Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for May, 2013

Dumb Jocks

Posted by admin On May - 31 - 2013

The latest cover from Sportsnet is one to watch.  When I saw this cover I couldn’t help shaking my head as I laughed.  I am as guilty as the next guy for helping enrich athletes by watching TV, listening to the radio, purchasing over priced tickets to games, and buying caps and t-shirts.  I must also confess to resenting the ludicrous amounts of money these jocks earn, pure jealousy I admit it.  

 Sportsnet may have tapped a vein: even die-hard fans can take some perverse pleasure in reading about how these morons manage to burn their fortunes. Here’s what Art Director Jamie Hodgson, had to say about the cover:

“Our 2nd Annual Money Issue follows up on one of our most successful newsstand issues of 2012. I’m typically bored of money issues with tons of dollar signs and stacks of cash and coins floating around layouts so I thought with this great cover line we had, I’d light the cover on fire this year. Why not! How often do you get to singe the corners of your logo and get away with it? The big fiery BURN is sure to catch attention on stands. I had some fun with the monopoly board of uber-rich athletes with some of the bizarre and ridiculous things they spend their fortunes on, with a special bust-out of Evander Holyfield in the bottom corner, our big feature in the package. Also, you can’t go wrong with a little Paulina Gretzky for sports fans up in the top left corner, right?”

Click on image to enlarge:

Canadian Living or Style…Vote Now!

Posted by admin On May - 27 - 2013

Two fabulous new covers from my friends at Transcon.

Take a moment to vote on which one you prefer. 

I’ll report back on which cover yielded a better result compared to their historic averages.

Here’s what the new editor-in-chief of Canadian Living, Jen Reynolds, had this to say about the cover: When we declared that it was our Best of Canada Issue we knew we had to try a cover with butter tarts, debatably the only truly Canadian food. Getting this cover wasn’t easy as we tried shots looking down, looking down at multiples, looking down at multiples with a bite taken out, looking down with different coloured and textured surfaces and every combo in-between. These shots were pretty but nothing special and certainly not cover-worthy so we reevaluated and decided to stack the tarts and try that approach multiple ways. As we built our mountain of butter tarts three high and took a pretty little bite out of it, we all agreed it was started to become cover worthy but the shots still didn’t scream Best of Canada…yet. So we played more. We plucked a Canadian flag on our “butter tart mountain” and loved it but still, it needed something more. This is when our contributing art director Chris Bond, prop stylist Madeleine Johari, food stylist Melanie Stuparyk and photographer Jeff Coulson came up with the idea to add a banner of Canadian flags to the background (homemade by Madeleine) and light sparkers. When the light from a group of four sparklers produced a burst of energy in the background and the perfect space for cover lines, we just knew we had our winner and when we added our main coverline, publisher Caroline Andrews and our cover team agreed!   Important note: In our office there’s a HUGE debate (as we imagine there is among Canadians coast to coast) about whether raisins belong in butter tarts or not. I’m firmly in the “no raisins” camp so that’s why these tarts are ooey gooey good without the squishy little offenders.  

And this is what Erin McLaughlin, Editor-in-Chief, Style at Home & Canadian Gardening magazines, had to say about the Style at Home cover:  “Canadians look to the summer issues of their favourite magazines to provide breezy, bright style, and this cover delivers the best of both worlds. The high ceilings, the all-white backdrop and the unobstructed sightlines right out the windows were a big part of the appeal in this room, and we loved the way the clear acrylic chairs are juxtaposed with the dark table to give off a casual summer vibe. Readers can really picture themselves here, and that’s an important cover strategy for Style at Home. We also removed the colour banner behind the logo for this issue in order to emphasize the height of the ceiling. White, of course, is a mainstay for our July issue, and our main cover line speaks directly to that point. We let the enticing image do the rest. The bubble references our double cover, where we add blue to the wall colour to promote a different look.”

 I love them both.  Which one do you think will result in the best outcome?

Vote below, and I will do a check-up to reveal the results.

Which will have the best outcome?

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Outdoor Canada Takes a Risk

Posted by admin On May - 27 - 2013

The Summer 2013 issue of Outdoor Canada is refreshing.  Art Director Sandra Cheung serves up an original cover treatment that dares its readers to have some fun. 

