Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for September, 2011

Fishing Destinations

Posted by Scott On September - 30 - 2011

Fly Fusion, the award-winning quarterly magazine for fly fishing enthusiasts, published out of Calgary, has just released their 2011 Special Interest Publication, Fly Fishing Destinations.  The cover price is $8.95, normal issues are $7.95.  While the core product has always focused clearly on tactical advice, this special issue points passionate fisherman to “dream locations and monster fish”.  It also tempts the reader with specific species that they may be seeking to persue.

Like all good SIPs this issue has an original stand-alone feel, while still paying homage to the mother brand.  It is hoped that this will help mitigate against premature returns. The unique selling proposition is clearly labeled as part of the overall logo area. What are we selling?  Fly Fishing Destinations,  of course, or in case there was any doubt, Dream Locations and Monster Fish.

Fly Fusion’s Canadian sales have increased by 167% in the past year.  These results were achieved by increasing the cover price, expanding dealer coverage, enhancing the quality of the binding and cover stock, and by focusing on benefit-oriented cover lines.  In the U.S.,sales have increased by over 22%, with draws remaining steady; therefore this growth is all about the product delivering on quality, and covers that  are resonating with consumers.  The most recent issue closed with a sell-through over 51%.

The SIP goes on sale October 10th.

Fly Fusion Wins Gold

Posted by Scott On September - 27 - 2011

The 10th Annual Canadian Newsstand Awards were held last night at the Spoke Club in downtown Toronto.

This year, for the first time, categories were no longer based on the size of a magazine’s circulation, but rather was based on the subject matter or genre of the magazine.  As in the past, 50% of the judges’ score is based on actual newsstand sales…i.e. the consumer votes with their wallet…the other 50% is based on artistic merit.

In the Sports & Leisure category, FLY FUSION (a client of took home the gold.  For this perfect-bound glossy, published  out of Calgary, the news was validation for many years of hard work honing the quality of their magazine.  “We are thrilled.  It’s a victory for  small, independently published magazines,” said Publisher Jennifer Bird.  The magazine enjoyed the best sale ever in its history.  And it did it the old fashioned way, a fantastic editorial cover story, excellent art direction, and solid distribition. Not a penny was spent

promoting it…proving that a great cover and great editorial product, still resonates with consumers, and with the judges.

Other CoversSell.Com winners included Legion magazine’s WW1 SIP, which took the bonze in the SIP Category, and Kenilworth Media’s Canadian Business Franchise Directory, also a Bronze winner in the News, Business, Celebrity category.

Other gold winners were:

Moi & Cie, Wedding Bells, Zoomer, Canadian House & Home, Maclean’s , Owl, and 7 Jours

The Newsstand Marketer of the Year was Mary Cosgrove.  Richly deserved!

Congratulations to all the finalists and all the winners!

Special thanks go out to all ths sponsors of this fine event.  For a complete list…click on link below:



Wishing for winter

Posted by Scott On September - 22 - 2011

This fabulous cover from SKI CANADA almost makes me wish winter would arrive soon.   The annual Buyers Guide issue (SIP) retails for $5.95, $1 more than the regular issues of the magazine.

Featuring a bold, oversized cover slash concept to highlight the primary selling feature, this cover also quatifies the benefits with the 1000+ ski stats hook, and uses the upper right real estate to push a 40th anniversary contest concept.

The cover is not shy about what it is selling.

Beyond 9/11

Posted by Scott On September - 20 - 2011

This “special commemorative issue” is absolutely dazzling on newsstands.  A perfect example of “less is more” this world-changing event needs no hype or aggressive sell lines on the cover. 

The silver boarder (normally it is red) makes the case for your attention.   

The lazer-like clarity of the messaging makes this cover a classic. 

Anniversary issues, even depressing ones like this, can still work. 

The hype around this sad occassion on all the major TV networks also amps up demmand.  We will report back on the outcome, as the sales results become available. 

Chris-Craft Performance

Posted by Scott On September - 14 - 2011

The October 2011 issue of Canadian Yachting is set to hit newsstands.  

This classic Chris-Craft power boat, splitting the open water, and diagonally splitting the cover, is just the tonic hard-core boating enthusiasts thirst for, especially this time of year.  Extending the season as long as possibleis the goal, with this amped up cover treatment.

Risk & Reward

Posted by Scott On September - 12 - 2011

The October 2011 issue of Canadian Real Estate is set to hit newsstands on September 12th.  The cover features W. Brett Wilson, formely of CBC TV’s hit show The Dragons Den.  The new look format, designed by K9 Design, hits all the right notes:

  • Celebrity
  • Fabulous Eye Contact
  • Good use of sky bar area
  • Clever “gear” style starburst
  • Bold Type Treatment
  • Great use of Color to draw the eye down the page
  • UPC in lower right
  • Plus sign symbol used to highlight benefits

CTC’s Annual Retail Day

Posted by Scott On September - 9 - 2011

Coast to Coast’s annual retail day was held yesterday in Toronto.  In attendence were many of the top magazine retailers, wholesalers, and publishers.

