It hardly seems possible, but in just over a month the AAR Annual Reader Poll for romances published in 2012 will be here. Yes, once again, we’ll be polling for your favorite romances published during the past year. The poll will start on Monday, January 7, 2013, and run for two weeks until midnight U.S. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, January 20, 2013.

If you’re new to AAR, or have never voted in one of the Annual Reader Polls, you may want to check out the results from last year, as well as our write-up of the results, including comments from some of the winning authors. We plan to retain all of the categories in last year’s poll, listed below:

* Best Romance

* Best Contemporary Romance

* Best Romantic Suspense

* Best Paranormal Romance

* Best Historical Romance Set in the U.K. (this includes England, Scotland, and Wales)

* Best Historical Romance Not Set in the U.K.

* Funniest Romance

* Biggest Tearjerker

* Best Love Scenes (in a Mainstream Romance)

* Best Category Romance (this means series category books published by Harlequin, Mills & Boon, Entangled, etc..)

* Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction

* Best Erotica/Romantica

* Best Romance Short Story

* Best Debut Author (an author who was first published in 2012. This will exclude writers who have been previously published and are now writing under pseudonyms. For more ideas, check out this blog post. Though by no means a comprehensive list of all 2012’s debut authors, it should be helpful.)

* Best Romance Hero

* Best Romance Heroine

* Most Tortured Hero

* Most Kickass Heroine

* Best Romance Couple

* Most Disappointing Romance

But in addition to the above categories, we’re going to try something new this year. For the past few years some of you have asked if we would consider adding a new category to the Annual Poll, and have offered suggestions such as Best Villain and Best Cabin/Road Romance (both found in pre-2009 polls) or entire new categories such as Best Non-Romance with Romantic Elements or Best Mystery with Romantic Elements. We initially thought about just adding one of these to the upcoming poll, but then decided to give readers the final say.

We’re going to select an additional category in two stages. First, if you have an idea for a category you’d like added to the upcoming poll, post your suggestion in the comments below. We’ll tally all of your comments after one week, and then run a poll the following week with the top contenders.

We look forward to reading your suggestions and to receiving your ballots when the poll begins in January. Until then, happy reading!

– LinnieGayl, Cindy and Lee B.