“Summer is vacation time, the time we all like to have as much fun as possible. With this cover, we wanted to tap into that element of fun, from the type treatment through to the cover lines through to our model draped in all manner of fishing and hunting gear. It should really stand out in its category on the newsstand,” says Sandra.

Editor Patrick Walsh has this to add, “We’ve even incorporated that pesky barcode/address box into the design, making it work for us rather than chopping off the model’s leg. We really planned this one out!”

I love it when editors and art directors have the courage to try something unpredictable.  No “fin and grin” with a salmon.  No”white tailed deer with a huge rack” this time around.  I hope they are rewarded for their risk taking!  I’d bet on it.

The issue goes on sale June 10th, 2013.

NOW “References” Bloomberg

Posted by admin On May - 24 - 2013

In what appears to be a never ending “referencing” of other art directors’ covers, the latest cover of NOW digs into the portfolio of the celebrated and award-winning Art Director Richard Turley at Bloomberg Businessweek.  Maybe they thought that since the cover dates all the way back to May 23rd 2011, that nobody would notice. It’s one thing to be inspired by the work of others, its quite another thing to “borrow” so regularly, with no attribution, and with virtually no originality whatsoever.  With such juicy material to work with, given the Mayor’s absurd predicament, you’d think that NOW could do a “made-in-Toronto” piece of creative.  I have an idea, let’s start a crowd source fundraising drive to buy NOW some original ideas.   That way NOW can be honest about their addiction to NY art directors’ portfolios.

Funny Video by John Stewart

Zoomer Celebrates Liz Taylor

Posted by admin On May - 23 - 2013

The June 2013 issue of Zoomer magazine features a fabulous vintage photo of the iconic celebrity Elizabeth Taylor

According to the press release, the issue “reveals new details of her time in Toronto with Richard Burton and their secret Montreal wedding.”  And the release goes on to say that “Taylor is also being celebrated today at the Cannes Film Festival where a restored print of the film Cleopatra is being presented by Bulgari and 20th Century Fox.”

The cover image is by Canadian photographer Douglas Kirkland, who worked in the 60s and 70s in NY for both Look and Life Magazine. In addition to Taylor, he also shot Marilyn Monroe and Marlena Dietrich.

This just in from Marisa Latini:

“The June issue of Zoomer is another first for us, where we are utilizing a vintage image of a celebrity on the cover and it’s sure to move copies,” said Marisa Latini, VP Marketing, ZoomerMedia.

“The main feature is part of a bigger package on second-and-beyond marriages, and the issue contains a package on “Post-Career Careers” — perfect for our demographic,” she added.

This first=ever vintage/nostalgic cover is exciting, and I love it.  Plus, the cover has all these things going for it too:

  • Iconic Star
  • Great Eye Contact
  • Fab Black Cocktail Dress
  • Great jewellery
  • Tons of benefit-oriented cover lines
  • Taps into free media hype

Four Wheel Drive climbs the charts

Posted by admin On May - 17 - 2013

Four Wheel Drive magazine re-launched itself with the final issue of 2011 (Volume 13 #6).

Sales on that first issue increased by 20% compared to the same issue in the prior year.  As good as this was, the title did even better in 2012, with a cumulative increase of 42% compared to 2011 totals. 

Six of Seven issues since re-launching have outsold prior year’s issues. 

  1. Volume 13 #6: up 20%
  2. Volume 14 #1: up 33%
  3. Volume 14 #3: up 71%
  4. Volume 14 #4: up 148%
  5. Volume 14 #5: up 57%
  6. Volume 14 #6: up 24%

Volume 14 #5 set an all-time new sales record, which was established in 2007…35 issues back in time.

All the top U.S.-based Off Road titles saw sales decline in 2012 here in Canada, but 4WDrive climbed the chart.

  • Sport Utility… down 17%
  • Petersens…down 13%
  • JP…down 13%
  • Off Road…down 13%
  • Four Wheeler…down 5%
  • Four Wheel Drive (Canadian Content)…up 42%

The new look covers, upgraded content, a new distributor, smart, strategic promotions, great work by Ron Sellwood at Coast to Coast, and all contributed to a block-buster year for Four Wheel Drive.

