If you’re a longtime visitor to AAR, you know what’s coming later this month. But if you’re new to AAR, let us give you a heads-up now, because on Monday morning, January 24th, the AAR Annual Reader Poll will begin.

The Annual Reader Poll has a long tradition at AAR, and is one of the highlights of the year here. It seems hard to believe, but this will be the 15th AAR Annual Reader Poll. The first was conducted back in 1997 for 1996 releases. This one will be for new releases from 2010.  Just like last year, the poll will be open for just two weeks, with voting closing at midnight on Sunday, February 6.

We’ve made two changes to the categories for this year’s poll. We weren’t able to announce results last year for either the Erotica category or the Worst Romance category because both of these categories received too few votes spread across too many titles. Based on reader feedback, we’ve changed the Erotica category to Best Romantica/Erotica. As Blythe posted here recently, we’ve changed the Worst Romance to Most Disappointing Romance. We hope that these changes will be successful.

We know many of you keep reading charts as that helps to keep track of such things as books read, personal grades, and special notes for categories.  If you haven’t kept a reading chart (and there are just as many readers who don’t), you can always use the Power Search function at AAR to search for reviews for the 2010 reading year.

Please don’t let the number of categories stop you from voting. While this year’s poll will include 21 different categories (see below), you only have to vote in six categories for your ballot to count. Based on our experiences the past few years, we can say that it’s a very rare reader indeed who votes in all of the categories. We receive many ballots with just six categories filled in, while the average reader votes in about ten categories.

We’re very excited about the Annual Poll, and look forward to reading all of your ballots. So, get reading!

Categories for Upcoming Annual Poll for 2010 Romance Novels:

Best Romance

Best Contemporary Romance

Best Romantic Suspense

Best Paranormal Romance

Best Historical Romance set in the U.K.

Best Historical Romance Not set in the U.K.

Funniest Romance

Biggest Tearjerker

Best Love Scenes (in a Mainstream Romance)

Best Debut Author

Best Series Romance

Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction

Best Romantica/Erotica

Best Romance Short Story

Guiltiest Pleasure Romance

Most Disappointing Romance

Best 2010 Characters in Romance Novels

Best Romance Hero

Best Romance Heroine

Tortured Hero

Kick-Ass Heroine

Best Romance Couple

So, remember to check back here on Monday, January 24th.  We can’t wait.


– Cindy, Lee, and LinnieGayl

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