Saturday, June 29, 2013

When All You Hear is the Boo

by Kelly Miller    

Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, has said, “A boo is louder than a cheer. 
If you have ten people cheering and one person booing, all you hear is the booing.” A year ago, I was the type of person who obsessed over that one boo. But I’ve done a lot of work on my attitude, and now the boos are barely whispers. 

There’s a concept I learned during a book study on The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard—one that I’ve been working on adopting into my own life. I say working on because it’s a difficult concept to put into action. It’s the inability to be offended. 

Think about it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be so sure of yourself, so confidant in who you are that what others think of you doesn’t impact the view you hold of yourself? I’m not talking about narcissism, just a strong sense of self-esteem taken to the next level. The key is not to be influenced by the good or bad. That way the ego won’t swell when presented with a compliment nor will it be bruised by the negatives.

Authors should try putting this new concept into practice the next time they read a review of their latest novel. Instead of agonizing over the thought of reading the latest Amazon comment, give yourself a pep talk. Remember you can’t be offended. This way the praise won’t cause swelling of the head, and on the flipside, a negative comment won’t ruin your whole day. 

What kind of person are you? Do you focus on the cheers or the boos?

Download a FREE copy of Kelly Miller’s debut novel, Dead Like Me, on the Kindle on June 29 and 30 ( Kelly lives in Tampa, Florida where her novel is set. She’s a SAHM of three children and also takes care of a black Labrador and a husband. Kelly is a member of the Florida Writer’s Association. Her debut novel, Dead Like Me, won second place in the Best Mystery category of the 2011 FWA Royal Palm Literary Awards Competition.



  1. Good attitude, Kelly. I agree, you can't let the bad reviews get to you. Just remember, without them the good reviews won't look nearly as good or authentic.

  2. Great post, Kelly. And timely, as I've been irate about a one-star review lately, and how Amazon unfairly highlights it at the top, against 30 5-star reviews! Chill, Jodie, chill.

  3. Thanks everyone. It's definitely a difficult concept to master but one that will bring more peace.

  4. Certainly a timely post for me. With my debut novel coming out to terrific reviews, I'm steeling myself for that first one-star. It's bound to happen. Not everyone likes every book. I guess one of the few good things about getting older is that my perspective has widened. Of course that's easy to say BEFORE the first one-star. We'll see. I'll try to remember your advice when it happens.

  5. Thick skin has worked well for me, because I keep moving forward regardless. I do read some three-star reviews because they often offer useful criticism. But why waste time on a mean idiot who posts a one-star review? :)

  6. I noticed that my novel, "Dead Like Me," received a two-star review of my book on Goodreads, the lowest I've ever gotten anywhere. Then I happened to be speaking at a book club a few weeks later and that reviewer was in attendance. I recognized the name and picture. It was interesting that she didn't like the book but still came to the meeting. She didn't talk at all. Maybe she came to see if others agreed with her. They didn't, they all loved it. I didn't acknowledge the fact that I knew. But it's okay, my book's not for everyone. If you're interested in checking it out for yourself you can download for free on the Kindle today and tomorrow.

  7. I just uploaded your novel to my Kindle and shared it on Facebook and Twitter, Kelly! Can't wait to read it! :)

  8. Think of something you love and can't imagine anyone not loving. For me, one of those things would be puppies. I can't see one darned thing even slightly negative about a puppy. And yet some people don't like them.

    And some people won't like my books.

    It is what it is.

  9. Very true, Peg. It is what it is. If everyone could accept that philosophy in relation to their writing, they'd be much happier people.

  10. I can see the negative in a puppy - they chew up the furniture - but they are still utterly adorable and I'd love to have one.

    Along the same vein, a book can be flawed and still be a great book. I recently reviewed a book full of flaws (the topic of my next post) and rated it 4 stars for various reasons. In my opinion, few books that are well-written and have been professionally edited deserve a rating as low as 1 star, even if the content isn't a readers personal cup of tea. I've learned not to care or take it personally when those crazy reviews happen to me.


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