Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Chasing Storms

Posted by Scott On May - 14 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

The Summer 2018 issue of Prairies North is set to hit newsstands on June 4th.

This is the second issue put out under the new owner, Rob Soulodre, at Farmhouse Communications.

Art Director Amy Price, has created a moody, and energetic cover.

Coast to Coast Sold to Comag

Posted by Scott On May - 9 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

In a Press Release this morning, it was announced that Coast to Coast is being sold to Comag, a U.S.-based national distributor, formally owned by Conde Naste & Hearst.  CoversSell.com has been advised that a Canadian office will be maintained, and some key account services professionals will be kept on board the new merged entity.

The Press Release is below:

Joint Announcement
May 9, 2018
Coast to Coast Newsstand Services Partnership (CTC) and Comag Marketing Group Canada Inc. (CMGC), today announced an agreement whereby CMGC would purchase the assets of CTC effective January 1, 2019.

Jay Felts, President of CMGC, stated “the CMG team is excited and looking forward to enhancing and growing its services and offerings across Canadian Publishers and Retailers. The consolidation of these two companies will help offset the effect of declining sales and will ensure that Canadian publishers continue to be well represented on the newsstands”.

Dan Shapiro, Managing Director of CTC, expressed his sincere thanks to all the great CTC associates that have worked so diligently over the years to make CTC the leading National Distributor for Canadian publications. “I’m disappointed that CTC will not be carrying on after January 1, 2019, but am gratified that our clients will continue to receive expert quality service through CMGC. Continuous sales declines throughout our entire eco system put the sustainability of CTC in jeopardy.”

Glenn Morgan, President of CTC, will continue in his current role after the acquisition, which will help to ensure a smooth transition for CTC clients. Glenn is looking forward to working with CMGC and making this change successful.
Coast to Coast is a partnership owned by Rogers Communications and the major Canadian Magazine wholesalers.
Comag Marketing Group Canada Inc. is a major National Distributor representing approximately 50% of US publishing volume in Canada. CMGC Inc is owned by The Jim Pattison Group.

For more information contact Dan Shapiro: danny@metro360.ca or Jay Felts: jfelts@i-cmg.com

Monster Rainbows

Posted by Scott On May - 4 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

The Summer 2018 issue of Fly Fusion is set to hit newsstands May 28th, 2018.

This issue is another classic, in our series of “Ultimate Predator” covers.

Our most recent example set a new all-time sales record in the USA, and is one of our Top 4 ever in Canada.

First Flight

Posted by Scott On April - 30 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

The Jun/Jul 2018 issue of Canada’s History features Canada’s first female aviator.  Art Director James Gillespie commissioned this fabulous illustration to grace the cover.  The issue goes on sale May 28th.

Canada’s History does well with illustrated covers.  After all, often photographs just don’t exist.  So we improvise.

In 2017 we had two covers with illustrations, both posted sales gains of 12%.

Canada’s History is on a roll, with 3 of 6 issue in 2017 setting all-time new sales records for their time slot.  Plus, 5 of 6 issues were up from prior year, and overall sales were up 12%.

 

Heartland

Posted by Scott On April - 27 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

The May/Jun 2018 issue of Horse Canada features a “celebrity cover” with Amber Marshall of TV Show Heartland fame.

Art Director Sieu Truong has created a compelling and energetic cover, with a straight-ahead approach.  Good use of the important cover real estate and color to direct the reader’s eyes down the page.  Including the skybar, this cover packs in 9 different hooks to lure a newsstand sale and communicate value for money.

This issue goes on sale April 30th.  Based on past experience with Amber as a cover girl (Horse Canada has featured her on two previous covers) this one will be a winner too!

 

 

Summer is Coming…Really it is!

Posted by Scott On April - 19 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

The Summer 2018 issue of Creative Scrapbooker is scheduled to hit newsstands on May 28th, 2018.

This gorgeous magazine is over-sized, perfect bound, always 150 pages thick, and retails for $12.95.

The Canadian gem, is now selling briskly in the USA too.  Sales in the USA in 2017 were up 84%!  Plus, the magazine’s sell-thru was a stellar 46%.

 

Cosmo’s Bad Date Again

Posted by Scott On April - 6 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

In this era of “extreme volatility” many “A List” women’s service magazines are taking a beating.  Even the great Cosmopolitan isn’t immune.

In 2017 all 12 issues of Cosmo were down in Canada…and for the entire year they were down a depressing 29%.

But it seems that even the pros in New York can make the same mistake two year’s in a row.

The Nov 2016 issue (Date Smarter) was down a staggering 47% from the prior year’s issue…making it the worst of 2016.

But yet, despite that spanking, the Nov 2017 issue returned to the same subject (Dating Now), which was down 46% from the previous year’s abysmal number.  That made it the worst of the year as well.  And it sold-thru at a humiliating 15.8%.  I believe this is the worst-selling issue ever in Canada.  I looked back 5 years and nothing else even comes close.

When the data speaks to you, don’t ignore it and repeat the same mistake over again. You’re just fighting yourself.

 

Nov 2015:  Sold: 68,548

Nov 2016:  Sold 36,141

Nov 2017:  Sold 19,456

 

 

 

 

Country Living: “Creativity” issue Flops

Posted by Scott On April - 6 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

“Extreme Volatility” is how I describe the newsstand environment these days.  Covers that once may have worked well-enough, now can be brutally punished.  So it’s more important than ever to get the cover right.

Case in Point:  Country Living magazine, who saw sales tumble 14% in Canada in 2017, with 8 of 10 issues posting declines.  At the top of the list of an avoidable self-inflicted mistake was the Sep 2017 cover that had a horse in the Kitchen (that’s normal right?), which resulted in loss of sale of 33%.  The previous year they had their Small Spaces themed cover in that time slot, which was the #1 seller in 2016.

But was the lesson (If it works, keep doing it) learned?  Apparently not.  Rather then go with their Makeovers themed cover, which was their #1 best-seller in 2017 in the Jan/Feb time slot, the decision was made to try a “Creativity” issue in 2018.  Result?  Sales down over 44%.

 

 

 

 

In Style…Not so Much!

Posted by Scott On April - 5 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

Let’s face it, 2017 was a tough year for a lot of “A List” women’s service magazines.  It’s what I call “extreme volatility”.  Covers that might have worked fine a few years ago, just don’t get the job done today.

Case in point:  In Style was down 22% in Canada in 2017.  Yikes!  Plus, 11 of their 12 issues were down.  It’s tough out there.  The June issue was down 50% from prior year.  November was down 34%.  February down 32%.  October down 30%.

The one bright spot in 2017 was their January issue, featuring Sarah Jessica Parker…up 14% from prior year…and 3rd best of the year.  But did they learn their lesson?  Apparently not.  The January 2018 issue is down 30%!  I’m not sure who that child is, but it sure isn’t Sarah Jessica Parker.

It’s hard to succeed when your covers fight against you.

 

 

 

 

Trump a Pig

Posted by Scott On April - 2 - 2018ADD COMMENTS

Not to be outdone by their crosstown rivals at the New Yorker, the April 2nd issue of New York magazine sports a cover depicting  President Trump as a pig. Excellent photo-shopping work!

As is typically the case, reactions to the cover are predictably partisan.  Comedian Kathy Griffin, who was investigated by the Secret Service for her decapitated Trump head,  loved it on Twitter.  Others ask the question: How would you feel, had Hillary Clinton won, if New York magazine made her into a pig? Would that be funny?

New York magazine is probably just loving all the attention and sreaming “Wee Wee Wee”, all the way to the bank.

Be controversial.

 

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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. www.circ3.com

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