Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for June, 2012

Vacation Homes

Posted by Scott On June - 20 - 2012

Canadian Real Estate Wealth is doing two covers for their August 2012 issue.

The first cover is aimed at the BC and Alberta markets.  The second is aimed at the rest of Canada.

When we have done split covers in the past, focusing on regional content, we have seen big lifts in sales peformance in BC and Alberta.  After all, real estate is all about location, location, location. 


Posted by Scott On June - 20 - 2012

The Jul/Aug issue of Legion Magazine hits newsstands July 2nd, 2012.

This issue recaps one of the most intense battles in Canadian military history, as we approach the 70th Anniversary of Dieppe. 

 “Dieppe occupies a place of its own in the story of war, and the grim casualty figures must not class it as a failure…honour to the brave who fell.  Their sacrifice was not in vain,” Sir Winston Churchill

We “committed to the cover” by going very big with the type treatment.  Three additional hooks are neatly tucked underneath, and the use of yellow for the Vimy article helps the eye travel across the page.

The skybar treatment is also bold and calls out two other important articles in this issue, both of which are compelling reads. 

The issue is being promoted at LS Travel Airports.

Summer 4Wheeling

Posted by Scott On June - 15 - 2012

The Summer issue of 4WDrive magazine hits newsstand racks on July 2nd, 2012. 

The newsstand draw has been increased by 38% thanks to Coast to Coast and promotional support at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Sales of the recently re-designed magazine are up 23% from prior year, as the new look and improved distribution are kicking into high gear.

The cover features a strong action-oriented image.  A bold sky bar.  Agressive type treatment.  Benefits abound.  Look for sales to spike on this one.


Posted by Scott On June - 12 - 2012

The May/Jun 2012 issue of SKYNEWS features what Doug Bennet calls ” the ultimate editorial premium in the universe.”

Apparently the Globe & Mail agreed, when it ran a two-page spread, urging readers to pick up a copy of SKYNEWS to learn more about “The Transit of Venus”, and to get a free pair of specialized glasses for viewing an eclipse.  The Transit of Venus, when the Earth, the sun, and Venus are in perfect alignment, is considered one of the rarest astronomical events of the century.  That’s awe-inspiring stuff. 

The cover is pretty amazing too, even if it is a bit hard to get the full impact of the art direction, thanks to the polybag required to carry the premium.  Greg Kielty, co-publisher of the Canadian astrononmy magazine said, “We raised the cover price from $4.95 to $6.95, to help offset the costs of the glasses and the polybagging.  We had an extra 1,000 glasses, which we put on our online store.  They sold out quickly at two for $10, an unexpected $5,000 yield at high margin”.

I suspect extremely strong sales will result from this effort. This is a cover that is indeed worthy of worship, as it takes advantage of so many of the rules…including:

  • Timing Matters
  • Use Premiums
  • Subject Matter Matters

The Grid HAS got Spunk!

Posted by Scott On June - 8 - 2012

The Grid won gold for Best Magazine Cover at the 2012 National Magazine Awards last night for their Got Spunk cover.  Art Director Vanessa Wyse.  Report on Business won silver.  Art Director Domenic Macri.  Congratulations to both! 

Art Director Vanessa Wyse, of The Grid, was the most honoured individual of the evening, taking home three golds.

The Grid had a huge night, receiving four gold awards and two silvers, to finish second overall, in hardware collected…The Walurs won again, with six golds and six silvers.

In an informal poll, readers of had given The Grid Got Spunk issue a 15% chance of successs, a good prediction, with ROB given a scant 1% chance of winning for best cover.  See link below:

1st Quarter Numbers Released

Posted by Scott On June - 1 - 2012

MagNet Business Insights has just released their findings on the 1st Quarter 2012 newsstand sales results.  The news is actually encouraging, so long as you are not a weekly, so long as you are a smaller publisher, so long as you are a Canadian magazine.

In the United States, unit sales were down nearly 8% overall

In Canada, unit sales were down nearly 6%

The big publishes felt the most pain, according to the MagNet data:

  • In the U.S., the Top 50 titles were down 8%, while the Top 100 were down 5.5%, the Top 200 were down 2.9% , the Top 1000 just 2.6%.
  • The same held true in Canada, with the Top 50 down nearly 7%, the Top 100 down 4.4%, the Top 200 down 1.7% and the Top 1000 down just .5%.

Click to magnify chart below:

Good to be niche, good to be high-quality, good to be a Canadian title: 

Canadian Real Estate Wealth is up 18% in the 1st Quarter of 2012 (Jan, Feb, Mar 2012)

Canada’s History is up 54% on the last two closed issues (Oct/Nov, Dec/Jan), and is forecasting a record-breaking result on their Titanic issue

Legion is up 68% on their last 3 issues (Nov/Dec, SIP, Jan/Feb)

Canadian Yachting is up 128% on their last 2 issues (Nov/Dec, Jan/Feb)

4WDrive is up 25% since re-launching recently

Canadian Business Franchise Directory is up 33%

GardenMaking has launched a brand new SIP, retailing for $9.99 that is selling briskly

Fly Fusion is coming off their best year ever, with record breaking issues.  Sales in Canada were up 11% in 2011, and sell-through efficiency increased by 12.8pts.  In the U.S., sales were up 17%.

Final Clue…Art Directors Rule!

Posted by Scott On June - 1 - 2012

I’m putting the finishing touches on the 2012 Quiz Show, to be featured in Toronto, at the annual MagNet Conference, Wednesday at 4pm.

Art Directors, Publishers, Editors, and Circulation experts won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear a lively Q & A roundtable discussion with 3 of Canada’s most critically acclaimed art directors, Jason Logan, Rogers Publishing, Brian Morgan, The Walrus, Christine Dewairy, Toronto Life.   Time will be allotted for questions from the audience.  We will be delving deep into the question:  “How does an Art Director make a cover?” and all the complexities that surround the process.

Don’t miss your chance to take home a $2000 check, courtesy of Presse Commerce, for the winner of the Esquire Quiz, which will get you geared up for an exciting and thought provoking afternoon.

Here’s the final clue:


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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