Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for September, 2012

Loving Linda

Posted by Scott On September - 27 - 2012

The November 2012 (35th Anniversary) issue of Fashion magazine is absolutley breath taking.  This is a cover sure to sell.

The cover features Linda Evangelista, the iconic Canadian supermodel. What a great way to celebrate a birthday! 

There are just so many ways this cover nails it.  And when you get so many things right, it creates the feeling of a classic, timeless poster-worthy keeper.

  • White background
  • Clean and Uncluttered
  • Gold Logo
  • Big Bold Type
  • Iconic Super Model
  • Use of blessed words, Exclusive and Special
  • Great Eye Contact
  • Radical Clarity
  • Love the “hand signed note” touch

Here’s what Editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra had to say about the cover process:

 “This cover had to communicate a number of things – FASHION’s 35th anniversary, our stature as Canada’s #1 high fashion and beauty magazine, and our mandate of bringing the international world of fashion home. The first was easy: an oversized 35 years in the upper left sell position and very few other cover lines. For the second we knew we wanted a Canadian model, someone who would truly make this a collectible cover. Who better than fashion icon and St. Catherines native Linda Evangelista? She has a long history with our magazine and was thrilled to participate in this special issue. Linda’s global profile and her dress by Lanvin, one of the hottest collections in Paris, do an excellent job of bringing the international world of fashion home.
Finally, we needed something that would distinguish our anniversary issue from everything else on the newsstand. I remembered a signed T-shirt with her picture that Linda had given me years ago. So I asked her if she would autograph our cover. Luckily, she loved the idea and was happy to oblige.”

The issue goes on sale October 8th.  Cover price $5.50

From the Press Release:

A few quotes from our interview with Linda…

On maintaining her privacy:

“I really like just to do covers and do the beautiful editorials,” she says. “I like to pass on the interview part.” 

 On recognizing the downside of the digital age and its detrimental effect on fashion photography:

Instead of taking the trouble to get things right as a picture is being taken, often the effort is left to post-production. “I have pictures that I did with Steven Meisel that were not retouched…we held eight reflectors if we had to make the light perfect. They didn’t have to erase a shadow or bag or wrinkle or pimple.”

 On her workout regimen:

“I have a trainer. I do spinning. I do cross-training. I do weightlifting. I do my Power Plate. I do my rebounder trampoline. I do my rowing machine. And I play sports.” 

Atlantic scores with Obama

Posted by Scott On September - 26 - 2012

Atlantic Monthly scored a big hit at newsstands with their March 2012 cover featuring President Obama.

It was the Cover of the Week:

According to my friends at MagNet, sales of this cover were 43,500…up 77% from the same issue in the prior year.

As for the Civil War SIP, (that had an “introduction by President Obama flagged in the skybar) it managed to sell 26,000 copies, slightly below their 12 month average for all other Atlantic Monthly SIPs (27,500).  However, the SIP cover price was $10.99 U.S. and $12.99 in Canada, compared to $6.99 U.S. and $7.99 in Canada on regular issues of Atlantic Monthly.  That’s a 57% higher cover price in the U.S. for the SIP and 63% price hike in Canada.  Hello newsstand revenue bonus!

Mother Jones Rips Romney

Posted by Scott On September - 26 - 2012

It’s been a busy week in the magazine business.  First, Closer and Chi magazine lit up the media world with shots of Princess Kate topless.  Then Charlie Hebdo lit a fire with more Muslim cartoons.  Now Mother Jones scores a direct hit by getting an exclusive video tape of Mitt Romney that went viral. 

No matter how you slice or dice it, magazines are making news and are in the news…and magazines are creating lots of media buzz, on TV, talk Radio, in newsspapers, on blogs, and other social media outlets. 

Mother Jones hit the motherlode of free PR…good for them.  Looks like Mom is still capable of being very relevant.

Dwell scores with Smaller is Smarter

Posted by Scott On September - 25 - 2012

The November 2011 issue of Dwell was a winner!

