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Archive for October, 2012

25 Essential Trout Flies

Posted by Scott On October - 31 - 2012

The Winter 2012 issue of Fly Fusion is at the printer.  From a “seasonality” perspective, Fly Fusion has always performed at its best this time of year.  It’s the time of year fisherman of both genders need a fix, plan their next getaway, look for new equipment, and are eager for new fly recipies to tie. 

Rule #3:   Benefits, Benefits, Benefits

Here’s what one Facebook friend had to say about the new cover:

“As God closes the curtains on another day, and the shadows start to appear, you have once again captured light at it’s finest moment. I love (the angler’s) head lamp piercing into the dark, just trying to sneak that last tick of time out of the day!”

In Canada, since launching 7 years ago, the Winter issue has outsold the other seasons by:

  • Beats Spring by 37%
  • Beats Summer by 24%
  • Beats Fall by 48%

In the U.S., since launching 7 years ago, the Winter issue has outsold the other seasons by:

  • Beats Spring by 47%
  • Beats Summer by 31%
  • Beats Fall by 101%  

However, those Fall numbers are about to change, based on scan data from Barnes & Noble. The Fall 2012 issue is now forecast to become the best-selling issue ever for this time slot, and will finish at either the #1 or #2 best seller ever since launching all the way back in 2006.  Sales at B&N are already up 105% after 11 weeks on shelves compared to prior year. 

This cover proves that great covers do sell, no matter what time of year!

Check out the sizzling cover below:

Bond, James Bond

Posted by Scott On October - 27 - 2012

The team at Maclean’s just keeps having fun.  Perhaps this is why the Maclean’s franchise and brand still resonates in Canada, while sadly Newsweek has called it quits.

Here’s some promotional copy from the web:

“He is the world’s most infamous secret agent. From the moment James Bond appeared on screen in 1962’s Dr. No, he has been an icon: the crisp, suave master spy, fuelled by vodka martinis and his insatiable appetite for action. To celebrate 50 years of Bond films, Maclean’s presents a special commemorative edition of all things 007. We look at the women, the villains, the cars, guns and gadgets behind the longest-running franchise in film history. Plus Brian D. Johnson examines the evolution of the movies, Sir Roger Moore reveals his favourite Bond and the newest star, Daniel Craig, explains what makes Bond tick.”

I’ll lift a vodka martini to that…

The issue went on sale October 8th, with a cover price of $12.95.

CY’s Ad sales up 57%…Newsstand up 300%

Posted by Scott On October - 22 - 2012

The December 2012 issue of Canadian Yachting is set to hit newsstands November 19th, 2012.

The Art Director, Petra Dueck, had this to say about the cover:

“I’m quite happy with this issue’s cover, and I do think we successfully communicated our theme: “Electronics 2012 – State of Art”. We planned and shot a custom photo which is on theme, on brand (conveying a lifestyle feel), and tells a story. It is easy to default to a catalog looking image of electronics but we managed to avoid this and stay editorial! Our attention is drawn to the electronics in the photo through the graphic design and the main coverline is unmistakable compared to the rest and communicates the theme clearly in one word, in one glance.”

The magazine publishes a West coast edition plus their classic Regular edition. 

“Ad sales in 2012 are up 57% year over year, say’s John Kerr, CEO.  “This has resulted in book sizes that are larger, which gives readers a bigger and better reading experience. We listened to our subscribers who told us they still love print and want the escape from their computers while living on board and we have been selling it hard. The re-investment in perfect binding and issue size is paying dividends across the board.”

Canadian Yachting has been on a roll in 2012. It’s the only title in it’s category showing single copy sales increases in the first half of the year, on issues that are sales final. 

  • The Feb 2012 issue up 177%
  • The Apr 2012 issue up 315%
  • The June 2012 issue up 545%

Upgraded binding + better cover and interior stock = selling more ads = selling more single copies.

Disclosure:  Canadian Yachting is a client of

Canadian Newsstand Awards

Posted by Scott On October - 19 - 2012

The Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) and Magazines Canada, have formally announced a new partnership arrangement for the annual Canadian Newsstand Awards.

