Laurie Likes Books founded AARList in January 1997 as the Prodigy Romance Listserv; a place for romance fans to talk openly about the genre, with the same back-fence intentions as she had when she created All About Romance. After the demise of Prodigy, she moved the list to ONElist and renamed it AARList. ONElist gave way to E-groups, and then to YahooGroups. Anne Marble becamse moderator of AARList in the fall of 1999. Along with Laurie and Robin, she co-authors At the Back Fence. Anne has this to say about her leadership of AARList:
Since becoming the moderator, I’ve had lots of fun thinking of new discussion topics for the list. I stay up into the wee hours thinking of questions that are both fun and thought-provoking. (For example, pet peeves in romances was a lively topic.) I also promise not to mention my unpublished novels too often.
But I’m not the only one who brings up topics. Anybody on the list can suggest a topic, ask a question, or make a remark about a book or an author. If you’re new to the list, don’t worry about what the latest topic is. One of the great things about this list is that even “newbies” are encouraged to pipe in.
Our mission for the list, as with everything associated with All About Romance, is to create an open and honest forum where we can create a sense of community for ourselves. We won’t always agree on what books are good or bad, or authors for that matter, but we can have fun talking about them, right?
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The list grew very quickly; within a year of its inception, there were 300 members. Since expanding the list to include a digest version at the start of 1998, the list grew again. After moving to Onelist, the list went through another growth spurt – we now have more than 800 members. This is one of the most vibrant and active lists of its type. Everyone feels free to talk about books, authors, and the genre in a very mature fashion. For a sampling of what goes on on the list, please read this early exchange on Wall-bangers.
Discussions on AARlist may be used in future articles at AAR. Because this list is by nature interactive, it provides us with material to be used in the future. As such, please realize that any post made on AARlist may be used in a future column or article. In columns, we quote using only first names and no email addresses, so that privacy issues should not be a concern. By contrast, postings made to canwetalk will not be used without permission so that discussions may be kept as open as possible.
The list is available in either an individual postings format or a digest format. It is recommended but not required that if your Internet Service Provider or Online Service has size restrictions on the amount of email that will fit into your in-box, that you subscribe to the digest format.
Because AARList is open to anyone wishing to join, spam is of major concern to our list’s members. Anyone who joins the list specifically for commercial purposes will be removed from the list and banned from rejoining. We encourage our author members to wear your reader hats as much as possible on AARList and to try and limit promotional posts. We encourage members of AARList who are involved with romance novel web sites to remember that AAR is your host here; please use your discretion when promoting your web sites. Also, because AARList is associated with AAR, the list has somewhat of an “AAR sensibility;” if you don’t care for AAR, you probably won’t enjoy this list.
No spam. Really…no spam.
This is primarily a reader’s list. Authors who are members should primarily wear their reader’s hats. This doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about your own books. But it does mean that you are encouraged to jump into discussions about other books, too.
Social and technical posts are better served privately or on other lists/message boards.
If you are going to do a promotional post, please include PROMO or WEBPR in the subject line.
If you’re having technical trouble with the list, e-mail the list moderator before posting a message to the list for help.
Ask yourself if what you’re sending is of interest and importance to the majority. If not, send it privately.
Please do not send messages such as Congratulations, Thank You, and I Agree. These and other similar messages should be sent privately. One or two line messages are discouraged – not to mention annoying to others on the list! When in doubt, reply privately.
Remember that this list is associated with a web site – All About Romance. Posts on our lists that poach our readers for your website are not appropriate. We liken it to going to someone’s house for a dinner party and inviting the other guests to leave the party for your house. The exception to this is our Writer’s News Forum, where authors and writing organizations are encouraged to post promotionally, which can include links to your writing blog or writing chapter.
No poaching, please. In other words, don’t use AARList to harvest email addresses for promotional purposes.
Third-party postings are not allowed; neither are virus warnings. If someone is not on the list and asks that you forward a message to the list, please say no. If you receive a virus warning, please refrain from sharing it with the list; most often these warnings are hoaxes and to follow instructions included with some of them may actually interfere with the running of your computer.
When you are sending a post, please accurately reflect it in your subject line. When responding to a post, please check the subject line. Is it still applicable? If not, rename it. For example, a discussion called “Cops in Romances” might lead to a discussion about your favorite J.D. Robb book. In that case, change the subject line to “J.D. Robb.”
Also, when replying to the digest version, please remember to change the subject line. The digest version is automatically named by the digest number. If we get a message from you with the subject line “Digest 740,” we have no way of knowing what it’s about. People who would be interested in your message might never get around to reading it.
Cut and paste. Cut and paste. Cut and paste. (Note: In some programs, this is the same as highlight and delete.) Eliminate the footer when replying.
Before sending an off-topic message to the list, ask yourself if it’s really necessary to send the message to the list. If you must post an off-topic message, clearly indicate this by typing OT before the subject line. Protracted off-topic discussions (such as discussions about the sexiest actor or best romantic comedy) are to be avoided.
t’s OK to disagree with someone on the list. Just remember to do so civilly. Please, no personal attacks! And, if someone says somethingnegative about one of your favorite authors, take a deep breath, and relax before responding. While active and lively debate is encouraged on AARList, nasty, hostile attackes do nothing but make everyone uncomfortable, from the person being flamed to the rest of the list who has to “listen” to an argument which embarrasses us all. Please use your good judgment, common sense, and common sense of decency before making a post that may be considered flaming or before believing you have been flamed. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt, but if you are certain you have been flamed, please take it up with the listowner off the list.
Here are the basic list commands for you to use. (There is no need to fill out the subject lines or write any messages; just sending an email to the appropriate address from the address you would like to be subbed to/are already subbed to, takes care of everything.)
To go No Mail (see above to “switch” back and receive mail again)
To send messages to the list
To send messages to listowner
You may also send messages to the listowner here
Unsubscribe from the list
Read about Anne Marble, AARlist Moderator Read an article about this list by member Beverly Kuhn
I’m 35, and I’ve been reading romances since high school. Like every reader, I have certain preferences, but I’ve read all types of romances. I also have a growing collection of older Gothic romances, some of which are collectible. My other reading interests include fantasy and science fiction, and whatever strikes my fancy at the time.
I’ve been writing ever since sixth grade. I’ve finished a couple of novels, including a fantasy novel about a female werewolf who solved a mystery. Right now, I’m working on a romantic suspense novel set in Ellicott City, Maryland. I hope that writing reviews will help me become a better novelist. Maybe even a published one. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. This year, I published my first paid article – an author profile in Gothic Journal magazine. (Insert triumphant fanfare.)
If you’d like to see my member page at amazon.com where I’m currently a Top 1000 reviewer, please click here. (This is a “jump” link that will open a new window in your browser.)
Anne Marble, AARList moderator, At the Back Fence contributor (and one-time AAR Reviewer)