Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for June, 2011


Posted by Scott On June - 27 - 2011

Fashion magazine scored Lady Gaga as their cover girl for the August 2011 issue.

Here’s a quote from Editor-In-Chief Bernadette Morra:

“FASHION magazine is thrilled to have the world’s hottest star on our August cover. Lady Gaga is such a perfect style icon. Her daring, artistic approach to fashion is evident in her bleached-out eyebrows and angular dress. But we love that these futuristic elements are balanced with an old-school model pose and classic red lips and nails. We believe this cover will have broad appeal.”

Looks like a winner to me.

Diane Temple joins Gateway

Posted by Scott On June - 27 - 2011

In a press release from Arlene Sheppard, Gateway has announced the hiring of Diante Temple, a veteran circulation expert, most recently employed in the U.S. division of Coast to Coast, and prior to that with Disticor.

“Diane is joining us in the role of Category Manager, Press.  She will be responsible for the overall management of the magazine and newspaper category for both Canadian and U.S. stores.  She will manage all new title authorizations and will be on the front line in the management of our wholesaler relationships.  She will work in conjunction with the department to effectively merchandise and manage the category at store level and assist in the execution of merchandising and promotion programs, and particularly new title launch promotions.  She will be dedicated to maximizing the sales of magazines at retail in all Gateway Newstands locations.”

The Best

Posted by Scott On June - 27 - 2011

Azure’s July/August 2011 issue hits newsstands today.

Karen Simpson, Azure’s expert creative director, has created another gem.  The Best Architecture & Design cover line is bold, and uses the upper left hand real estate to full advantage.  The clean and modern image plays to the brand’s strengths.  And the bold red starburst underscores another key reason to pick up the issue.   The cover is elegant, upscale and sophisticated.

Dream Parks

Posted by Scott On June - 24 - 2011

The Summer 2011 issue of British Columbia Magazine is on stands now.

Art Director Ken Seabrook has introduced a new desisgn twist:   a white border treatment to frame out this stunning “beauty shot.”

The corner slash (Nabisco) drives home the heft of the Special value proposition this issue offers readers…23 pages of glorious Parks coverage.

A keeper.

What do Maisonneuve and Playboy have in common?

Posted by Scott On June - 24 - 2011

Both are award winners

Both publish great fiction

Both know how to turn bad news into good news

When Masionneuve was confronted with being forced to polybag their magazine because of some, well, nipples as part of a black and white photo essay, they made it a virtue with a clever polybag treatment.  The issue was a huge hit on newsstands, and won the cover of the year at the Canadian Newsstand Awards.

As embarrassing as it must be to the legendary Hef, the sticker that was attached to newsstand copies is sure to drive sales too. Derek and Hef…two magazine legends.


Posted by Scott On June - 24 - 2011

The Jul/Aug 2011 issue of LEGION magazine will hit newsstands June 27th.
This classic military history cover plays to the magazine’s strong suits:

1.  An iconic image
2.  A critical moment in Canada’s military history
3.  Archival black and white photography that is evocative

What art director Jason Duprau has also brought to the party is a strong type treatment for the main sell, a  modern-day skybar treatment to compliment the vintage cover image, and an elegant starburst calling out the Battle Map inside.

And the Winners Are….Really?

Posted by Scott On June - 17 - 2011

The National Magazine Awards 2011 gala was a fabulous event…a wonderful evening to meet and mingle with colleagues, friends and clients; and the Carlu is the perfect venue.

It was great to see so many different magazines receive accolades.

With that said, I continue to be baffled by the Magazine Covers award.  As the great Paul Jones famously said, “To win this category only magazines that submit “art with logo” need apply.

This year’s gold winner was The Feathertale Review (nice nipple ring, eh?):

And the silver winner was Urbania (nice hair, sorry about your sun burn, eh?):

I suspect that a very small percentage of the magazine junkies in attendance at the Carlu had ever heard of these titles, let alone ever purchased a copy.   I suspect an even smaller percentage of Canadians have either.   Yet these are the titles held up as the very best examples of what a great cover should look like?  I suppose if this were a fashion show, it would be the equivalent of couture vs. ready to wear.  On the one hand, creative and edgy, on the other, completely divorced from the reality of what it takes to sell single copies or subscriptions.

Perhaps the category should just be renamed, so as not to suggest that these covers are something other than art for art’s sake:  Best Cover Art (Avante Garde).  And then they could add a category Best Cover Art  (Commercial).  With over 40+ awards handed out, what’s one more?


Posted by Scott On June - 13 - 2011

At the 2011 Circulation Management Association ACE Awards luncheon, held at the Magnet Conference, Garden Making magazine was honored with the ACE Award for best newsstand promotion.

The Summer 2010 Roses issue (the 2nd issue published by the new quarterly gardening title) was honored by the industry for its achievement on newsstands.

Michael Fox, Publisher, accepted the award, on behalf of the team, which includes Beckie Fox, Editor; Gary Hall, Design Director; Katherine Fox, ad  sales; Gwen Dunant, ad sales consultant; Maria Musiska, production consultant, Nancy McCullom, account executive at Coast to Coast.  I act as a newsstand consultant for the title.

LMPI re-branding

Posted by Scott On June - 9 - 2011

LMPI, one of Canada’s leading direct-to-retail distributors, has announced that will be part of a re-branding and global realignment strategy by parent company Lagardere Services. Currently LMPI distributes over 3,500 titles in North America.

LMPI will become LS Distribution North America.  The re-branding will coincide with increased investements in many areas of their business operation, including IT systems, logistics and personnel.

See full press release here



Posted by Scott On June - 6 - 2011

This double issue from Canadian Family looks like a winner…pushing all the right buttons for a Summer issue. 

Seasonally appropriate, this cover offers great advice on both eating and dieting.  Perfect for busy moms…and dads too.

How absolutely delicious. 

The art director has used all the best cover real estate, to take full advantage of merchandising realities on today’s busy newsstand racks:

3 great hooks in the sky bar region
Far left margin space maxed out

Star-burst Button in upper right corner using the blessed words Win and Free

And we love the little arrow device pointing to the popsicle for the Easy Recipes piece.

The cover is bright, energetic, fun, up-beat and offers tons of beneift-oriented service.


About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.



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