Avon Wants a Piece of Your Mind…

Have you ever wanted to give a publisher a piece of your mind? Well, Avon is asking for one. They have a fairly extensive survey for romance readers on facebook. They want to know how you read, how much you read, whether you listen to audiobooks, where you get your book recommendations, which websites you like (you know, like ours)…

There is a place to comment at the end with any other feedback you’d like to give. Since they really want to know what you think, you might as well tell them! You can find the survey here.

- Blythe Barnhill

Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll

Polling stationThe time has finally come for our first annual Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll and it’s one I’ve been waiting for with great anticipation.  When I first envisioned this poll two years ago in the first days of our Speaking of Audiobooks column, I merely thought of it as a comprehensive list of our favorite romance audiobooks, narrators, and audio authors for our own reference as listeners.  Now I believe it has a second purpose as well.  As a group we can proclaim to the audiobook industry the types of romance audiobooks we prefer and what we want to see in the future.

The poll is much more than simply voting for your favorite audiobook (a difficult task for most) and, staying true to AAR’s style of polling, we have multiple favorite categories.  And since we know narrators “make or break an audiobook,” seven of the 25 categories are dedicated purely to various aspects of narration.

Starting June 14th and ending Tuesday, June 28th at midnight, you have two weeks to submit your ballots at AAR’s main site.  Just follow this link. If you don’t have a choice for a particular category, please don’t let that discourage you.   Just keep in mind that you must enter at least six titles/authors for your ballot to be valid. Once you submit your ballot, you will be redirected to a thank you page. We’ll publish the results in our July column.  I don’t know of a comparable audiobook poll so let’s join in, have fun, and make a statement!  We look forward to seeing the results as much as you do!

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Announcing….the 2010 Top 100 Romances Poll Results!

drumrollThe weekend may be over, but today is a special Monday. After many hours of reviewing ballots, tabulating results, and coding, drumroll please…

The Top 100 Poll results are up! Since our pollsters receive hundreds of ballots and have to rank many, many books, this is a huge undertaking and I’ve been excited to see what the top books will be. We last did the poll in 2007, and not only are there new romance readers out there, but there have been a lot of new books since then! So, did Lord of Scoundrels stay in the top spot or did you readers vote something else into #1? And which post-2007 release not only made the list, but made it into the top 10? Go check it out!

Many thanks to our polling team – LinnieGayl Kimmel, Lee Brewer, and Cindy Smith – for their hours of work reviewing ballots, tabulating results and putting together the results page. You’ve done a wonderful job!

- Lynn Spencer

What About Settings?

Okay, I’ll admit to being guilty of this, too. Like many readers I know, I tend to talk about settings in terms of what I don’t want to see or what I am tired of seeing. However, I’m curious now to see what people DO want to read. From time to time, we talk historical settings and some folks defend their love of the Regency while some of us wish we could have opportunities to see a little more of the world.

The little poll below is by no means a giant comprehensive list of settings, but there are some ideas to get you started. Just vote and tell us what settings interest you most, and if what you most want to read isn’t on there, comment and tell us what it is. Chances are someone else out there wants to read it, too!

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Correcting Author Mistakes

A few days ago I was trolling the interwebs looking for any tidbits about Rachel Gibson’s next book. (Yes, I know her last book only came out 2 months ago, but I’m impatient. Sue me.) So anyway, I visited her blog and happened upon a post where she defends herself, in general terms, against reader criticism of so-called mistakes she’s made in her hockey romances. Apparently she’s received a number of reader letters/emails regarding the subject.

Now, throughout the years I’ve read comments by readers in two camps: those who love her books because she gets the sport “right,” and those who’ve sworn off her books because she gets it “wrong.” I myself am in neither camp because although I love reading hockey romances, I haven’t the first clue about the sport itself. But her article got me wondering about how often readers write to an author to correct a real or perceived mistake.

Personally, I can recall a few instances where I complained on a reader blog or message board about some error or another an author made, and I remember at least one review I wrote where I criticized the author for a mistake. But I’ve never actually taken the time to write to an author directly with a complaint. Perhaps it’s because I’ve just never encountered a mistake I felt was so egregious to be worth the effort.

Or maybe I’m just lazy.

Either way, I’m curious about how many readers are out there who actually do write to an author, so I’ve come up with a simple yes/no poll for everyone. And if you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’d love to hear your comments about why you do or don’t.

