Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Our Land

Posted by Scott On August - 26 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Fall 2016 issue of Prairies North is scheduled to hit newsstands on September 12th, 2016.

A careful analysis of all their covers revealed that cover stories that focus on the theme of loving the landscape yields better then average results, and on multiple occasions has produced the best-selling issue in the respective year.

Art Director Lionel Hughes has captured the  feeling of the fall harvest in this magical cover shot.

2016 Fall (Small)



Bows & Arrows

Posted by Scott On August - 23 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Oct/Nov 2016 issue of Canada’s History is scheduled to hit newsstands on September 26th, 2016.

This concept cover is bright, clean and uncluttered., and features a bold type treatment, and a vibrant sky bar.

The art director, James Gillespie, worked hard to get it right.  There was concern that we avoid falling into the trap of doing a cliched image, that might be considered insensitive.

The solution was to focus on the artistry of the items, rather than the shooter on horseback.



2016OctNov (Small)



Sad News to Report

Posted by Scott On August - 22 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The folks at Creative Scrapbooker magazine are in shock and are hurting.  Their beloved colleague of six years, Christy Riopel, passed away suddenly at the tender age of 45 years old. The cause of her demise is yet to be determined.  She leaves behind a loving husband and two young daughters.

It’s always sad news to lose a colleague in our publishing family, but it is especially difficult when the friend was so young.  Here are some words from her colleagues, posted on Facebook:

“We are not ready to let you go Christy.

You were the heartbeat of our magazine, a creative soul that will never be replaced, a plane that let us soar and a lighthouse that guided us home. 
Much more than the magazine – over the last 10 years – Christy became a part of our family. A friend we laughed with, celebrated with and cried with. A sister we called for advice, a mom who picked us up when we were down, a confidant we shared our secrets with, a girlfriend we hung out with drinking wine and doing facials. Christy was a special place that we could be ourselves. Christy was a place we called home.

We are not ready to let you go Christy. The keyboard is slippery with tears.”






Creative Scrapbooker on a Roll!

Posted by Scott On August - 18 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Fall 2016 issue of  Creative Scrapbooker is scheduled to hit newsstands on August 29th, 2016.

The magazine has been on a winning streak now for eight (8) straight issues, with every issue from the Fall of 2014 posting gains.

Starting with the Spring 2016 issue, Creative Scrapbooker, published out of Calgary, is now distributed in the USA too.

  • Sales of the Spring 2016 issue are up 25% from prior year.
  • Sales of the Winter 2015 issue were up 18%.
  • Overall sales in 2015 were up 14%, plus efficiency improved.

CSM Fall 2016 Front Cover_CDN (Small)

2016 Summer Canada (Small) (2)2016 Spring1 (Small)2015 Winter (Small)

2015 Fall (Small)2015 Summer (Small)spring 2015


A New Look for Harrowsmith

Posted by Scott On August - 10 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The 2017 edition of the Harrowsmith Almanac is sporting a new look. This year’s edition marks the 40th Anniversary of this well-loved Canadian brand.

Publisher, Yolanda Thornton says, “We have traditionally gone with an illustration on the front cover, because this digest-sized issue covers the scope of an Almanac and a regular Harrowsmith issue, and it’s on newsstands for several months. This year, we have selected an eye-catching photo that identifies with the Harrowsmith brand. We now carry  more sell lines on our cover, which has contributed to increased newsstand sales.”

The new look also helps reinforce a consistent branding with their other three seasonal offerings.

Here is the new look.  See below for old look.  Also for most recent Gardening book with similar branding.

Almanac 2017 cover FINAL


2016 Regular (Small)

2016 Garden (Small)




Fashion’s 8 Page Gatefold Cover

Posted by Scott On August - 8 - 2016ADD COMMENTS


cover_of_the_week-125x125This just in from Fashion Magazine:

 Magazine has partnered with Canadian retailer Joe Fresh on the September 2016 cover featuring supermodel Karlie Kloss. Via an editorial-driven eight-page cover gatefold and second cover, FASHION has executed a first of its kind branded integration spanning both print and digital platforms.

