It’s time for my depressing reminder that AAR needs your help to survive. Lately, things have been a bit grim.

By many measures, we’re doing OK. In 2021, our users were up 5% and those users had almost 1.5 million sessions. We’re still, via Amazon, selling thousands of books a year. We’re publishing new, smart content every day. Our reviewers are THE BEST. Our readers are engaging in robust conversation on the site.

And, like newspapers and blog sites (HEA USA, the Romance Reader, and others) everywhere, we are struggling.

AAR supports itself one of three ways.

We sell ads – this makes up about 20% of our revenue these days.

We make money as an Amazon affiliate. Amazon used to give us 9% of sales–five years ago that number dropped to 4% or less. So many of our readers have switched to KU–not only do we not get any money from KU memberships or books read via the service, we are no longer getting the dollars from other items our readers buy at Amazon because we can only earn affiliate dollars when someone puts something in their cart after linking from our site and buys it. Despite selling more books every year, our affiliate dollars are a third of what they were five years ago. Yesterday, at Amazon, we made $3.22, mostly on books our readers found via Steals and Deals.

Lastly, you, our beloved readers, are donating to AAR. Without your support, we would no longer be here. To all of you who have donated in the past few years and continue to do so, I can’t thank you enough. Everytime I see a donation, I feel a little more hopeful and so damn grateful. THANK YOU. 

We’ve been around a long time–since October of 1996–and I hope that continues. In the meantime, please consider starting here every time you purchase something at Amazon. Put a book in your cart and buy the other things you need. We’ll get a commission on it all but only if you start at AAR and put something you’re going to purchase in your cart. Consider signing up for a monthly donation. If all our readers donated $10 a month, we’d be golden. (Here’s the link: Donate to AAR.)

I’m thinking hard about the future of AAR and, as usual, I’d love your input. What do you think we could do that would improve our financial outlook? What’s worth keeping? Are we meeting your needs?

Much love,

Dabney

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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.