– Katie Mack

Have you ever contacted an author about a mistake?

View Results

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The AAR Top 100 Poll: October Is Just Around the Corner

voting_m-300x225Get ready…it’s coming!  Yes, we’re going to be updating the All About Romance Top 100 Romances Poll this coming October.  To refresh your memory, here are the reigning Top 100.

It’s been three years since we last polled for your top 100 romances in October  2007, and it’s time for an update. So, from October 1 through October 31, 2010, we’ll be polling for your favorite romances.

Why are we giving you so much warning? Well honestly, it takes most people a fair amount of time to prepare their ballots. While we had a number of ballots on the first few days of voting back in 2007, we were literally swamped with ballots in the last few days.

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Who’s Your Favorite Vampire?

vampirekiss With the premiere of New Moon looming, suddenly everyone’s talking about vampires. The diehard Twilight fans I know never entirely stop talking about it, but the chatter grows ever louder. I’ve read all the books and I suspect I’ll end up seeing all the movies, but there is so much more to read once you’ve run through Bella and Edward (and Jacob)’s story. If you’re hooked on vampires, there are a ton of good books out there.

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A Pollster’s Dilemma

0808-0712-3117-5831Let me start by saying I love being an AAR pollster. From a personal standpoint, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, and become friends with, Lee and Cindy, my wonderful fellow pollsters. From a romance-reading perspective, I get to see the characters and books that AAR’s readers like. After all, I don’t see just the results posted on AAR, I know which books land in 20th, 50th, and 100th place in top ten polls. Sadly, I also know which characters will receive no votes other than my own; ah, there’s my dilemma.

When I first volunteered to be a pollster, I made certain that we would be allowed to vote since the polls were one of my favorite parts of AAR from the beginning. Once assured that I could still vote, I hopped onboard.

As a pollster, I know weeks in advance what our polling schedule looks like. Initially, I would fill out my ballots well before each poll began, and would submit it at AAR as soon as polling opened. Lately, like many AAR readers, I’ve been taking my time preparing my ballot; hence, my dilemma.

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Vote for the Next AAR Book Club Selection (Poll Closed)

First of all, the easy part:  Thanks to everyone who suggested books to be considered.  Now, it gets a bit more complicated.

I wanted to stick with in print contemporaries and romantic suspense.  I also wanted to hold over three titles from the last poll.  It also seemed to be fair to limit the selection to just one choice on the list from each author.

Another note: Books by Nora Roberts were suggested multiple times, but there was no consistency in titles put forward.  So, I’m going to table the author for now and see what happens in our next book club poll.  Hey, I know, there’s an impressive backlist there and choosing just one isn’t easy.

So, with the understanding that creating this poll is as much art as it is hard math, here are the books up for your consideration for the next AAR Book Club.  I think we’ve got a nice variety of choices here so I hope you’ll find a book you’d like to see on the table.   The poll is open until Tuesday, October 6th at midnight eastern time.

Date and time for the next discussion TBD, but it will be announced here soon.

-Sandy AAR

What Book Would You Like to Discuss in Our Next AAR Book Club?

  • Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie (23%, 52 Votes)
  • Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (21%, 49 Votes)
  • Paradise by Judith McNaught (21%, 47 Votes)
  • Cry No More by Linda Howard (17%, 38 Votes)
  • Black Ice by Anne Stuart (14%, 31 Votes)
  • Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson (5%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 228

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Favorite Books by Favorite Authors for August

A note from our pollsters, Lee, LinnieGayl and Cindy:   We would once again like to thank all of the authors who let their fans know about the latest poll on their blogs, Facebook pages, email lists, and by other means. Even more importantly, we would like to thank all of the AAR readers who took the time to fill out and send in a ballot. The Favorite Books by Favorite Authors feature remains a valuable resource at AAR, and we really appreciate your help in keeping the results fresh.

