13th Annual Reader Poll Results
The results in our 13th Annual Reader Poll are in!
First and foremost, we would like to thank all the AAR readers who participated in this year’s poll. We know filling out the ballot can be time consuming and response this year was great. We also appreciate the feedback we received on the new streamlined ballot and will certainly consider your suggestions for next years poll.
Seven different authors received multiple wins and Honorable Mentions this year. The authors are a mix of long-time AAR reader favorites, as well authors enjoying a first time win at AAR. A stand-alone win with no Honorable Mention is awarded when no other entry wins at least 80 % of the votes in the category.
Without a doubt, 2008 was the year of the historical romance for AAR readers. Historical romances won in virtually every category in which they were eligible. In most cases where there was a stand-alone win by an historical romance, the second, third, and often fourth place finishers were also historicals.
This year’s break out winner was The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne. It was the overwhelming winner for Best Romance, earning a stand-alone win. In addition to Best romance, Ms. Bourne won Best Historical Romance Set in the U.K., Best Heroine, and Best Couple, also recieving an Honorable Mention for Best Hero. Ms. Bourne’s My Lord and Spymaster also received votes in a number of categories, so she is definitely an author enjoying a meteoric rise.
Lisa Kleypas, last years winner for Best Chick Lit/Womens Fiction, had three wins this year. Her non-historical novel Blue-Eyed Devil won for Best Contemporary Romance, Biggest Tearjerker, and Best Hero.
Long-time favorite Loretta Chase won for Best Historical Romance Set Outside the U.K.and Best Love Scenes (in a tie) for Your Scandalous Ways.
Elizabeth Hoyts To Seduce a Sinner won for Best Love Scenes (in a tie). This is the third year in a row that Ms. Hoyt has won in this category (previously titled Most Luscious Love Story). Ms. Hoyts To Taste Temptation received an Honorable Mention in the same category.
New to the AAR Reader Poll is Sherry Thomas, who won for Best New Author. She also received an Honorable Mention for Best Historical Set in the UK for her book Private Arrangements.
Also new to the winners circle is Kristan Higgins, whose Just One of the Guys won for Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction, and received an Honorable Mention for Funniest Romance.
J.R. Ward’s Lover Enshrined is the winner of Best Paranormal Romance for 2008, but alas, Ms. Ward was also the top vote-getter for Author You Gave Up On and Worst Book of the year. Lover Enshrined also won for Guiltiest Pleasure Romance, a title she won for the second straight year.
Looking at the ballots reinforces just how diverse the reading interests of AAR readers are. Every one of the top books in the Best Romance category also had at least a few votes for Worst and vice versa.
It’s also interesting to look at the patterns of voting across categories. Most readers (95%) voted in the Best Romance category and over 80% voted in the Best Romance Set in the U.K., Best Hero, Best Couple, and Best Heroine categories. Participation in some of the other categories was lower, with only about 40% of readers naming a Best Romance Short Story, a Best Series Romance, and a Best Chick Lit/Womens Fiction.
While many AAR readers read romances in electronic format, it would appear that most of us read books electronically that are also available in print. Less than 10% of all ballots received included a vote for Best E-Book, so were unable to report any results for the category. We hesitate to retire it in the future, however, as more people seem to be buying e-devices every day.
This year, voting was open for the Annual Poll for five weeks. Based on our experience and learning, we intend to shorten the voting period next year. Because we know many of you like to do some last minute reading in preparation for the poll, well be doing a heads-up about the poll in early December, including the categories that will be included. Well do at least one additional reminder a few weeks before voting begins.
Without further ado, and with big congratulations to the winners, you can see the results below and a complete listing of the winners here.