“We are excited to bring this unique content collaboration to life in the September issue of FASHION via print, digital, social media and in-store,” said Jacqueline Loch, VP & Group Publisher St. Joseph Media, Women’s Brands. “This is partnership at its best and it really raises the bar for collaborations in the future. Joe Fresh challenged us to do something bold, first to market and groundbreaking — and we responded with a beautiful multi-platform editorial integration that is on-brand for FASHION, and designed to engage consumers.”

The extended cover gatefold – which includes FASHION directed original photography of five Joe Fresh looks and subtle Joe Fresh branding – opens up to a second cover featuring Karlie Kloss. The issue also contains a five-page feature article, also showcasing the model wearing items from the Joe Fresh fall collection. A special 5,000 copy print run of the cover gatefold will be available at Joe Fresh’s flagship store on Queen Street West beginning today.

The September issue also marks the first time FASHION has unveiled a cover via Snapchat (@FashionCan) with the brand curating the day’s story solely to the September cover reveal. Newsstand drop date (August 15th) will be supported by a special 45-second video featuring behind-the-scene moments from the cover shoot that will live online at and on Instagram (@FashionCanada). Further momentum will come from a contesting component whereby followers of FASHION’s Instagram have the chance to win a fall wardrobe from Joe Fresh valued at $500 using the FASHIONxJoeFresh hashtag. FASHION will host two shopping events this September in Toronto and Vancouver Joe Fresh stores, as well as provide editorial support for each.



Posted by Scott On July - 29 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Fall 2016 issue of Rotman Management magazine will be hard to miss.

Circulation Manager, Kate Mills, has packed in 12 different hooks, plus the main selling feature.

Nice use of the sky bar space.  The color yellow helps direct the eye down the page.

Final Fall 2016 Cover (Small)

Fly Fusion’s New Cover

Posted by Scott On July - 26 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Fall 2016 issue of Fly Fusion is scheduled to hit newsstands August 22nd, 2016.

This cover is a great example of what we call a “Top Predator” cover, which shows an angler in action, doing what they love best.

It’s also a good example of what we call a “Poster” cover.

It also is the first time a female angler has been used for the cover.  But here’s what publisher Jennifer Bird, had to say about this cover:

We fully realize that any time a woman angler graces the cover of a magazine or makes an appearance in a film or TV show, it becomes a topic for conversation.  The publisher/producer gets a hearty pat on the back for their contribution to showing equality or a thumbs up for reaching out to women in an attempt to grow the sport.  

But in all honesty, we haven’t put a woman on the cover in 51 issues for precisely this reason.  We have no interest in using our publication for this purpose.  Fly Fusion is a magazine for anglers passionate about fly fishing.  We want it to grow your addiction to the sport, to develop skills or techniques that enhance your ability to fool that elusive trout (or steelhead, bass, tarpon, insert favourite species here), to take you to another place, to escape.

One of the ways we do this is by showing badass anglers on breathtaking waters in images shot by the best photographers in our industry.  And this issue is no exception.  Timbre is the real deal.  So – if you flip to the contents page to see what feature we are running about women in the sport of fly fishing, you may be disappointed, there isn’t one.  But, if you want to land some huge browns on a monster streamer this fall, you’re in luck, we’ve got you covered!

2016 Fall (Small)

New SIP from Legion

Posted by Scott On July - 13 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The third of five SIPs from the Legion Magazine this year is set to hit newsstands on August 8th, 2016.  As we often do, we have two covers, one for the front of the magazine, and one for the back, so it can be displayed either way, or with double facings to show both covers.

The issue retails for $14.95.

Art Director Jason Duprau chose gritty archival images to provide the realistic context for the the content.