According to my friends at MagNet, the issue sold 42,000 copies, up 12% from the same issue in the prior year.

It was the Cover of The Week:

Dwell has had great success offering benefit-oriented solutions to small spaces….Subject Matter Matters!

This cover subscribes to the less is more approach…clean and uncluttered! 

In Style scores with Jennifer

Posted by Scott On September - 25 - 2012

The March 2012 issue of In Style was a single copy success story. 

The cover, featuring Jennifer Anniston was a classic. It was the Cover of the Week:

According to my friends at MagNet, the issue sold 688,000 copies, which is an 11% improvement from the same issue last year.

Every detail of this cover is great, from the way they handle their UPC code right down to the whisps of hair blowing in the wind, the white background, eye contact, great use of cover real estate for the sell lines, to the big number 552 to underline the value proposition.

Jann Arden cover sells

Posted by Scott On September - 21 - 2012

The April 2012 issue of Zoomer featured Jann Arden as the cover girl.  As a huge fan of her music, the cover certainly caught my eye.  I blogged about it back in March.

I loved the fact that Zoomer was taking a risk with this cover.  Well, the results are in and…

The April 2012 issue out sold April 2011 by 40%, and it out sold April 2010 by 37%.

Congratulations to Zoomer for taking the risk!  No Risk, No Reward!

What’s up Charlie Hebdo?

Posted by Scott On September - 20 - 2012

The French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo has published quite a controversial cover, sure to stir the pot.  According to a report by CNN, Parisian newsstand kiosks sold out of the magazine almost instantly.  France has the largest Muslim population in the Euopean Union.

The French government announced it was shutting down embassies in 20 countries.  Spokesman for the government of the United States questioned the judgement of the publisher, while softly supporting the principle of free speech.  The Globe & Mail reported this morning that over 30 people have already been killed in violent outbursts to a YouTube video…the Innocence of Muslims.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault issued a statement expressing his “disapproval of all excesses,” in response to the Charle Hebdo cover.

The magazine’s editor, and a fomer cartoonist named Stephane Charbonnier, denied he was being deliberately provocative at a delicate time, according to a report by SkyNews.

“The freedom of the press, is that a provocation?” he said. “I’m not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn’t go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe.”

The French satirical magazine’s offices were firebombed in the past (November 2011) when they published another controversial cover.

According to the Huffington Post, Charlie Hebdo often publishes satirical cartoons mocking Christians.   The Huffington Post is also running a Poll, which you can vote on, regarding Free Speech. Click below to go to the Huffington Post article and Poll.

According to Wickipedia, the magazine has a “left-wing anarchistic” editorial slant.

The National Post ran this editorial cartoon in today’s paper.

It seems that magazine covers are generating a lot of excitment these days…I guess the Prophet is good for profits.  As for Royal Nipples, that is so yesterday.

New Cookbook SIP from Toronto Life

Posted by Scott On September - 20 - 2012

Toronto Life has just unveiled their newest Special Interest Publication….Cookbook issue.  It goes on sale October 1st, 2012, and will retail for $11.95.

According to the press release: 

” The special interest publication pairs beautiful photography alongside 100 recipes from Toronto’s best restaurants, bars and food shops. The editors at Toronto Life convinced the city’s accomplished chefs, bartenders and bakers to share their guarded recipes, trade secrets, culinary shortcuts and pantry staples.”

“Divided by course, the issue covers breakfast, appetizers, lunch and dinner, desserts and cocktails from such celebrated kitchens as One, Buca, Cava, The Harbord Room, The Grove, Yours Truly, Pizzeria Libretto and more. A roundup of culinary essentials helps readers shop and stock up like professionals.”

Sounds fantastic, and looks great too. This issue is sure to sell to smart, sophisticated, and hungry newsstand buyers!

Click on cover image to enlarge.


Much Ado about Nothing

Posted by Scott On September - 18 - 2012

Until recently, I had never heard of Closer magazine, or Chi magazine.  But then, I am an American philistine. 

