite Books by Favorite Authors is a page I often turn to when I want to try a new author, or read more by an author I’ve just discovered. The title list gives me a heads up on the author’s better books.

    Adding audio reviews to the review database is wonderful idea! It will make the audiobooks more visible.

    I check out AAR every couple of days and enjoy reading the blogs. Thanks for asking our opinions.

  39. Sharon says:

    First, like many, I appreciate the ease of access on AAR site. I log in daily to read the reviews and the daily blog.

    My wishes for updates to the site would be frequent updates of the Special Listings, which was fun and very helpful I too love the Favorite Books by Favorite Authors site and would love to see that updated much more frequently. As someone above mentioned, the Anxiously Awaiting is one of my favorite things to check out every month. I also look frequently at Reviews in the Works.

    Great site though and wonderful management!

  40. Nana says:

    Often the first few sentences of the reviews which appear on the front page don’t actually have content which allow me to get a feel for whether or not I should click through to the review.

    Good front page summary, from “Timeless” – “I’ll sum it up in a nutshell. If you haven’t read Ms. Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, then allow me to shoo you to book one, Soulless, because you’re missing out. If you think the series has jumped the shark, then this book probably won’t change your mind. And if you follow the series, then know that the conclusion to the series is a fun-filled, cheeky, satisfying end to the adventures of Alexia, Lady Maccon.”

    Unhelpful, from the review of Matthew: “The American West was a rough and tumble place where children on farms grew up fast, accepting huge responsibilities often before they were physically or emotionally ready to do so. While they might complain like many young people do, they worked hard because they had to.”

    Okay, that’s nice. But it tells me nothing about the book.

    I would like AAR to give guidelines to its reviewers on the type of text that should go in its front-page blurb. Ideally maybe you’d even get the basic header facts (grade, genre, etc).

    • Diana says:

      Nana: Often the first few sentences of the reviews which appear on the front page don’t actually have content which allow me to get a feel for whether or not I should click through to the review.
      Good front page summary, from “Timeless” – “I’ll sum it up in a nutshell. If you haven’t read Ms. Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, then allow me to shoo you to book one, Soulless, because you’re missing out. If you think the series has jumped the shark, then this book probably won’t change your mind. And if you follow the series, then know that the conclusion to the series is a fun-filled, cheeky, satisfying end to the adventures of Alexia, Lady Maccon.”Unhelpful, from the review of Matthew:“The American West was a rough and tumble place where children on farms grew up fast, accepting huge responsibilities often before they were physically or emotionally ready to do so. While they might complain like many young people do, they worked hard because they had to.”Okay, that’s nice. But it tells me nothing about the book.
      I would like AAR to give guidelines to its reviewers on the type of text that should go in its front-page blurb. Ideally maybe you’d even get the basic header facts (grade, genre, etc).

      Oh yes! Sometimes I wonder if reviewers are writing an autobiography

  41. lauren says:

    I do read other review boards and find this one to be the most user friendly and simple to navigate and understand. I DO NOT have the patience to read a long reviews, I also do not read any reviews with books in genre’s I just am not interested in. I check daily and I have found many great books to read that has lead me to other authors and books.
    I am not knowledgeable enough to offer any suggestions to format, platform or any other kind set up.

  42. TerryS says:

    I took a big long break from reading romance novels (we are talking a decade’s long break). When the economy tanked a few years ago, so did my work hours. A genealogy friend suggested that if I had the time I should read, “Outlander.” I did, and that rekindled an old love of romance novels.

    Since, I hadn’t read any for such a long time, I had no idea what books were out there, and what authors I should read. Eventually, I stumbled on this website, and found what I was looking for.

    I love the fact that you keep all the reviews available with a very easy search engine. (The DIK search is a favorite!)

    I love the variety of romance books that this website reviews.

    I love the that not only do you report the grade, and type of romance, but sensuality and publication date are also reported in a nice spreadsheet manner – totally sweet for someone who is a statistics geek.

    I love the fact that it is so easy to interact with reviewers and other readers.
    I especially love your “Special listings.” I hope you revive this feature and maybe add some categories.