First launched in June of 2002, the Canadian Newsstand Awards was a strategic partenership between Masthead, the CMC and HDS Retail (now LS Travel) who has been the lead sponsor.  Over $153,000 in retail promotions space and 60 gold winners’ certificates have been handed out over the years.  The awards ceremony has also traditionally honoured a Newsstand Marketer of the Year.

Now, with the support of Magazines Canada, the Canadian Newsstand Awards will be re-energized.  “I sense a renewing energy among Canadian publishers and their distributors to increase Canadian brand impact on the newsstand.  The newsstand awards have a strong base and can be an important platform upon which we can work collectively to reach readers,” says Mark Jamison, President & CEO of Magazines Canada.

According to the joint press release from the CMC and Magazines Canada, the awards ceremony will take place sometime early in 2013…the date to be determined soon by a new task force.

Special thanks to Doug Bennet, Masthead, and Gerald Savaria, LS Travel, for launching the event in 2002, and to Mark Jamison, Magazines Canada, Ron Sellwood, the CMC, for their determination to build on the past success of this annual event honouring excellence in magazine publishing, art direction, and marketing.

So, get ready to submit your best selling covers from 2012…I have a feeling the new event will be fantastic!

Past winners can be viewed here:

Toronto Home…Hot!

Posted by Scott On October - 18 - 2012

While browsing my local newsstand the other day I stumbled upon Toronto Home, and promptly bought two copies.  The first was an SIP on Kitchens, the second had a cover feature on Country Homes. 

Each issue was 130 pages thick, oversized wide trim, on fabulous glossy stock.  The art direction, both inside and out, by Mark Ruzayk, is outstanding.  The issues are packed with excellent editorial and mouth watering, inspirational spreads. 

The magazine retails for $5.95…a true bargain price for this quality product.

“This autumn marks the first anniversary of the launch of Toronto Home magazine. We have been blessed with a wonderful reception in Toronto by readers and advertisers. Demand for the magazine continues to increase both on the newsstand and through subscriptions. We hope to continue to  provide Torontonians for many years to come with a bird’s-eye view into some of the finest interiors the city has to offer,” says Leah Lipkovitz, Publisher.

Toronto Home is the sister magazine of Montreal Home, launched three years ago. The goal is eventually to create a national network of home magazines. Plans are in the works to make a move into Vancouver next.

According to sales data, the first issue sold at a 42% efficiency in Toronto…the second issue sold 53%, even with the draw doubled. Impressive.  This is one to watch.

Design #3

Posted by Scott On October - 18 - 2012

The 3rd annual Design issue of GardenMaking is set to debut on newsstands November 12th, 2012.

In each of the previous two years, the Design issue has been a particularly strong seller. 

  • Rule #2:  Subject Matter Matters
  • Rule #30:  If it works, keep doing it
  • Rule #34:  Know when to break the rules

This year, the cover design is striking an aggresive note with a major change to the template.

Art Director Gary Hall says,  “For the third incarnation of the Design issue, we felt it was time to amp up the cover a bit.  We took the bold step of lowering the nameplate on the page and adding a giant sell proposition above it.  Pairing the classic palette of black, white and red was a natural for the design.  The palette is both a strong contrast and re-enforcement of the beautiful classic garden image.”

For more on GardenMaking, or to buy back issues, click here:

1812 + PMB

Posted by Scott On October - 17 - 2012

Canada’s History magazine’s Dec/Jan 2013 issue is set to debut on newsstands at the end of November.

Here’s what Editor, Mark Reid, has to say about the issue:

“For two hundred years, the Americans have claimed bragging rights on the War of 1812, going so far as to call it their ‘Second War of Independence.’ Truth is, the U.S. Was lucky that Britain and Canada chose to negotiate the war’s end. Otherwise, we might have thumped them mightily. It’s fitting, then, to go with the images of two soldiers facing off on our cover, while inside, military historian Donald Graves weighs in with his picks for the ultimate question: Who Really Won the War of 1812.”

As a side note, Canada’s History enjoyed a fabulous outcome from the recent PMB survey, posting a total audience of 767,000, or 19.7 readers per copy.  There were many critics of the bold gambit to change the name of the magazine from The Beaver to Canada’s History.  Back in 2010, PMB reported that the audience was 327,000.  That’s an increase of 135% in just 3 years. 