The bloggers and the main-stream media have forced me to pay attention.  Apparently, there are Royal nipples to be seen.

Well, if you are at all like me, you must be shocked, just shocked, to learn that Kate Middleton has nipples.

I had never heard of Coptic Christians, until recently either.  Again, call me an American philistine.  But, thanks to the media, I now know all about Nakoula Nakoula, an Eygptian-born Coptic Christian, who also happens to be a convicted felon (possession of chemicals to make methamphetamine, and indentity theft and credit card fraud), whose 14-minute YouTube trailer… Innocence of Muslims… has sparked deadly riots all over the planet.   I’m still trying to figure out what a Coptic Christian is, and why anyone is taking this guy seriously?

But that is the power of magazine covers and YouTube to dominate the news these days.

Relegated to the fringes is the fact that the Arcitic is melting, that youth unemployment in Europe is at crisis levels, and that Iran is on the verge of going Nuke.

According to the Globe & Mail this morning, “Radical imam Ahmed Ashoush, a Cairo cleric, issued a fatwa–or religious edict–saying the “blood should be shed” of everyone involved in the making of the film, and “their killing is a duty of every capable Muslim.”  Ok then.  Really?

As Margaret Wente points out in her column today, “In Western culture we insult religion all the time and think nothing of it.  We fight for people’s right to put a crucifix in urine and put it on display and call it art.” 

I’ve resisted the temptation to go on YouTube to view the offending video.  But I must admit, I couldn’t resist searching for the offending covers of Kate. 

I guess when given a choice between religious hatred and Royal nipples, when it comes to freedom to waste my time, I’d rather google the magazines and oogle the covers.  And may god bless the victims of hate and the nipples of Kate.

Oh, and can you pass me a martini with my life-preserver, apparently the world is on fire.

Cosmopolitan posts big Digital gains

Posted by Scott On September - 9 - 2012

According to recently released statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) for the Jan-Jun 2012 period, Cosmopolitan posted huge gains in digital sales.

Digital subscriptions increased by 110% to an average of 171,258, up from 81,690 in June of 2011.   But print subscriptions also increased by 15%, to an average of 1,436,038, up by 185,655 from a year ago.  Digital subscriptions now account for 10.7% of the total paid subscriptions reported by Cosmopolitan. 

Digital single copy sales for Cosmo also improved, up 542% from prior year, to an average of 14,415, from 2,247 a year ago.  Digital single copies account for just 1.1% of total single copy sales reported.  Cosmo reported single copy sales fell by 16%, to an average sale of 1,337,323 units.

Vanity Fair also posted impressive gains in digital sales.  Digital subscriptions increased by 979% to an average of 36,403, up from just 3,374 a year ago.  Digital subs now account for 4.1% of total paid subscriptions.

Digital single copy sales actually decreased by 61%, to an average of 3,771 from 9,600 a year ago.  Digital single copy sales account for just 1.3% of total paid single copy sales.  However, Vanity Fair reported an 18% decline in single copy sales from a year ago, to an average of 280,167 from 339,966 a year ago.

Esquire also posted healthy gains in digital sales.  Digital subscriptions increased by 94% to an average of 40,792 compared to 20,997 a year ago.  Digital subs now account for 6.7% of total paid subs, while printed subs account for 571,270 or 93.3% of the total.

Digital single copy sales increased by 782% to 3,103, up from 352 units a year ago.  Digital single copy sales account for just 3.3% of total paid single copy sales, while printed copies account for an average of 91,225 or 96.7% of total single copy sales reported.

Looking at a group of Top 10 U.S. titles (Time, Vogue, People, Oprah, Gamour, Rollingstone, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Cosmo, New Yorker) reveals that paid printed subscriptions account for 97.1% of total paid subscriptions, compared to 2.9% for digital subscriptions.  A year ago, digital subs represented 1% of the total paid subs.  Paid printed single copies account for 98.8% of the total paid single copy sales, compared to 1.2% for digital singles.  A year ago digital singles represented just .8% of the total paid singles.

Click on charts to enlarge!


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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