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I wish AAR would. . .
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Lizzie



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 53
Location: Northeast Georgia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could it be we are all too busy posting endless drivel on Facebook? I finally broke away from the many hours I spent on Facebook and have come back to the "real" world. I' ve got extra time to read more books now and that is a good thing.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1272

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Tee: I have the reverse problem from one you mentioned in that I read more historical romance than other genres, which means I think you make a good point about the variety of genres read and the number of conversations one can participate in.

@PopTart: I too appreciated your thoughtful post. The idea that many topics have been covered over time and a number of times particularly struck me.

@Chris booklover: I had a similar thought to yours including other discussion boards I used to enjoy that no longer even exist.

@Kayne: I think I see a difference between how people tend to post on the "Recently Read" thread on Let's Talk Romance where short critiques or synopses seem to be the case, compared to the "What's Everyone Reading" on Potpourri which is maybe a little more conversational. What do you think of that perspective and would it fit what you were suggesting? Maybe the Potpourri thread could be called something like Chat About Recently Read Books to emphasize a slight difference? Just a thought.
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Lea AAR
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Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 417
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliza wrote:
@Tee: I have the reverse problem from one you mentioned in that I read more historical romance than other genres, which means I think you make a good point about the variety of genres read and the number of conversations one can participate in.

@PopTart: I too appreciated your thoughtful post. The idea that many topics have been covered over time and a number of times particularly struck me.

@Chris booklover: I had a similar thought to yours including other discussion boards I used to enjoy that no longer even exist.

@Kayne: I think I see a difference between how people tend to post on the "Recently Read" thread on Let's Talk Romance where short critiques or synopses seem to be the case, compared to the "What's Everyone Reading" on Potpourri which is maybe a little more conversational. What do you think of that perspective and would it fit what you were suggesting? Maybe the Potpourri thread could be called something like Chat About Recently Read Books to emphasize a slight difference? Just a thought.


"Maybe the Potpourri thread could be called something like Chat About Recently Read Books to emphasize a slight difference? Just a thought."

I like what you are attempting to do. However, chatting about specific books belongs on the Let's Talk Forum. I see such a thread possibly garnering 20 posts about one book and those who expect (rightly) to find individual book discussions on the Let's Talk Forum could miss out.

I realize there's a fine line between Recently Read on Let's Talk and What's Everyone Reading on Potpourri. Those are not required threads - they run at our readers' choice. One is more review oriented while the other is more of a possibilities thread. As you all hunt for ways to increase discussion, let's try to protect individual threads on specific books as much as possible. One suggestion (and only a partial solution to what you propose) - why not work together to start more of those specific book threads?
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Lizzie



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 53
Location: Northeast Georgia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I should have added the line "now I will have more time to post on these threads." After all, we have to keep the threads going. The folks at AAR can't do it alone.

They are certainly open to all suggestions to make things more interesting for we readers.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1272

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lea AAR wrote:
...chatting about specific books belongs on the Let's Talk Forum. I see such a thread possibly garnering 20 posts about one book and those who expect (rightly) to find individual book discussions on the Let's Talk Forum could miss out...

Funny but while I was writing I'd actually thought about times you have had to separate out individual posts into a separate thread in the past (a Mary Balogh book comes to mind) and then I guess I lost that specific thought being more focused on the idea of a way to start more posts. Sorry.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lea AAR wrote:
I like what you are attempting to do. However, chatting about specific books belongs on the Let's Talk Forum. I see such a thread possibly garnering 20 posts about one book and those who expect (rightly) to find individual book discussions on the Let's Talk Forum could miss out.

So, if you're thinking or considering renaming some of the threads, the present Let's Talk Romance Novels Forum title doesn't really indicate to keep each thread to one specific book. Maybe we could call it instead, Discussions about Books by Titles. That would narrow it down.

Lea AAR wrote:
Maybe the Potpourri thread could be called something like Chat About Recently Read Books to emphasize a slight difference? Just a thought."

Or maybe something like Discussions about Books in General and Related Topics. That would certainly generalize the discussions on the Forum regarding books.

I hadn't thought about renaming the Forums, Lea, but that's a good idea seeing how they have evolved in conversations. As an added note, since we're on the subject, Wild Wild West is rarely used anymore and any new threads there could easily be absorbed in the General Chat Forum since there have really been no heated topics being discussed in ages. That would leave three main forums and two blog sites for people to visit each time. I think from past posts, it's been found that most only visit the first two, then maybe the blogs, but rarely the others. I may be wrong about that, but that's what I seem to recall from past conversations.


Last edited by Tee on Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lea AAR
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Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 417
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
Lea AAR wrote:
I like what you are attempting to do. However, chatting about specific books belongs on the Let's Talk Forum. I see such a thread possibly garnering 20 posts about one book and those who expect (rightly) to find individual book discussions on the Let's Talk Forum could miss out.