Without further ado, on to August’s poll results:

Jo Beverley There was no change in Jo Beverley’s top two books from our 2006 poll. Devilish remained the overwhelming top choice, followed by My Lady Notorious. Ms. Beverley’s 2008 release, A Lady’s Secret, made a first entrance in the number five slot.
Elizabeth Boyle Readers still embrace Something About Emmaline as their favorite Elizabeth Boyle book, as it remains in the top spot as in our previous poll.  Love Letters from a Duke, Confessions of a Little Black Gown and Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress are all from her latest series and obviously a hit with Ms. Boyle’s fans.
Meg/Patricia Cabot Books written by the author as both Meg Cabot and Patricia Cabot landed in the top twelve. The Princess Diaries moved up from 11th place in our 2006 poll to take over the top slot, while the previous top place finisher, The Boy Next Door, slipped into second place. Two of Meg Cabot’s top finishers – She Went All the Way and Queen of Babble have received DIK status at AAR. One of the author’s newer releases – Pants on Fire – made it onto the list by tying for the 12th spot.
Christina Dodd Christina Dodd’s titles encompass the historical, contemporary and paranormal genres and readers like them all.  In our last poll, Rules of Engagement was in third place, but had enough votes to take the top spot this year.  Ms. Dodd’s two DIK reviewed books, That Scandalous Evening and Rules of Attraction, follow in second and third place.  Four of her paranormal titles, Scent of Darkness, Into the Shadow, Touch of Darkness and Into the Flame, are newcomers to the list.
Suzanne Enoch Ms. Enoch’s London’s Perfect Scoundrel (a DIK reviewed book) and England’s Perfect Hero retain the 1-2 rankings from our previous poll.  The contemporary novels featuring reformed thief Samantha Jellicoe (DIK reviewed Flirting With Danger, Don’t Look Down, Billionaires Prefer Blondes and A Touch of Minx) continue to be popular with Ms. Enoch’s fans.  And her latest book, DIK reviewed historical Always a Scoundrel made a very strong showing.
Lori Foster There was no change in Lori Foster’s top two books since we last polled for her in 2006. Say No to Joe, a 2003 release, was once again the overwhelming favorite, while 2002 release Too Much Temptation finished in second place. The remainder of Ms. Foster’s top twelve experienced a considerable shakeup. A number of books, published since our last poll, made it into the top twelve, including Simon Says (2007), Hard to Handle (2008), Causing Havoc (2007), and My Man, Michael (2009).
Colleen Gleason This is the first time Ms. Gleason has appeared in Favorite Books by Favorite Authors. The first book in her Gardella series, The Rest Falls Away, took first place in the poll, while the most recent entry, and a DIK, As Shadows Fade, ended up in third place.
Karen Hawkins Karen Hawkins’ An Affair to Remember, a DIK reviewed book, still resonates with readers as it once again takes the #1 spot.  One of Ms. Hawkins’ latest releases, Sleepless in Scotland, has proven to be a favorite, along with many older titles.  Ms. Hawkins’ contemporary novel, Talk of the Town, released last year, also made the list.
Stef Ann Holm Stef Ann Holm’s DIK Girls Night remained in the top slot. A second DIK – Leaving Normal – ended up in third place. Three books published since we last polled for Ms. Holm in April 2006 — Lucy Gets Her Life Back, All that Matters, and All the Right Angles – make their first appearance on Ms. Holm’s favorites. The top twelve is a mix of both Americana and contemporary romances.
Samantha James Samantha James’ top two books remain the same as our May 2006 poll, with the 2004 releases of A Perfect Groom and A Perfect Bride once again landing in the top two slots. Two of her recent releases – The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell and Bride of a Wicked Scotsman – make a first entry into her top 12.
Lynn Kurland Lynn Kurland’s top three vote getters remain the same though in a slightly different order from our previous poll when DIK reviewed This Is All I Ask was in the top spot, followed by Stardust of Yesterday and A Dance Through Time.  Her other DIK reviewed book, The Very Thought of You, also made a strong showing.
Robin Schone Robin Schone is another new entry in our Favorite Books by Favorite Authors polls. Her DIK, The Lady’s Tutor, landed solidly in first place. The Lady’s Tutor was also named the Favorite Romance of 1999 in AAR’s Annual Reader Poll. Gabriel’s Woman, also a DIK at AAR, ended up in third place, after her 2000 release, The Lover.
Christina Skye Ms. Skye’s top two books remain the same standing as in our previous poll.  Those two books, along with Bridge of Dreams, Key to Forever, Season of Wishes, DIK reviewed The Perfect Gift, as well as Christmas Knight, are all from Ms. Skye’s popular Draycott Abbey series.

Look for another reader poll coming soon.