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.