So, if you're thinking or considering renaming some of the threads, the present Let's Talk Romance Novels Forum title doesn't really indicate to keep each thread to one specific book. Maybe we could call it instead, Discussions about Books by Titles. That would narrow it down.

Lea AAR wrote:
Maybe the Potpourri thread could be called something like Chat About Recently Read Books to emphasize a slight difference? Just a thought."

Or maybe something like Discussions about Books in General and Related Topics. That would certainly generalize the discussions on the Forum regarding books.

I hadn't thought about renaming the Forums, Lea, but that's a good idea seeing how they have evolved in conversations. As an added note, since we're on the subject, Wild Wild West is rarely used anymore and any new threads there could easily be absorbed in the General Chat Forum since there have been no heated topics really being discussed in ages.


Sorry Tee - I wasn't considering renaming the Forums - they will remain the same. I was attempting to keep the discussions within each true to the forum's purpose.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lea AAR wrote:
Sorry Tee - I wasn't considering renaming the Forums - they will remain the same. I was attempting to keep the discussions within each true to the forum's purpose.

Oops--sorry about that Lea. I totally misread your post. Feel free to delete it from the thread, please, since it's not relevant to the intent in your message nor to the present discussion.


Last edited by Tee on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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CG



Joined: 27 Jan 2012
Posts: 67
Location: Central Texas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LynnS/AAR wrote:
Jillian wrote:
I wish AAR was interesting, or at least relevant, again. I do not suppose we can go back to the last decade, but I sure miss the days when the discussions were discussions and everyone had an opinion and no one minced words. AAR has been soooooooo boring lately that I only check in every few days. Where have all the interesting discussions gone ?


As a few other commenters have noted, if readers want interesting discussions, the reading community plays a part in that. We never intended AAR to be a one-sided conversation by the staff. That's why there have been message boards and blogs here as well as reviews. If there's something that anyone wants to have an interesting discussion about, then by all means, start a new topic on the message board or comment on the blog. I'd love to see people talking about books, romance and Romlandia,too!


Here’s the thing, I’ve found the discussions on other sites to be much more relevant to my interests and values. The “reading community” here feels older, stodgier and much more set in its ways and I think this has a lot to do with the books you choose to review. For example, while there has been some lip service paid to seeking out Multicultural romances, there is no search option in Power Search for Multicultural or African American romances. Why is this? In the same vein, the last time a M/M romance was reviewed was in 2010 and there has never been a review of F/F as far as I can tell. Just going by the Power Search function, it’s as if only straight white people read romance and that makes for a very limited “reading community”.

So yeah, if you want to have vibrant discussions you need to attract readers from different backgrounds with different values and interests. Right now I would give you a D+ in this area. Maybe I’m wrong and these books are being reviewed by AAR, but if they are I sure can’t find them.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CG wrote:
[
? In the same vein, the last time a M/M romance was reviewed was in 2010


I would like to see more M/M romances reviewed as well, it would be very helpful.

Linda
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1272

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do of course read threads on specific book titles but I tend to gravitate to Potpourri because of more general discussions. An example of a thread I thought many of us enjoyed was on Tee and dick's reading of the In Death series. I liked the progress reports, the personal thoughts, and how all that drew others in about which books they favored or not.

Although that was unique because of the length of the series, how about more posts on a single author and which books people liked or not? The Kiss Me, Annabel post on Let's Talk had a flavor of this for Eloisa James. I also recall discussions about who did and didn't like Chase's Lord of Scoundrels. What about exploring various authors' works, one author at a time, maybe even ranking a single author's books or why a book was a favorite or not--again similar to the In Death thread? Just another thought.
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LynnS/AAR



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CG wrote:
LynnS/AAR wrote:
Jillian wrote:
I wish AAR was interesting, or at least relevant, again. I do not suppose we can go back to the last decade, but I sure miss the days when the discussions were discussions and everyone had an opinion and no one minced words. AAR has been soooooooo boring lately that I only check in every few days. Where have all the interesting discussions gone ?


As a few other commenters have noted, if readers want interesting discussions, the reading community plays a part in that. We never intended AAR to be a one-sided conversation by the staff. That's why there have been message boards and blogs here as well as reviews. If there's something that anyone wants to have an interesting discussion about, then by all means, start a new topic on the message board or comment on the blog. I'd love to see people talking about books, romance and Romlandia,too!


Here’s the thing, I’ve found the discussions on other sites to be much more relevant to my interests and values. The “reading community” here feels older, stodgier and much more set in its ways and I think this has a lot to do with the books you choose to review. For example, while there has been some lip service paid to seeking out Multicultural romances, there is no search option in Power Search for Multicultural or African American romances. Why is this? In the same vein, the last time a M/M romance was reviewed was in 2010 and there has never been a review of F/F as far as I can tell. Just going by the Power Search function, it’s as if only straight white people read romance and that makes for a very limited “reading community”.

