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Archive for February, 2012

Great Canadian Covers 2011 (SIPs We Loved)

Posted by Scott On February - 29 - 2012

There were a few other SIP’s that turned in some eye-popping results in 2011.

Maclean’s William & Kate (The Royal Wedding) Special was a spectacular success.  The issue had a retail price of $9.95 and sold over 91,000 copies at a 75% sell-through efficiency.  That’s insanely good.

Vancouver Magazine’s City Guide turned in an amazing performance.  The issue had a retail price of $9.99 and sold over 9,000 copies at a 52% sell-through efficiency.  It outsold the previous year’s Guide by 190%, making this their best-selling City Guide ever.  Very impressive.

Style at Home’s 100 Best Designer Secrets Special was a big success.  The issue had a retail price of $7.99 (up from their $5.50 regular price) and sold nearly 54,000 copies at a 45% sell-through efficiency.  This was their best selling issue of 2011, both by units sold and by revenue.  Nice addition to the line-up!

Legion WW1 Special had a retail price of $14.95.  This was the first-ever SIP for the title.  It sold 5,659 copies on a draw of 12,650, for a 45% sell-through efficiency.  The title grossed $84,602 retail dollars.  It was honoured with a Bronze award at the 2011 Canadian Newsstand Awards in the SIP category.  (Full disclosure:  a client of

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Dive Into Pools

Posted by Scott On February - 29 - 2012

The 2012 cover for Pools, Spas & Patios offers: Strong drop down box featuring Mike Holmes, goood use of numbers, lots of benefit-oriented sell lines, and a rich, warm, up-market (yet approachable) scene poolside.

“The Pools, Spas & Patios Annual continues to showcase the beauty and serenity that is synonymous with backyard leisure living. We are very excited about the editorial direction of this year’s publication, which provides sage advice on everything from selecting the right pool for your backyard space to the latest trends in outdoor furniture,” said Kenilworth Media editorial director, Blair Adams. “Our design team has worked tirelessly to give the magazine the flare that will inspire outdoor aficionados, thus earning it a place on coffee tables from coast to coast. This, coupled with a great distribution package and unwavering advertising investment, will make the 2012 Pools, Spas & Patios a winner.”

Rockin the Crib

Posted by Scott On February - 29 - 2012

The latest issue of 4WDrive magazine is set to hit newsstands on March 26th, 2012.  It’s the second issue since Publisher Perry Mack and Art Director Cassandra Redding gave the magazine a makeover, in consultation with CoversSell.Com. 

The cover line speaks to the special “tribal” lexicon of this group of enuthusiasts.  Rockin the Crib means something different to the Four Wheel Drive crowd than it does to the Rap Music crowd, if you know what I am saying. 

The cover took the risk of cutting into their logo to create a busting-out 3d effect.  The skybar uses the blessed word “free”.  A starburst button draws attention to the event calendar.  The supporting sell lines are bold, and use the left-hand real estate and colour combinations effectively to draw the eye from hook to hook.


Posted by Scott On February - 27 - 2012

The Apr/May issue of Canada’s History features a cover story on the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage.

Naturally, Canada’s History tells the story from the perspective of the Canadian first-responders from the East Coast. The sky bar draws attention to a story that easily could have been the cover too…when Canada burned the White House. 

Because there was no actual photograph of the point of impact, an illustration was chosen to do the job.

Publisher, Deborah Morrison says,  “Although we knew that our Titanic feature was ideal for headline treatment, we had a number of other great stories that we wanted to draw attention to on the cover. We think we found a good balance relying on typography and a wider sky bar than usual to do the work!”

Up on Newsstand

Posted by Scott On February - 27 - 2012

And now for something a bit uplifiting and optomistic on a Monday morning…some useful insights from Lisa Scott. 

Check out this link below:


New Data from MagNet

Posted by Scott On February - 26 - 2012

MagNet, the U.S.-based data provider, has just released their findings from wholesaler’s records both in the U.S. and Canada.

The numbers are sobering, with one quite notable Canadian exception!

Click on the charts to enlarge them!

On the first chart, take note of the incredible results turned in by Rogers Publishing…up 14.4%…a praiseworthy accomplishment admist a lot of red ink.  

Not only is it one of the few bright spots, it is a huge increase at a time when so many others are posting equally large negatives.

The second chart looks pretty grim, showing sales by retail class of trade, combining U.S. and Canada.

The third chart shows that Canada is doing better than the U.S., although sales are still down.  If your sales are flat, or up, you should feel pretty good, given current market conditions.

Obama and Lincoln (American Icons)

Posted by Scott On February - 26 - 2012

Two fabulous covers from Atlantic Monthly are now on newsstands.

The March 2012 issue features a tight, close-up portrait of President Obama. 

The second cover is a special interest publication, featuring a tight, close-up portrait of President Lincoln, the 16th President.

Both covers are classic in their simplicity and power.

And both I suspect will outperform when the sales are added up.

Obama explained offers an analysis of the 44th president, with a view to history. The skybar also highlights a story by Canadian Christopher Hitchens who, sadly, passed away recently.

The CIVIL WAR SIP offers:   “On the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we present this commemorative issue featuring Atlantic stories by Mark Twain, Henry James, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and many more.

Have Cake and Eat it Too

Posted by Scott On February - 25 - 2012

The April issue of Canadian Living looks edible. 

“Our Canadian Living audience loves baking, so featuring an easy, seasonal dessert is always a huge hit with newsstand buyers.  The colours are very spring-like which reflects the uplifting nature of Easter and spring celebrations.  We’ve given prominence to our Weight Loss Guide across the top as a way to make this important feature pop.   In addition, at this time of year with the changing of the seasons, our Fab Shoes and our Spring Beauty special, speaks to our fashion-minded audience, while still offering budget friendly content that we know our readers value,” says Lynn Chambers, Group Publisher.

The cover is elegant and sophisticated.  The sky bar treatment tasteful and effective.  Great use of the left-hand real estate, and alternating colors on supporting sell lines help draw the newsstand browsers’ eye down the cover, plus solid benefit-oriented hooks.  Yummy.

Great Canadian Covers 2011 (Fishing)

Posted by Scott On February - 24 - 2012

Lacrosse may be our official game, and Hockey may be the sport most Canadian’s care about, but Fishing and Canada kind of go together like a cold beer and poutine.

The Winter 2011 issue of Fly Fusion (full disclosure: a client of mine for the past two years) was a winner, both in Canada and the United States.  This premium-priced ($7.95) perfect-bound quarterly continues to set new records for sales.   The “Macho Man” cover is the best-selling issue ever in the magazine’s six-year history.  It beat last year’s issue (which was also a record breaker at that time) by 24%, plus efficiency improved by 12pts too.  The cover won the Gold at the Canadian Newsstand Awards 2011.

The Ontario Out of Doors Fishing Annual 2011 was a winner too.  This fabulous cover sold 43% more copies than the 2010 edition.  Sporting a new look and a re-worked distribution, this premium-priced issue ($6.95)…up $1 from prior year…increased newsstand revenue by 67%.  I’m hooked.

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Dead Celebrity Covers

Posted by Scott On February - 23 - 2012

This just in (thanks to Peter Lebensold) from mediabistro

There is something about tragedy that magazine readers find compelling.  It’s hard-wired into humans I suppose.  How else to explain rubber-necking at a car crash.  Dead celebrity covers do sell.

The tragic end to the life of such a dazzling entertainer is indeed newsworthy. Maclean’s managed to get this on their cover last week too. 


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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