Wholesalers included:  Benjamin News, Metro News, NewsWest, CMMI and the NewsGroup

Retailers included:  Chapters/Indigo, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Gateway, Presse Commerce, Hudson News, HDS Retail

Also in attendence was LMPI, represented by Martin McKewan and Stan Synowicki.

Many top circulators were working the room, including, but not limited to:   Alexandra Cooper, Canadian House and Home; Marisa Latini, Zoomer; Pat Strangis and Mike Hughes, Transcontinental; Nancy Parker, Cottage Life Group; Mark Stiekman, Taunton Press; Greg Keilty, SkyNews; Sam Cohen, Canadian Running, Gripped; Mark Hamill, Rogers; Nathalie Cuerrier, Canadian Geographic…just to name a few.

The annual event has become a great way to make new friends and professional contacts, and renew old ones.  All while getting some important marketing work accomplished.

Canadian Newsstand Awards Finalists Announced

Posted by Scott On September - 9 - 2011

Thirty magazines have been named for a chance at glory, and $24,000 in prize money, at the 10th Annual Canadian Newsstand Awards, sponsored by LS Travel Retail (formerly HDS Retail).

The Canadian Newsstand Awards take into consideration both the artistic value of the covers and the empirical newsstand sales results.  This year, covers were judged by category/theme rather than by circulation levels, as they have been in the past.

Amongst that list, I am shamelessly proud to have four clients (with 5 covers) in the hunt.  Click on the images to enlarge them!

Finalists in alphabetical order:

  • 7 Jours (Dec. 17, 2010)
  • Canadian Business (Sept. 13, 2010)
  • Canadian Business Franchise Directory (Nov. 29, 2010)
  • Canadian House and Home (Sept. and Oct. 2010)
  • Canadian Living (Sept. and Oct. 2010)
  • Chatelaine (Dec. 2010)
  • Châtelaine (June and Aug. 2010)
  • chickaDEE Magazine (Oct. 2010)
  • Clin d’oeil (Sept. and Oct. 2010)
  • Fly Fusion (Nov. 2010)
  • Garden Making (Summer 2010)
  • Legion WW1 SIP
  • Loulou (English/French, Winter 2010)
  • Maclean’s 2010 Olympics SIP
  • Maison & Demeure (Nov. 2010)
  • Moi & Cie (March 2010)
  • MoneySense 2010 Guide To Retiring Wealthy
  • OWL Magazine (Jan/Feb 2010)
  • Pools, Spas & Patios (April 2010)
  • Spacing (Fall 2010)
  • Style at Home (May 2010)
  • The Hockey News (Dec. 6, 2010)
  • The Hockey News SIPs (Top 100 Players; Chasing Glory)
  • This Magazine (Jan./Feb. 2010)
  • Today’s Parent (Dec. 2010)
  • Toronto Life (Dec. 2010)
  • Vancouver Magazine (March/April 2010)
  • Weddingbells (Spring/Summer 2010)
  • Wine Access (Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011)
  • Zoomer (Winter 2010 twice, Sept. 2010)

Congratulations to all the Finalists.

Also, huge kudos to Mary Cosgrove, who has been named the 2011 Newsstand Marketer of the Year.  Richly deserved to a total pro who has dedicated her career to helping sell Canadian magazines!

see link here


Posted by Scott On September - 8 - 2011

If you think life is a Beach in British Columbia, you may be right.  The Fall 2012 issue of British Columbia Magazine taps into the the lust for sun, surf and relaxation, in the laid back land known as Tofino.

The issue also provides benefit-oriented service on other Island destinations of note, highlighting it with a cover slash, and underscoring with secondary sell lines that take advantage of the left hand “real estate” effectively.

Tribute Issue

Posted by Scott On September - 5 - 2011

The September 12th, 2011 issue of Maclean’s is the Cover of the Week.  It’s a Special Tribute issue to Jack Layton.  The cover is beautiful.

State funerals are normally reserved for Governors General and Prime Ministers.  Special tribute covers are often reserved for the likes of Trudeau or Princess Di here in Canada, or JFK or Elvis in the U.S.  Yet Maclean’s chose to honour the tragic demise of the NDP leader, who was cruelly claimed much too soon by cancer.  It is the right thing to do.  The granting of the state funeral and the fabulous cover treatment by Maclean’s, demonstrate a generosity of spirit and goodwill and decency.

After all, back on May 9th, 2011, Maclean’s had some good sport with this Jack Layton cover.

See blog post here:

Once sales results are final, we will report back on which Jack Layton cover sold more copies.  They are both excellent eamples of the old rule, “timing is everything.”



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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