So yeah, if you want to have vibrant discussions you need to attract readers from different backgrounds with different values and interests. Right now I would give you a D+ in this area. Maybe I’m wrong and these books are being reviewed by AAR, but if they are I sure can’t find them.


With regard to multicultural romances, sometimes if a reviewer finds a book she loves, she'll post it so others know about it, but otherwise we tend to review what we get from authors and publishers. We don't regularly get books from imprints like Kimani or Dafina, but when we do, we review them. In addition, please keep in mind that in recent years, not every book with a lead or leads who are nonwhite is classified as such in the subject header. For instance, the leads in Monsoon Wedding Fever were both from India, but the book is classified as series romance, and I know there are others in there like that.

With M/M, we honestly don't have as many readers of M/M romance on staff currently (though we certainly wouldn't mind adding a reviewer!), and our primary M/M reader left a couple years back due to job demands with State Police. I know we have some reviews in the works, though, so keep an eye out for those online soon.

As to the old and stodgy, I don't know everyone on the boards well, but I get the impression it's a varied crowd. Frankly,if you don't like what they're talking about, please do start a new topic thread - you'd be surprised how many people will jump in. I know I always like finding out about new books and with self-pub and indie presses exploding, there's a lot of new material out there!

And if you chat up any of us here or on the blog(some of us like to play on Twitter and Facebook as well), you'll find that we cover a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and worldviews. The current staff age range is from early 20s to (I think) 50s or possibly early 60s, and the political/worldview range is all over the board.
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Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't have any complaints. I remember all too well what book searching was like in the days before the internet when you had no one to really connect with or get feedback from. I think most people get what they put into something like this, so suggesting that infrequent posters participate and post more seems fair. I actually think AAR has a pretty diverse crowd compared to other boards and social sites I've visited. AAR at least still attracts some general readers like myself.

I do like the idea of making the power search more robust by adding more classifications. I also realize how difficult it would be to go back and try to add those classifications to books that were reviewed years ago. But it could still be useful for books going forward.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2512

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, hey, I guess I count as one those "old and stodgier." I suppose seven decades qualifies for the first, but I reject the second. I can still read with some discernment; the brain still ticks relatively well; I can still relate emotionally with perhaps a bit more reason associated with it; I can still get a bit irritated by nonsense.
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CG



Joined: 27 Jan 2012
Posts: 67
Location: Central Texas

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
With regard to multicultural romances, sometimes if a reviewer finds a book she loves, she'll post it so others know about it, but otherwise we tend to review what we get from authors and publishers. We don't regularly get books from imprints like Kimani or Dafina, but when we do, we review them. In addition, please keep in mind that in recent years, not every book with a lead or leads who are nonwhite is classified as such in the subject header. For instance, the leads in Monsoon Wedding Fever were both from India, but the book is classified as series romance, and I know there are others in there like that.


Two things struck me here. First, there seems to be a discoverability issue. My suggestion would be to create tags that can be searched in Power Search. For example, you could tag Monsoon Wedding Fever with multicultural, India, contemporary, reunited lovers. That way these reviews can be found. Second, if you actually want more multicultural books for review ask for them. Send out a letter to those authors and publishers that feature diverse characters letting them know you’re interested. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to hear from AAR.

Quote:
With M/M, we honestly don't have as many readers of M/M romance on staff currently (though we certainly wouldn't mind adding a reviewer!), and our primary M/M reader left a couple years back due to job demands with State Police. I know we have some reviews in the works, though, so keep an eye out for those online soon.


It’s good to hear some M/M reviews are forthcoming. How do you recruit reviewers? Has there been any outreach to reviewers who enjoy reading LGBT or non-traditional (straight white) romances? Maybe if you’re having a hard time finding someone permanent, as a stop gap you could have Guest Reviewers who contributes when there’s something that interests them but aren’t ‘on staff’, so to speak.

Quote:
As to the old and stodgy, I don't know everyone on the boards well, but I get the impression it's a varied crowd. Frankly, if you don't like what they're talking about, please do start a new topic thread - you'd be surprised how many people will jump in. I know I always like finding out about new books and with self-pub and indie presses exploding, there's a lot of new material out there!


Please note I stated the reading community feels older and stodgier, I didn’t state they actually were. And I believe you when you say “we cover a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and worldviews. The current staff age range is from early 20s to (I think) 50s or possibly early 60s, and the political/worldview range is all over the board”. Yet the fact remains you rarely review M/M, have never reviewed a F/F and there is no way to find your Multicultural reviews. And where did I say I didn’t like what you’re talking about? I believe I said I found the discussions on other sites to be more relevant to my interests and values. I’m trying to point out what I view as a lack here at AAR and offer suggestions on how to remedy that lack.
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