Do judge a bookshelf by the covers…

Just put in my special order for Coelho’s ‘Eleven Minutes’. Had time to spare so I browsed leisurely. Looked through the shelves, including the Borders’ recommended fiction and non-fiction volumes. Walking back to my table in Starbucks with my browsing copy of Toyota Way, the realization hit me. Recently, I see many paperback fiction covers are designed with the fonts, images and color schemes that are reminiscent of Coelho’s books (esp By the River Piedra I Sat and Wept, Like the Flowing River and the Zahir). And, many non-fiction books, especially business / management / marketing / communications ones, have covers of similar color schemes with Jim Collins’ Good to Great.

Is there some literary agent machination out there that did consumer interviews and found some sort of preferred color combination that just compel people to pick up a hitherto unknown book, associate it with the more successful books from Collins or Coelho or Picoult or Welch, and have a light bulb go off in their heads and straight away head to the cashier to ring the purchase?

What wonders, one wonders.

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