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Archive for July, 2013

City Home SIP from Toronto Life

Posted by admin On July - 31 - 2013

The 2013 edition of Toronto Life’s City Home, has a smart, ultra-modern vibe, and promises a voyeuristic look “inside the city’s most stylish homes.”

Here’s what the editor, Maryam Sanati, had to say:  “Our annual City Home issue is all about inspiring design and architecture, and where to find everything you’ll need to create your dream home. The pool house on the cover belongs to legendary ad executive Geoffrey Roche, a colourful, fun guy who appreciates clean lines and modernism. It works on the cover because it’s the urban ideal—a little bit of Palm Springs is North Toronto.”

The issue goes on sale August 5th, 2013, and sells for $7.95.

Click to Enlarge Image:

Sometimes An Illustration Can’t be Beat

Posted by admin On July - 29 - 2013


One of my 34 Cover Rules is:

Rule #10:  Photos over Illustrations

But it is important to remember Rule #1:  There are Always Exceptions to the Rules

The current issue of The New Yorker is a case in point.  Funny. Beyond hysterical.  Spot on classic.  A great addition to the New Yorker’s proud tradition of illustrated covers and humour.

Women of Valour

Posted by admin On July - 23 - 2013

The Aug/Sep 2013 issue of Canada’s History is set to hit newsstands on July 29th.

Here’s what Editor Mark Reid had to say about this cover choice:  “It’s not often noted, but women played many important roles during the War of 1812. As writer Dianne Graves points out in the August-September 2013 issue of Canada’s History magazine, when their men went off to fight, women were left with sole responsibility for farms, homes, and businesses. Some also tended the wounded, single-handedly defended their property against plunderers, rallied First Nations to fight, accompanied their soldier husbands on campaign, and conveyed important intelligence across enemy lines. The most well-known of these women was Laura Secord. But Graves’ article focuses on the lesser known of the War of 1812’s heroines.”

The cover image is rich an inviting, with a strong type treatment, and a clean, uncluttered feel.

Click to Enlarge image

Canadian Living’s New Look

Posted by Scott On July - 22 - 2013

Canadian Living is debuting a new look with their September 2013 issue.

The new logo has beefed up in size and impact.  The sky-bar area is working much harder with three strong hooks. The main sell line is up top, not down low like so many fashion magazines.  Bold use of the number 30 adds quantity to the quality.  Good positioning of the starburst button.  And love the tag line and treatment.

It’s great to see such a legendary brand not afraid to shake things up!

Check out that special “TRY ME” price of $2.99.

Bonus:  Every issue will have 4 covers…The Food cover will always be the lead, but each cover has a unique advertising opportunity (Fitness, Fashion, Home).

Here are some additional comments from the editor:

Let’s start with the brand new logo: The masthead is a take on Corinthian Bold and we love the strong simplicity of the single line with the tagline nestled below but getting to this simplicity wasn’t that easy. We felt strongly that both “Canadian” and “Living” were words too long for one line so we played with at least 25 different ways of stacking them: we tried both words at different sizes, different weights, in all caps, in all lower case, right justified, left justified, and more. After all of these combos, we had a favourite but when we showed it to our publisher Caroline Andrews, she wasn’t so convinced and asked us to try both words on one line. “Ridiculous” we chimed after she left but dutifully tried it anyway and got carried away for hours. We played with a skybar, main lines and big numbers and it all started to come together. By about 11:00 PM that night we knew Caroline was right (go figure, she has 24 years of experience in the business) and we had several one-line options to show her but had narrowed them down to two favourites. In the end, our cover team all agreed on this new logo and we brought the template into the studio to overlay as we were shooting our food features.

We’ve been talking about this Refresh of Canadian Living for months now and we knew to do it successfully, we had to nail our cover image so we asked for help. We polled a targeted group of Canadian Living readers and newsstand buyers and asked them to pick their favourite of four potential covers. In this survey we were also able to discover which image and which cover lines generated the highest preference and appeal.

The Smoked Salmon Pizza cover was the resounding winner and the test group loved our main sell line as much as we did: 30 days of easy, healthy & delicious recipes!

 Sidebar: There are four exclamation marks on the front and we know that’s a lot (“too many” says our copy editor Jill Buchner) but we’re just so excited about these stories and couldn’t help ourselves. 


The Bomber

Posted by Scott On July - 17 - 2013

The twits are twittering about the August 1st, 2013, issue of RollingStone magazine.  Moral outrage abounds.  Tasteless.  Disgusting.  The indignity of it all.

Here’s the offending cover.

Is it really so different than this cover?

Is this cover less offensive?

How tasteless is this cover?

Does this cover glorify a criminal?

Is this gangster a saint?

My guess is that the article is brilliantly researched and written and, I predict, will win some editorial awards very soon.  Given all the buzz and free publicity, I also predict the issue will sell extremely well, particularly in Boston.   It’s RollingStone magazine…they’ve been covering Patty Hearst, The Black Panthers, The Weatherman, and all sorts of wild and crazy guys for decades. 

