Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Cover Awards 2015

Posted by Scott On December - 15 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125The 2015 Canadian Cover Awards will begin accepting nominations January 6th, 2015.  The deadline to enter the awards is January 26, 2015.

The Canadian Cover Awards/Grands prix canadiens – Meilleures couvertures, are the only awards of their kind in Canada, celebrating the importance of magazine covers in Canadian single copy sales.

There will be 8 different awards categories, plus the Newsstand Marketer of the Year award.  Click here for details:  eight award categories

Winners will be announced at an awards reception on February 24, 2015 at the Courtyard Downtown in Toronto.

About the Awards
The Canadian Cover Awards/Grands prix canadiens – Meilleures couvertures are produced by the Circulation Management Association of Canada and Magazines Canada, with the support of marketing sponsor Covers Sell; design sponsor K9Strategy + Design; promotional retail sponsor Gateway Newsstands; Small Magazine Prize Sponsor Presse Commerce and reception sponsor and Newsstand Marketer of the Year presenting sponsor, the Alliance for Audited Media

Read about what information you’ll need to submit before making an entry.  Then enter to win!



Winter Fun

Posted by Scott On December - 15 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The January 2015 issue of Toronto Life hit newsstands on December 11th, 2014.  The cover feature is “The Winter Hater’s Guide to Loving Winter” with a round up of insider tips on the best things to eat, drink, wear, see and do to get through (and maybe even love) the most hated season of all.

“Lola, our cover star, was photographed by Daniel Ehrenworth, and is showcasing one of the tips from the guide—where to get designer puppy parkas!”, says Yen Tran, Marketing Manager.

Toronto Life‘s job, in part, is to help readers love their city, which is a little harder to do in winter. So for the January issue package, we rounded up a bunch of surprising ideas for how to enjoy snow-covered Toronto. We mocked up many covers with different images: ice skating, hot chocolate, even a polar bear. But none of the images seemed urban enough. The package is full of pleasures that are unique to city living, like heated patios and high-end saunas. We wanted the cover to suggest all that. And what could be more urban than a dog in a designer jacket? Also, dogs are cute!” - Sarah Fulford, Editor-in-Chief.

I’m not normally a fan of using pets on covers, but this one is fun and makes sense given the quirky spin the cover feature takes on the benefits of winter.

Jan 2015


Wolf 2015

Posted by Scott On December - 12 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Canadian Geographic is on press and set to hit newsstands soon.  Here’s what Editor Aaron Kylie said on his blog about the cover: “When it comes to Canadian Geographic wildlife covers, it’s statistically proven that predators sell — particularly bears and wolves. (Indeed, our bestselling cover ever, December 2009, featured a wolf.) So when we decided a wolf would grace the cover of our January/February edition, our annual wildlife issue, we had no doubt we’d have great options to choose from, and hopefully another bestseller on our hands.” The Art Director is Javiar Frutos. Jan 2015 (Small)   And here is the best-selling cover ever for Canadian Geographic: Dec 2009

Holiday Special from CH&H

Posted by Scott On December - 9 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125Canadian House & Home continues with its fine tradition of producing high-quality Special Interest Publications.

This Holiday issue sells for$13.95.

The regular CH&H continues to out-sell Martha Stewart Living in Canada.


This cover is as mouth-watering and heart-warming as you can get!

Look for this one to sell!

Holiday 2014 (Small)

Brothers In Arms

Posted by Scott On December - 5 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Legion Magazine is set to hit newsstands December 29th, 2014.

The cover story  is written by 9-time National Magazine Award award-winning writer and novelist Don Gillmor.  It’s a heart-breaking stories of twins, who are both serving overseas in WW1.

Acclaimed writer Don Gillmor’s grandfather shipped out from Winnipeg in February 1918 and arrived in France a month later for his first taste of trench warfare. On Oct. 15, he was struck by two German bullets. His twin brother, in another trench just 50 kilometres away, was hit by a sniper’s shot on Nov. 11. As the Great War came to a close, one would perish, and one would survive. Read this family story of brothers-in-arms in the January/February 2015 issue of Legion Magazine.

Jason Duprau is the Art Director.












Steaming Hot Videos

Posted by Scott On December - 3 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125Magazines Canada has just announced a new marketing initiative using a “mini-movie” concept.

Click on the URL’s below to view the movies.