Canada’s History is enjoying great results on Canada’s newsstands too:

  1. The Oct/Nov 2011 issue is up 53% from prior year
  2. The Dec/Jan 2012  issue is up 54% from prior year
  3. The Feb/Mar 2012 issue is up 20% from prior year
  4. The Apr/May 2012 issue is up 134% and an all-time best seller!
  5. The Jun/Jul 2012 issue forecast is up 150% from prior year

Full Disclosure:  Canada’s History is a client of CoversSell.Com

The Grid…Ad pages Up!

Posted by Scott On October - 16 - 2012

Laas Turnbull was hired in August of 2010 with the task of improving the fortunes of Eye Weekly. 

Owned by Torstar, the alternative weekly appeared to be floundering, against the venerable NOW magazine. 

But it appears momentum may have shifted.

According to LNA data, ad pages were in decline:

  • 2008…1,009 pages
  • 2009…902 pages, down 11%
  • 2010…735 pages, down 19%
  • 2011…708 pages, down 4%…and a cumulative slide of 301 pages or nearly 30%

But after a bold new re-design and re-branding, which debuted in May 2011, The Grid has won many awards, including cover of the year at the National Magazine Awards, and, perhaps more importantly, is winning back advertisers.

“When we set out to launch The Grid, we wanted to create a sexy, immersive environment for advertisers. We also wanted to be as creative on the client side as we hoped to be on the product side. I think we’ve very quickly established a reputation in the agency community for generating really fun, energetic, creative ideas that we can execute both quickly and at a high level. More and more, we find that agencies come to us when they want something unusual and impactful,” says Lass Turnbull, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief.

According to LNA data, The Grid has sold 717 ad pages from Jan–Sep 2012…up from 481 pages in the same period in 2011…that’s an increase of 236 pages or a 49% improvement.  That’s huge.  And the 4th quater could see even bigger gains.

On top of this, The Grid decided to stop accepting “adult classified” ads, a very lucrative, but controversial  (some say sexist and/or dehumanizing) category of ads, that Now Magazine continues to carry, despite it’s so-called “progressive editorial slant.” 

NOW’s ad sales, according to LNA, have been in a steady decline since 2007.

  • 2007…2,385 pages
  • 2008…2,130 pages, down 11%
  • 2009…2,057 pages, down 3.4%
  • 2010…1,991 pages, down 3.2%
  • 2011…1,841 pages, down 7.5%, and cumulative loss of 23% since 2007
  • 2012 year to date ad pages are flat….almost identical to 2011 Jan-Sep at 1,330

However, “adult classified” ads are not counted by LNA, so that represents potentially huge revenue for NOW.  Perhaps the LNA data suggests that ad agencies are starting to grow weary, or are simply embarrassed, about having their brands associated with “adult classifieds” and other juvenile, and hypocritical, publicity stunts.  As one industry wag pointed out, “there is still a large ad page gap to close, even without hooker ads.”


Posted by Scott On October - 16 - 2012

The new SIP from Legion Magazine is the third in our series of holiday gift books.

The new issue features covers on both the back and front. 

“Korea: The Forgotten War, features text by well-known Canadian historian David J. Bercuson, more than 150 rarely seen archival images, a timeline, and five maps,” according to the press release.

The magazine will retail for $14.95…look for special displays at Chapters, Wal Mart, London Drugs, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, and other fine specialty retailers like Mags & Fags in Ottawa.

The two previous issues were huge sellers, but are now out of print.  You can purchase them at the Apple store at this link:

New Canadian Geo SIP

Posted by Scott On October - 14 - 2012

Canadian Geographic’s 2013 Wildlife SIP is out.  The magazine features a cougar on the front cover, with frolicking wolves on the back cover.

Top predators always work for this title, so expect a very strong performance. 

Can it beat the origianal SIP, with the Polar Bear on the front and the bug-eyed owls on the back cover?  Possibly, but often the first time is the best.

The issue retails for $12.95.

I will report back in the Check Up section on the final outcome.

Click on covers 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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