All I can say is:  Really?

Here’s a tune to remind you…

Beauty of Sport

Posted by admin On July - 15 - 2013

The latest issue of Sportsnet magazine is sure to stir debate.  I can wait to read the jaded and cynical comments from anonymous trolls on industry blogs.  However, this issue will certainly send many a newsstand browser to their chiropractor’s office (as they wrench their necks in double-take, jaw-dropping ecstasy and pain).  I am thrilled not to see a sweaty hockey player cover in July.

“The much anticipated and hotly debated inaugural Beauty of Sport issue is on newsstands July 18. Following the 30-minute behind the scenes TV documentary that aired on Sportsnet, we are unleashing the issue to the country. An 8-month project of logistics and photo shoots from LA to Montreal. We used the same photographer, Matt Barnes, for all 28 athletes centered around a whirlwind week in Las Vegas. 18 athletes, 5 days and very long hours produced some of our most memorable images for the package. These aren’t bikini models, actors or runway stars. These are homegrown, world-class athletes—like you’ve never seen them before. The unique angle we have is they are all Canadian, men and women, and they are some of the best athletes in the world. And we’re ready to show them off proudly. The cover itself was the product of many variations of many different athletes over a few weeks of trial and error. Finally we decided on Emily Batty, an Olympic mountain biker standing with her killer hot pink bike in Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas. This image best encapsulated what we are trying to represent with this issue, beauty and sport, and Emily captures both perfectly in this image. Blowing out the top sell will let readers know exactly what they are getting themselves into when they pick it up on newsstands — Canada’s Hottest Athletes. It’s been a fun project with a ton of work to get to this point. Can’t wait for next year!” says art director Jamie Hodgson.

Canadian Boxscore (Part 1)

Posted by admin On July - 4 - 2013

The Canadian Newsstand Boxscore for 2012 results, has been completed by Coast to Coast Newsstand Services.  CEO Glenn Morgan has released the Top Line data to CoversSell.Com

Here are the macro level findings.  In future installments, we will get into category analysis, we will drill down on specific magazine success stories, and talk about the biggest decliners too. 

Look for future installments to come soon.

  • Total Units sold in 2012:  83,488,654
  • Total Units sold in 2011:  90,006,896
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -7.2%

 So if your magazine did better than a -7.2 decline than you are a winner relative to the overall index.

  •  Total Retail $ Sales in 2012:  $458,793,287
  • Total Retail $ Sales in 2011:  $491,535,040
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -6.7%

 Higher priced SIP’s and the usual upward movement on cover prices helped a bit.

  • Total Units sold of Canadian magazines in 2012:  13,546,978
  • Total Units sold of Canadian magazines in 2011:  14,210,138
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -4.7%

 Good to see that Canadian Magazines are doing considerably better than the overall index.

  •  Total Units sold of USA & Other magazines in 2012:  69,941,676
  • Total Units sold of USA & Other magazines in 2011:  75,796,758
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -7.7%

Here are some other observations… 

  • Overall Newsstand Sell-thru in 2012:  31.3%
  • Overall Newsstand Sell-thru in 2011:  31.6%

 Sell-through remains stable.

  •  Canadian magazines sold as a percentage of overall total newsstand sales in 2012:  16.2%
  • Canadian magazines sold as a percentage of overall total newsstand sales in 2011:  15.8%

 A good story is that the percentage of Canadian magazines sold on newsstands has been trending up every year.

In 2008 Canadian magazines represented 13.5% of the total units of English language magazines sold on newsstands through Canadian wholesalers. So in the last five years we have seen market share increase from 13.5% to 16.2% for Canadian magazines.

 Here’s another interesting statistic…

  • Total number of issues distributed in 2012:  22,050
  • Total number of issues distributed in 2011:  22,285
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -1.0%

 The number of issues distributed has stabilized since the biggest drop which took place in 2009. That year only 21,839 total issues were distributed compared to 23,582 in 2008. This was a drop of 7.4% which was a significant reduction in issues distributed for 2009 compared to 2008.

Again, all of the comparison and data provided are for English language magazines only, and that are distributed through the Canadian mass market wholesalers.

Fashion Cover Rocks

Posted by admin On July - 3 - 2013

 The August 2013 issue of Fashion taps into a young, fun, celebrity vibe.  Extremely well executed cover.

“Demi is in such a great place in her life right now – her most recent album debuted at #1 and her single Heart Attack has gone platinum. Her confidence radiates off the page. Even though she doesn’t have a standard “toothy” cover smile, there is an authenticity in her expression that connected with our cover team, and we felt would connect with readers too. We knew the patterned dress was going to be a challenge for cover lines but we didn’t care. The “busy” dress against the green background and pink and aqua type are stylish and vibrant.  As for the cover lines – everyone could use a new pair of jeans, no? So that was an easy choice for a main sell with the bullets highlighting celebs and value,” says Bernadette Morra, Editor-in-chief.

Click to enlarge image!

Song for cover viewing:


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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