Covers Sell

Covers Sell


Posted by Scott On June - 15 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125People magazine’s June 27th, 2016 cover is a welcome approach to covering the appalling hate crime/mass murder in Orlando this week.

Rather then focusing on the terrorist or his despicable deed and the horrific carnage, People gives us something positive to focus on:  the human beings whose lives were stolen.  Better to glorify the victims, not the hater.

Too often, in the aftermath of these outrageous mass murders, all we get is an overdose of details about the terrorist’s life, and what might have caused him to act out.  Then we get the political spin from the pro & con gun control professionals. And inevitably arguments about immigration.  So tiresome, so boring, and so missing the mark.

Anderson Cooper of CNN did a moving tribute to the victims too.  He read out their names, one by one, with little details about their lives…incredibly powerful.






5 Egregious Covers

Posted by Scott On June - 15 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125This morning I was sent a link that calls out 5 magazine covers, as the 5 Most Egregious Covers of 2016 (so far).

I prefer to point out and praise covers that work.  But I thought this was worth sharing.

The writer does point to a cover of Chicago Magazine that he likes.

Hummm….seems very familiar to a recent Toronto Life cover.  Now that’s “egregious”.  You be the judge.


Jan 2015chigago dog


Azure’s 30th Anniversary Issue Sells

Posted by Scott On June - 14 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

check_mark_125x125The May 2015 issue of Azure was their 30th Anniversary issue, which I selected as the Cover of The Week.  So, how did it do?

  • It outsold the issue that came before it by 58%.
  • It outsold the issue that came after it by 70%.
  • It outsold the issue from the prior year in the same time slot by 53%

Congratulations to Azure!  Thirty years of success is totally  worth celebrating!

The only issue in 2015 that outsold the Anniversary issue was the annual Houses issue, which was also a Cover of the Week.

  • It outsold the issue before it by 32%.
  • It outsold the issue after it by 107%.

30th Anniversary (Small)

Jan 2015 (Small)






Mark Hamill Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by Scott On June - 14 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125The CMC presented Mark Hamill, of Rogers Media, with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.  With many of his colleagues in attendance, the crowd roared enthusiastically when Mark stepped to the stage.

A former colleague, Peter Willson shared this with

“My colleague Mark Hamill, the premier marketer in the magazine newsstand business in Canada, has been given a Life Time Achievement award by his peers in the magazine publishing industry.

In 2008, I did this spoof about him for an industry conference. His greatest work was always accomplished outside the office. The last shot where he is hogging the screen was from the Jumbotron at the Rogers Centre August 2006 for the launch of Hello! Canada.

Enjoy the video and congratulations Mark. Well deserved!”



The Greatest

Posted by Scott On June - 10 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The June 13th, 2016 issue of Sports Illustrated is a beautiful tribute cover to Muhammad Ali.

This legendary boxing icon transcended sports and became a cultural force with respect to civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War.

Many covers have been done of him over the years, but this one certainly is a classic.




ali 1ali 2

ali 4ali 6

ali 7ali 3


Vacation Properties

Posted by Scott On June - 3 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Jul/Aug 2016 issue of Canadian Real Estate Wealth goes on sale June 20th.

The  Vacation Properties theme has been used in the past, and it always performs well.

This year’s cover features a very bold type treatment for the main sell.

Sep 2016 (Small)





Posted by Scott On May - 31 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Summer 2016 issue of Prairies North features a black cover treatment.

Rule #11 is that Color works better then Black & White, and White covers work better then Black Covers.

Rule #1 is that There are Always exceptions to the Rules.

This service-oriented cover feature requires a black cover, for obvious reasons.

PN Summer 2016 cover (Small)


Time’s Bacon X Cover is a Pig

Posted by Scott On May - 30 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

check_mark_125x125Back on November 14th, 2015, I posted Time Magazine’s November 9th, 2015, cover featuring two strips of Bacon arranged in an X, as the Cover of the Week. Time is famous for their covers featuring the X symbol slapped across the image of various villains, such as Osama Bin Laden, Sadam Hussein, and Adolph Hitler.

The hope was to use this technique to help stimulate sales of an article on politically incorrect food.  It failed miserably here in Canada.  It sold only 2,902 copies. It sold less then the issue before it, and less than the issue that followed it.  Of the 37 regular issues of Time in 2015, 23 of them sold better.

The attempt to use this technique, that worked so successfully when the issue was the demise of villains, as opposed to something like politically incorrect food, probably failed because it was inauthentic, and the subject matter just didn’t matter to enough people.

2015 Nov 9th






check_mark_125x125Back on December 11th, 2015, I posted the Maclean’s Nov 30th, 2015 issue as Cover of the Week.  So, how did it sell?

Of the 41 regular  issues in 2015 it was the 5th best seller!  It sold 10,825 copies.  Very impressive.

Trudeau was beat by…well by himself.  The October 26th, 2015 issue sold 14,935 copies (2nd best of 2015).  The December 7th, 2015 issue sold 15,146 copies (the best of 2015).

The only two covers to beat Trudeau was the Jesus cover, on March 30th, 2015, (also a Cover of the Week nod), which sold 12,425 copies.  And the Sexist of The Year cover, on May 25th, 2015, which sold 13,572 copies.



NewsMakers 2015

2015 45Dec 7th 2015

April 13th 20152015 23

Maclean’s Trump For Dummies Sells

Posted by Scott On May - 26 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

check_mark_125x125Back on January 22nd, 2016, I posted Maclean’s February 1st, 2016 issue, Trump for Dummies, Cover of the Week.  So, how did it sell?

It outsold the cover before it by 32%.

It outsold the cover that followed it by 24%.

A very good result…but not a great result.  Great results were achieved by someone else in 2015.  Guess who?  We’ll post that soon.





Azure (10)
Canadian Geographic (10)
Check Up (99)
Circasaurus (49)
Cover Fight (20)
Cover of the Week (184)
Covers that Sell (218)
Esquire (10)
Hall of Fame (17)
New and Net-worthy (183)
Quiz Show (4)
Texas Monthly (10)
The Beaver (10)
Then and Now (32)
Uncategorized (11)

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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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