You’ve heard the saying often enough: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Yet we all make judgements based on outward appearances, don’t we? It is a difficult thing to avoid, especially for visual learners, astute observers, artists, and those who just seem to have been hardwired with aestheticism. For example, how do you not make a judgement when presented with something beautiful? Beauty must be appreciated before it becomes beautiful.

The idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover,” though, has more to do with what lies beneath the surface. It’s a warning against making assumptions. Something outwardly beautiful could be empty on the inside. Likewise, something ordinary could be filled with beauty. Be careful. Take time to dig deeper. Uncovering what is hidden can save you from trouble. It can also lead you to discover something wonderful.

We put this advice to work when we make choices about what to watch, what to read, who to date, who to do business with, and in many other areas of life. Have you ever gone down the rabbit hole of looking for free movies to watch on tubi? For having such a large selection of movies and shows, in my opinion there still is not much worth watching. Oh, there are plenty of B movies, if that’s your thing. I’ve been lured into those by reacting to an impressive cover (or poster—whatever they call the image) only to be very disappointed by the film itself. It’s the same with books. I see a beautiful cover, but then I start flipping through pages and am disappointed by the weak plot or the writing style.

In today’s “Hey! Look at Me!” culture, there are a lot of people who are trying to create or recreate their personal image. From social media “influencers” to those who are just trying to land a descent job, it gets hard to tell who is being real and who is presenting a fake persona. No wonder relationships are harder than ever. We’re all trying to present our best selves, even if we have to fabricate or exaggerate.

Thus the importance of digging deeper, friends. Don’t accept the shiny, sparkly, or tantalizing until you’ve done your due diligence. Likewise, don’t immediately discount what might seem plain, ordinary, or less-than. You might just uncover the gem you’ve been looking for.

Project Eden Update

In keeping with the theme of book covers, and as a very late Valentine’s Day gift for my loyal Edenite followers, I present you with this sneak peek: the cover of the printed version of Planet of Eden.

Click on the image to make it a larger.

I am finishing up the interior book design now, prior to uploading it for print. What a job that has been! I am truly an independent publisher, folks—from writing the content to designing the cover to laying out the book, I’m doing this all myself. (In case you are wondering, TALIA SEK is the name of my imprint.) Once the design is finished and uploaded, I will be able to give you an official publish date (Hint: it could be right after those April showers.).

Stay with me, Edenites! It’s almost here! And keep being an awesome version of you. No one else is as qualified to do the job.