First came The Archives of Laurie Likes Books, which went online in October 1996 to house my original material from The Romance Reader. After leaving TRR in August of 1997, it was time to re-group and figure out what to do with the archives. I mulled it over and hatched a plan to expand the focus and transformed the archives into a new site, All About Romance. AAR was launched in January 1998 with all its existing material plus a new section for reviews.
Over the years we’ve created additional features, honed existing ones, and worked hard to give you, the reader, everything you could want in a an online romance novel destination. We remain committed to providing the best, most informative and entertaining content all the while maintaining a back-fence atmosphere that fosters interactivity. During the past decade we’ve seen sites come and go, authors wax and wane in popularity, and watched tremendous changes on the Internet. One thing we’ve strived to keep constant at AAR is our focus, our mission, and our commitment to be the best site online for lovers of romance novels, created by romance readers for romance readers.
And, oh, how our site has grown. In the year 2000, 62,000 of you visited us each month. By the end of 2002, our unique visitors exceeded 100,000 a month. That number continues to rise; we experienced more than 250,000 unique visitors a month, and we end this year with roughly 310,000 of you visiting each month. As for page views, which today is the most accurate assessment of a website’s popularity, we’ve gone from 9.9 million in 2003 to not quite 12 million in 2004, to greater than 17 million this year.
Thank you all for your support!
Tenth Anniversary Sweepstakes (updated January 10th)
After author Loretta Chase, whose Lord of Scoundrels ranked first in our last three Top 100 Romances polls, offered to donate a signed copy of the book’s reissue, along with a BookMate bookcover, we built upon her generosity and created a sweepstakes prize package comprised of: the remainder of books in the top ten of our most recent Top 100 Romances Poll, a 2008 AAR Castle Collection Calendar, and an AAR “Secret Language of Romance” totebag, both as pictured to your right. Hundreds of you submitted an entry, and on January 10th, Claudia Roeder was randomly picked as winner. Her calendar and totebag are on their way to me from Cafe Press, and so are your books – from Amazon. As soon as they arrive, I will forward everything along to her.
But wait…that’s not all!
Throughout most of AAR’s history, we conducted an annual Purple Prose Parody Contest. We cancelled this contest in 2006 because we wanted it to go out “on top”. But we promised we’d find some way to bring it back periodically, so we’ve gone to authors and asked that they create epilogue parodies for your enjoyment. This isn’t a contest, but I promise it’s as much fun as those contests were.
We are presenting these epilogue parodies in two parts. Part I is online and features parodies from four authors – Part II will go online mid-March.
Okay, so I was off by a few weeks…Part II just went online April 2nd.
And wait…there’s more!
What kind of an anniversary would it be without testimonials? in preparation for our tenth anniversary celebration, we asked a number of well-known authors for their comments on AAR. Many have “worked” with us before – via interviews, contests, AAR Aid, etc. – or take part in our forums or are Facebook or MySpace “friends.” We also compiled testimonials from many of you who posted them to a special forum.