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Suggestions for AAR
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestions pretty much boil down to one thing. We need to maintain the respect for one another's opinions on the message boards. This doesn't exclude disagreeing with people and their thoughts, but it does mean that we accept that not everyone will agree with us. And the tone in which we write that says it all.

Unfortunately, tone doesn't always show clearly in the posts (and sometimes it does and even accidentally Very Happy ). Occasionally, all it takes is one or two people with out-of-control posts to eventually raise the ire of normally even-keeled people. Allow others to share their enthusiasm for books they love even if you don't "get it." Pass over those threads that turn you off and participate in the ones you do enjoy. That doesn't mean again that you only post positive opinions if you differ with the thoughts in that thread. Just that you have your own opinions and you want to "share" them because the other thoughts there interest you, also.

It's tone--it has always been tone--and it will always be tone. In the past, we've tried to carry on dialogues and conversations about books in intelligent ways. Don't allow others with "attitudes" to change the direction of those conversations in the future.


Last edited by Tee on Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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blytheaar



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 51
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NoirFemme wrote:
blytheaar wrote:

Would you mind clarifying this for me? When you say "from anyone here" are you referring to posters on message boards? AAR staff on message boards? AAR staff in blogs and comments? All of these?

Thanks.


No fingers being pointed, just that particular names or blog/gers are cited often on both sides of the "feud". I just find all of the us vs them quite unnecessary to the community and to the blogs, sites, and message boards who bring romance readers, writers, and industry professionals together.

But really, the focus should remain on AAR and its community. I too volunteer my time for any feature the editors would like to revive.


Thank you for responding. The reason I asked is that I really wanted to clarify whether you felt this was coming from AAR's management. We've made a concerted effort to move beyond the us vs. them mentality. I can assure you that I personally feel it's a big, broad internet out there with room for all kinds of sites and all kinds of approaches and opinions. We don't all have to do things the same way. I don't feel that the existence of other sites threatens ours. Though I know there have been some bad feelings in the past, I feel like "feuding" is something we'd all like to move beyond.
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janet w



Joined: 11 May 2007
Posts: 363

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:18 pm    Post subject: Updating "If you like"--sign me up Reply with quote

Of everything AAR has ever done, other than the reviews themselves, this is my favourite section. I would be glad to help. Why don't you start with a contest or call to action -- ask people which ones they'd like to see updated first.

Like I'd probably vote for courtesans. Not sure what else but there's a lot of pent-up interest.

Edited for spelling
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 909

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for AAR Reply with quote

My suggestion for the future would be to include more reviews of digital books, maybe something similar to the audible blog that Lea does. From the RWA convention blog it sounds like there will be a lot more digital books coming out in the future. I like following AAR on Twitter and enjoy the blogs as well as After Hours where I can see What We're Reading. I appreciate the quantity and quality of AAR reviews. I like the variety of the genres of books reviewed.

One question about reviewing digital books: Do authors get so many free codes they can pass out for reviewers when they publish digitally? I know Apple does this with their apps store.

Lastly, I like the extra forums, like the Chat forum even though it may not get as many views as the other boards, because of the sense of community with other romance readers. Thanks.
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Dreaming of You



Joined: 20 Jun 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overall I really like this site. I find the review section to be especially helpful. As others have said I'd love to see the special title listings and if you like sections updated more frequently.
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Vol Fan



Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 308
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Dreaming of You stated, I LOVE the reviews section. I also love how I can go back and search for an older review and see the results.

But my particular favorite is when you review (or blog about) an older book. I have found so very many oldies, but goodies that I seem to have missed over the years. Maybe if there could be a special review spot for oldies? That would make my day! LOL Perfect example is how I read here about Danelle Harmon's The Beloved One. I missed it on the first issue, saw the discussion here, bought it and then went back to the older reviews to read about the series.

I also think (as a romance reader from early days) that it would be fun to have a special spot to discuss and/or review old bodice rippers. We always need to fondly recall what started this trend IMO. Or maybe even have one spot for both oldies and bodice rippers of old. It is easy to find info on a newly published book, but what a treat it is to find an old hidden gem that was misssed.

I love this place and enjoy all the threads. To expand it to include the above would be great fun IMO.
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Minerva



Joined: 05 Jul 2007
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been a long time fan of AAR. This is still my favorite go to site for romance reviews and recommendations.

I love the reviews. The variety of books that are reviewed and the quality of the reviews are wonderful. In the last month, I've picked up 2 books that were no where on my radar, thanks to your reviews.

I think the message boards are the strongest part of AAR. The community to readers and posters are amazing. I've picked up many new books and authors based on recommendations from the boards. I usually only check the Let's Talk and Potpourri forums.

I agree with everyone else - please update the Special Title Listings! This is just a suggestion - have you ever considered using a Wiki? It would basically be like Wikipedia. Users could update each list and leave comments. You would need a moderator to make sure that everything is appropriate. I'm not sure how much this would cost or what the logistics would be. This is just a "pie in the sky" suggestion.
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Jessi



Joined: 20 Jul 2009
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I <3 AAR - it has the most reviews and the best search mechanism for it's reviews. That being said, if I had a magic wand.....