CY Celebrates Summer

Posted by admin On May - 10 - 2013

Canadian Yachting’s June issue(s) both have a way of evoking the lifestyle that many of us can only dream about.

Art Director Petra Dueck agrees, “After all” she says, “If a cover doesn’t tell a story, then it is just a catalogue.”

She goes on to say, “The two covers this issue are all about the feeling of boating. With summer sitting on the doorstep, the June issues of CY are about getting back on the water, enjoying the weather, and having some fun. We started off with some fantastic photo options expressing this feeling and the theme of “Entertaining Onboard”.   After some debate we decided to go with these two images as they invoked the feeling of the joy of boating in summer and how closely they represented the theme and stories in the books. The cover lines were crafted to emphasize this feeling as well as to inform readers of the benefits.   From the adventurous exploring spirit the west version brings, to the summer social spirit of the east version, I think these covers have summer covered.”

The Eastern cover is my personal favourite ever produced by Canadian Yachting.  Sunset images are so difficult to work with, but Art Director Petra Dueck has created a masterpiece. In my view, the subtle shading to help pop out the supporting sell lines almost disappears into the waves and clouds.  The strong type treatment is bold yet elegant.  The diagonally set “interrupter” in the upper left corner is like a sail tilting in the wind.  The cover is warm and harkens us back to port for a Grey Goose martini, after a satisfying day on the water.

Click on images to enlarge

On the other hand, the Western cover totally captures the spirit of the BC coastal waters and rugged terrain.  The type treatment is also bold and deftly handled.  And the eye travels comfortably from the main sell line (great benefits promised) to the supporting hooks. The question is, is she alone, or is a special someone making lunch and opening a fine bottle of BC wine back on board ship?

Which one do you like best?  Vote below:

Which do you like best

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Walrus Stats Shared

Posted by admin On May - 8 - 2013

An interesting story about the Walrus magazine, and how they manage to not only survive but thrive in today’s challenging environment.

Interesting statistics at end of article worth taking note of regarding digital.

Thanks to Kevin Brannigan, NewsGroup, for the heads up.

Golf Anyone?

Posted by admin On May - 3 - 2013

Mark your calendars…the 2013 CADS Classic Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 19th, 2013, at Pebble Beach, I mean Glenn Cedars Golf Club.

As always, the format is Best Ball / Double T-Off Tournament, so everyone can have fun and enjoy a day of mixing with publishers, circulators, retailers, distributors, wholesalers and friends of single-copy sales.

In a press release Dawar Taylor says:

“The C.A.D.S -Canadian Association of Distribution Specialists- Committee would like to extend the annual golf classic invitation out to our industry partners and friends abroad this year. The CADS CLASSIC has been ongoing for 30+ years with a ‘funtastic’ round of golf and ‘fantabulous’ dinner, so that we can all come together for one day and catch up with new/old friends within the publication industry. The tournament fees are kept relatively low to encourage many to come out, since this golf tournament is primarily put on for YOU! Any funds raised are put towards small prizes, awards, funeral condolence donations/flowers for industry members, and a donation to the Children’s Christmas Wish Fund. All existing or retired partners and friends from circulation, consulting, distribution, publishing, retail, transport, wholesale or anyone else associated with the distribution or circulation channels of books, magazines, and newspapers are welcomed.”

Please contact Dawar Taylor for more information regarding the format and pricing of this event: / 416-899-0867.

Big Trout Small Streams

Posted by admin On May - 1 - 2013

The Summer 2013 issue of Fly Fusion is scheduled to hit newsstands May 27th, 2013.

“The cover is the first under-water shot we’ve ever used,”  says Chris Bird, Group Publisher.   ” We liked the energy of this image as the fisherman works his net.”

This Canadian category leader continues to post strong sales in the U.S. market as well.  The title now ranks #3 in its category at Barnes & Noble…pretty impressive for a quarterly title!  Sales of the current issue are running 75% better than prior year at Barnes & Noble. 

Sales in the U.S. have been growing steadily, despite the rather weak market conditions:


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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