    I love the yearly polls and the 100 best polls (very useful for catching up on some really good reads!)

    I like that there is a diversity of thought and interest when it comes to romances. It would be boring if we all thought the same way.

    I also love “Reviews in the Works” (it’s always fun to see what books you will be reviewing.) And I love the “Romances on Sale” list – great job, there!

    My only comments in the “could be better column” would be:
    1. Update and expand the special listings.
    2. Please go back to updating the side bar on this page labeled “Most Recent DIK reads.” (Sometimes when I have been busy and I’m feeling lazy, it’s nice to glance over to see if I’ve missed any of the latest DIK’s.)

    All things considered, AAR gives me exactly what I want from a Romance Book website. Thanks!

  43. Dorothy says:

    I love your site…… I visit it everyday at my lunchbreak!

    I really love your annual review contest….I use it to populate my TBR list. I have a couple of suggestions for improving the categories:

    * Please add the Inspirational category back! I know it was cut several years ago because of low nominations, but the genre has really exploded in recent years.

    * What about making two categories for Paranormal Romance and one for Urban Fantasy? I really LOVE paranormal romance, but am turned off by the proliferation of UF. I don’t think I’m alone in this?

    Thanks for listening!

  44. Lori Stark says:

    You are doing great! Thanks to you, I have tried many new authors; and found so many new favorites. Deirdre Martin, Lori Wilde, Lorraine Heath, Rachel Gibson and many others are now in my book shelves thanks to you. Keep up the good work.

  45. Tammy Joyce says:

    I have to agree that the “Special Title Listings” were (are) a great resource for finding books and authors. I always look for the “Eagerly Awaited” posts too. One thing that would be great is if you posted what books are coming out for the week. Romantic Reader blog does this but you have to subscribe to their magazine to look at the reviews. Like many others that have posted I am a long time lurker (that sounds nasty) LOL but really appreciate the work you put into the site and I can’t wait for more.

  46. Barbara B says:

    I have been coming to your site for about 2 years, ever since I really got into reviewing and blogging about the genre. I check your site almost everyday to see what 2 books have been reviewed. I don’t always read the review (I am mainly a regency/historical/vampire kind of gal) but I have to say that rarely do I disagree with a review. I have come to trust the reviewers for most books, although I do disagree every now and then—-and have said so! I would like to see the best 100 again….maybe every other year. I found authors new to me that way which opened up some backlists for reading pleasures! My two cents is that you should keep the reviews coming, keep the sensual ratings, add the Best 100, and maybe add a little more on up and coming releases. I have a datebook that I use solely for books and in the monthly section list the releases on their release dates, and use the weekly portion for writing my reviews. I scour the various sites for release dates and would really like your input as you seem to have a very good handle on what authors are writing and releasing.

  47. Kayne says:

    You are doing great! One of the things I look for when I visit is what books everyone is reading. The recently read posts is one I check often but it can be hard to have or follow ongoing discussions about books there. If there is a book I want to discuss in more depth I usually start a separate post. I like seeing the After Hours section and what the reviewers are currently reading. Thanks.

  48. Diana says:

    My thumb hit submit too soon. The first graph should be specific to the book. To be fair though, book reviews all over the web too frequently start with TMI about the reviewer.

    I use my google reader RSS feed to peek at blogs i don’t normally visit. I never click through since what I get on the reader is enough for me. Assuming I’m not the only one who uses a reader so I don’t have to visit the full site, it wouldnt make sense for an ad-supported site to make it easy to not visit the full site. Twitter and Facenook have left RSS in the dust in terms of effectiive social media.

  49. Joan Towey says:

    I used to read this website avidly early on; I must admit that I stopped about 10 years ago and only just started looking once in a while. I do miss Laurie and her point of view, but I understand that change happens. I think that reviews are necessary in order to find new authors and books by authors you would never pick up. However, there are things in the past that I miss. Like the Castle of the Month. It had nothing to do with books, but it was always fun. I really don’t think that anything should ever be set in stone except maybe a castle, so don’t sweat the changes ladies. You’re doing good.

  50. kathy says:

    Are you kidding me? Ever since I discovered AAR it’s been part of my life!