1) improve the search mechanism!
----allow me to choose Book Type and then let me choose more than one grade. As far as I can tell, if I choose book type (e.g. Paranormal Romance) I then have to choose either "A+" or "A" or "A-". I'd like to choose all three and maybe even throw "B+" in there for good measure.
-----on the same note, let me choose a range of publication dates. E.g. - I'd love to search all books published after 2001. Not just in 2001.
----let me choose more than one sensuality rating (e.g. "warm" and "hot")
----combine and/or delete some of the book types. Do you know there is a category for just "Romance?" and "Historical Romance." This would not be a problem if Historical Romance actually included all the historical sub-genres, but alas it does not. if I search by "Stuart Era Romance" I might miss a great book from that era that somebody labeled as Historical instead. The same is true for the reverse search situation. Just look at all the different ways J.R. Ward's books have been categorized....and they are all mutually exclusive searches!!!
-----another way to solve the above problem is to let me choose more than one book type. I want to choose both "paranormal romance" and "urban fantasy romance" I still think there are too many categories though.
-----the above suggestions are all about "or" type searches. I would love to be able to do an "and" search. e.g. "Young Adult" AND "paranormal romance"
-----I would like to do a search where e.g. non-romances and young adult books do not show up in my results.

2) More updates to Special Title listings (last updated 4/2010!!!)
3) link the special title listings to the AAR review if there was one.
4) if there was an AAR review, list the grade beside the special title listing
5) Update the polls page so I can find the most recent top 100 poll!

I like how dear author did a top 100 poll just among its own reviewers. Would love to see AAR's version!
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bookmark



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love it if there were lists for different types of romances that some readers may be interested in. Is this kind of like special title listing others have mentioned? I know recently when I googled for interracial romance with African American females or Asian heroines, it was hard to find anywhere until goodreads and Amazon. I would have loved or expected to find it here first.

Also coming from someone who not here consistently so I may be wrong but it does feel like there's almost consensus when it comes to a lot of topics. I always like to see diversity of opinions and differing views. Most people don't like, hate, gripe, etc.. about the same things, do they? I know I'm kind of wacky or am often on different wavelengths than people around me, but still....Actually I take it back, I think it happens at most sites. In fact just a couple nights ago I was at some site where most readers (like 99.5%) were complaining about how they were sick of "tiny"descriptions for most heroines. Most preferred tall/bigger heroines. Of course it's an innocuous example I'm using there, but....
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Not Quite Nicole



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading and posting at AAR for at least a decade, and within the last year, I've been reading and posting here less and less for precisely the reasons given by KristieJ, Rosario, and Yulie in the 50 Shades parody thread.

If you really want to know how to make it better, listen to what people are saying instead of brushing it off.
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bookmark



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just realized that I didn't know stuff was going on around here when I posted above, but when I say about consensus opinion, I just meant in generality and not based on anything that's at issue at the site. Just didn't want to be misunderstood.
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Jean Wan AAR



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 405
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for AAR Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
My suggestion for the future would be to include more reviews of digital books, maybe something similar to the audible blog that Lea does. From the RWA convention blog it sounds like there will be a lot more digital books coming out in the future. I like following AAR on Twitter and enjoy the blogs as well as After Hours where I can see What We're Reading. I appreciate the quantity and quality of AAR reviews. I like the variety of the genres of books reviewed.

One question about reviewing digital books: Do authors get so many free codes they can pass out for reviewers when they publish digitally? I know Apple does this with their apps store.


Hi Kayne,

We do review digital books along with the regular publishers, usually the bigger publishers (e.g. Avon Impulse, Carina, Ellora's Cave). Is there a particular imprint or publisher you'd like to see?

Thanks,
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 909

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for AAR Reply with quote

Jean Wan AAR wrote:


Hi Kayne,

We do review digital books along with the regular publishers, usually the bigger publishers (e.g. Avon Impulse, Carina, Ellora's Cave). Is there a particular imprint or publisher you'd like to see?

Thanks,


I am simply a reader and don't know much about the publishing industry. I do see there are now books that come out only in digital format. I did not realize that AAR reviewed these. One example is Kristen Ashley's new book, Breathe which looks like its an Amazon Digital. Another example is Courtney Milan's Unlocked, another Amazon Digital. Also, I enjoy Lea's Audiobook reviews and wonder if they are archived anywhere here? Thanks.
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LeeB.



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1283
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for AAR Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
Also, I enjoy Lea's Audiobook reviews and wonder if they are archived anywhere here? Thanks.

Kayne: On the main page of AAR, if you click on "Today on the Blog," you will see a list of categories on the right hand side of the page under the current month calendar. If you click on "audio books," that will bring up all the articles and reviews on audio books.
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Lea AAR
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 416
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for AAR Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
Jean Wan AAR wrote:


Hi Kayne,

We do review digital books along with the regular publishers, usually the bigger publishers (e.g. Avon Impulse, Carina, Ellora's Cave). Is there a particular imprint or publisher you'd like to see?

Thanks,


I am simply a reader and don't know much about the publishing industry. I do see there are now books that come out only in digital format. I did not realize that AAR reviewed these. One example is Kristen Ashley's new book, Breathe which looks like its an Amazon Digital. Another example is Courtney Milan's Unlocked, another Amazon Digital. Also, I enjoy Lea's Audiobook reviews and wonder if they are archived anywhere here? Thanks.


The audio reviews at Speaking of Audiobooks aren't banked at AAR as are the print reviews. They're all in the Speaking of Audiobooks archives but there is no way to tell where the reviews are located in the 90 columns to date. With AAR's permission, I have placed each review on our Romance Audiobooks Goodreads group's bookshelf. You can locate by author or title there if you want.

The link to the Speaking of Audiobooks archives is http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?cat=174.

The link to the Goodreads bookshelf containing the reviews is located at http://www.goodreads.com/group/bookshelf/39149-romance-audiobooks?order=d&per_page=20&shelf=1-mini-review&sort=date_added&view=main.
I'm behind on copying all of our audio reviews over to GR but you'll find over 250 reviews at this time.
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Audiobooks Bookshelf at Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4403718
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