You will be glad that you did.

They are quite charming and refreshing, in stark contrast to Next Issues ads that ridicule newsstands.

Find out here:

Voyez leur histoire à :

In a Press Release they say:

The habits of today’s audiences are changing and magazine media is evolving to meet those needs on all platforms. The project grew from conversations with our members and industry partners who asked, “How do we bring back an element of surprise and engagement to the magazine buying experience—and showcase our excellent home-grown content?”

Magazines Canada partnered with K9 Strategy+Design and a team of Ontario filmmakers to develop a mini-movie concept: What you read tells the story of who you are. (After all, there is a Canadian magazine for just about every interest!) Can one minute at a magazine stand tell you enough about someone that you can skip the first date? Can telling a magazine story by video create a bigger buzz in the marketplace? We thought it was time to test the market.

The English and French mini movie will launch in December, reaching audiences on their preferred platforms, including:

  • Websites:, featuring the mini movie, a store locator that identifies retail outlets selling quality Canadian magazines, and links to buy print and digital Canadian magazine subscriptions
  • Banner ads: displayed on member, partner and industry stakeholder sites
  • YouTube and Vimeo
  • Print ads: thematically capturing that anything can happen at a magazine stand
  • Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, and blogs
  • Retail locations, some of which will play the movie in-store

“Magazines Canada is dedicated to celebrating magazine media brands and content excellence wherever audiences are consuming them,” says Mark Jamison, CEO of Magazines Canada. “This association project brings together over 70 of Canada’s magazine media brands to attract savvy audiences across platforms.”


They came for a magazine and left with so much more.



Hot Honda Bike

Posted by Scott On November - 27 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Motorcycle Mojo is scheduled to hit newsstands on December 29th.  This time slot almost always produces the best-selling issue each year, as readers in need of a fix in the dead of Winter, and in the mood to shop for a new ride, and plan their Spring and Summer trips, buy the magazine.

Art Director Amy McCleverty says, “Our Jan/Feb 2015 cover was inspired by the clean lines of the Honda CBR650F, this cover image is big, bold and in your face. The soft focus background allows for great legibility of cover lines and the brilliant red and blue add that extra pop of colour. The traditional, colourful Newfoundland village in the top right corner pulls the page together to make a cover that will grab you when browsing the newsstands this Winter.”


JanFeb 2015

For your cover-viewing and listening pleasure…


Horse Annual SIP

Posted by Scott On November - 26 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Horse Canada magazine has unveiled their 2015 Horse Annual SIP, which goes on sale December 15th, 2014.  It’s just in time for a last minute Christmas Gift.

The Annual sells for $7.95, while regular issues sell for $4.75.

Circulation Director Karin Apfel said,  “Historically, a best seller for the Horse Publications Group franchise, in 2012  it underwent a title and theme change to focus on equine health, the leading concern for all horse owners, according to surveys done by the publisher. As the Canadian Horse Annual – Health Special, it is respected and supported by all five Canadian veterinary schools and provides leading edge health care information for horse owners across the country.”

Art Director Sieu Truong makes great use of the left-hand side of the cover to punch out numerous sell lines.  Good use of red in selective spots to help direct the eye down the cover, and to highlight key details. Great action shot and eye contact with a handsome horse.


Sled Dogs

Posted by Scott On November - 25 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Winter 2014 issue of Prairies North went on sale November 17th, 2014.

Art Director Lionel Hughes chose a close up profile shot, which really works to communicate the main selling feature fast.

This publication historically does extremely well with large animal covers.  All three of the ones below were best-sellers in their year of publication.


Winter 2014


2003 Winter2004 Winter2012 Winter



Posted by Scott On November - 20 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The November 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living is hard to miss on newsstands.

If you have a sweat tooth, this issue promises 6 Must-Try Pies.   It is radically clear what they are selling.

This is cover that let’s the food do all the work.





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About Me

Scott Bullock’s Newsstand Cover Quiz Show is legendary in the industry. Using covers as the catalyst, this interactive and entertaining format is a light-hearted but hard-hitting spin on Packaging 101. Testing the cover savvy of magazine professionals across disciplines, the Quiz Show pits publishers against editors, circulators against art directors, retailers against wholesalers -- ultimately leading to new common ground in the quest for better covers. Scott is the Owner of Circ3, Smart Circulation Solutions, a circulation consultancy.



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