WarStoriesFC (Small)

WarStoriesBC (Small)

Radio Interview (Niche Magazines Rule)

Posted by Scott On July - 5 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125On Sunday, July 3rd, 2016, I appeared on Mark Towhey’s radio show on CFRB News Talk 1010.

Mark contacted me through the offices of Magazines Canada, to discuss the current market conditions for magazines.

A self described “magazine junky”, Mark’s first question had to do with Men’s Magazines, and specifically regarding how Playboy was doing since dropping nudity.

The link to the radio interview is here:

In Canada in 2014, Playboy sold  71,262 copies.  In 2015 they sold just 50,830 copies, down 29%.  The time for a change had finally arrived.  In March of 2016 Playboy decided to drop nudity.  That issue was up 24% from the same slot last year, selling 5,658 copies in Canada.  It should be noted that the last issue WITH nudity, January 2016, was up 149% from prior year.  The cover featured Canadian Pamela Anderson.  It sold-thru at an astounding 72%.   Dealer coverage has expanded in Canada now that there is no nudity (up 28% effective with the June 2016 issue).

2016 Mar (first issue no nudity)2016 Jan (Last issue with nudity)

We also discussed the fact that many niche magazines are actually thriving these days.  Here are just a few examples of Canadian magazines that are doing great.

Niche Magazines Rule:

  1. Canadian Antiques & Vintage:  Sales up 92% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!  Sales up 189% since 2008.
  2. Canadian Cycling:  Sales up 11% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!   Sales up 50% since launching in 2010.
  3. Canada’s History:  Sales up 40% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!  4 of 6 issues broke sales records.  Sales up 506% since 2004.
  4. Creative Scrapbooker:  Sales up 14% in 2015.  Now distributing in the USA too!
  5. Dirt Trax:  Sales up for 3rd year in a row.  Revenue up 16% in 2015.  Best result since 2009.
  6. Fly Fusion:  Sales up 10% in 2015.  Best Year Ever!  Sales in Canada up 138 since 2008.  USA sales up for 7th year in a row…up 83% since 2008.
  7. Harrowsmith Almenac:  Sales up 3%.  Revenue up 21% in 2015, due to cover price increase.
  8. Horse Sport:  Sales up 158% in 2015.  On track for best year ever in 2016!
  9. Horse Canada Annual:  Sales up 96% in 2015.
  10. Legion Magazine:  Sales up for 6th of last 7 years.  Had zero sales in 2008, now doing $275,191 dollars of sales.
  11. Outdoor Canada Fishing Annual:  Up 21% in 2015.

2016MayJun (Small)DecJan 2015 (Small)Dec 2014 (Small)


2015 Winter (Small)Vol 17 #4 (Small)Winter 2015 (Small)


2016 Regular (Small)Oct 2015 (Small)2015 Annual


Liberating Normanday (Small)Fishing 2015 Annual



Azure (10)
Canadian Geographic (10)
Check Up (99)
Circasaurus (49)
Cover Fight (20)
Cover of the Week (186)
Covers that Sell (226)
Esquire (10)
Hall of Fame (17)
New and Net-worthy (185)
Quiz Show (4)
Texas Monthly (10)
The Beaver (10)
Then and Now (32)
Uncategorized (11)

WP Cumulus Flash tag cloud by Roy Tanck and Luke Morton requires Flash Player 9 or better.


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.



    See you at the Newsstand .....
    Garden Making issue 4 promo at Chapters Our Feature pktNewsstand Marketer of The Year 2010Scott in the countyIMG_3227Can Geo's Overwaite RackCanGeo201006 SafewayGeo201006Chapters End CapWall of Covers at Native PeoplesDay at RacesVespa at BeachCanadian Geo's Great Wall of CoversGarden Making issue 2 promo at Wal-Mart New Release RackGarden Making issue 2 promo at Chapters End CapPools at CostcoWalmart PromotionPools, Spas & Patios at ZellersHome Depot (Pools, Spas & Patios + Canadian Geographic)Garden Making Launch at ChaptersKen Whyte's Wall of CoversBucky