Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for July, 2014

New Look for Almanac

Posted by admin On July - 30 - 2014

The 2015 Harrowsmith Almanac is sporting a new look this year. There are a number of subtle changes, but the biggest change was to add benefit-oriented sell lines to the cover.

This classic publication sold over 24,000 copies last year.

Publisher Yolanda Thorton is pushing for even more robust sales with this year’s editon.

The on sale date is scheduled for September 8th, 2014.

The magazine is distributed by Coast to Coast.  Special thanks to Ron Sellwood and Peter Van De Geyn.

Cutthroat Trout

Posted by admin On July - 29 - 2014

The Fall 2014 issue of Fly Fusion is set to hit newsstands on August 24th, 2014.

This cover is from the Less is More school.  We wanted “radical clarity” about what we are selling: Cutthroat Trout.

The cover continues with it’s traditional drop down box in the upper right corner, and features two other main sell lines in the lower left.

The Spring 2014 cover, Monster Lake Trout, is smashing sales records in both Canada and the U.S. markets.  In Canada, sales are up over 45% from prior year, and in the U.S. sales are up over 30%.

All Type Treatment

Posted by admin On July - 28 - 2014

The September 2014 issue of Canadian Real Estate is a great example of how to make an “All Type” cover treatment pop on newsstands.

Ski Canada New Look

Posted by admin On July - 22 - 2014

Ski Canada magazine, which outsells all it’s domestic and U.S.-based competitors, isn’t playing it safe.

Working with K9 Strategy+Design (who has been art directing the magazine for 8 years) and, the 2015 Gear Guide issue has received a complete makeover.

Publisher Paul Green says, “It was time for Ski Canada magazine to refresh its image so we went to K9 Design, our long term partner in the magazine’s art direction. Assignment: capture the vitality of alpine skiing in an all new look for 2015.”

Norm Lourenco  of K9 Design says,  “We’ve designed Ski Canada for over 8 years but never redesigned it. To say we are stoked is an understatement, but we realize the enormous responsibility and sensitivities that come with redesigning such a celebrated and respected Canadian publication. Our goal is to strengthen the 42 year old brand as a current, authoritative voice on all things ski. Every redesign is a balancing act between yet-to-be-realised new readers and current loyal readers – you’re constantly asking have we gone too far, or not far enough. For Ski Canada, we’ve introduced elements that will bring a bit more fun to the reading experience, while still maintaining their role as the leading publication that is synonymous with skiing.”

The cover price has been raised from $5.95 to $6.99.

The new look goes on sale September 8th, 2014.

3 Guys in T Shirts

Posted by admin On July - 11 - 2014

Here are three covers from Rollingstone in 2012.

All three feature guys in t-shirts.

Which of these covers sold the most copies in Canada?

The Boss, The Biebs, or the Bad Boy?

Think carefully before making your choice.

Answers can be found below.

The Boss:  Sold 9,134

The Biebs: Sold 6,671

The Bad Boy:  Sold 10,282  (sold 54% more than Biebs!)

Cottage Life Winter Covers

Posted by admin On July - 10 - 2014

Which of these 3 great Cottage Life covers sold the most copies?

All three are from the Winter time slot, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

All three are very blue.

Think carefully before making your choice.

All three sold well, but one did considerably better.

The answers can be found below.

#1  Winter 2011….sold 7,367

#2  Winter 2012…sold 7,380

#3  Winter 2013…sold 9,408….up by 27.5% from prior year!

Abilities Rocks the Chair

Posted by admin On July - 10 - 2014

The Spring 2014 issue of Abilities magazine is very interesting.

Here’s what I’ve been told about the magazine from Cameron Graham, PhD:

“Abilities magazine is a lifestyle/consumer magazine for Canadians with disabilities. It was founded by the late Raymond D. Cohen over a quarter century ago. Published quarterly, it is approaching its 100th issue.”

“Our readership is about 80,000. Roughly a third of that is through individual subscriptions, the rest through bulk subscriptions distributed via disability-related organizations to their members. ”

“The magazine is prepared under the guidance of a board of directors representing the disability community, so it is very much “of” people with disabilities, not just “for” them. We publish content that is intended to inspire and inform, and to link people to opportunities. Occasionally we provoke, hence this cover.”

“Here is how the cover came about. Our editorial committee was meeting one evening earlier this year to plan themes and content for upcoming issues. One of our board members, Joel Dembe, a Canadian wheelchair tennis player and Paralympic athlete, was trying to convey to us that our ideas were a little tame. He showed us this logo and we just burst out laughing. The logo came from the website of a nonprofit organization in Spain called They are doing some highly provocative work in changing people’s perceptions of disability.”

“At some point over the following few days, one of our graphic artists mocked up an Abilities cover with the logo on it. As soon as we saw it, we realized that it had the potential to be a really strong cover. We were obviously concerned about how our audience would react, but after talking it over, we concluded that it would work as a question about how Canadians with disabilities perceive themselves. We needed strong content to match the logo, and we succeeded in getting it. Without that content, the cover would be gratuitous.”

Kudos to the team for having the courage of their convictions to create this powerful cover.

Special shout out to Matt Hilliard Forde for bringing this to my attention.

More of National Geographic

Posted by admin On July - 9 - 2014

Which of these three National Geographic covers sold the most copies in Canada in 2013?

Two of the covers sold really well, and one did not.

Also, the difference between the best and worst selling issues is 71% higher sales with

virtually identical distribution.

Think carefully before making your choice

The results are shown below.

And the rule that these results underscore is important too.

Cover #1:  20,496

Cover #2:  13,980 (worst of year)

Cover #3:  23,965  (best of year)

Interesting to note that cover #3 was the January 2013 issue, and they came back with another space themed cover for cover #1, which was the July 2013 issue.

Rule #30:  If it works, keep doing it!

Is Anybody Out There?

Posted by admin On July - 4 - 2014

The July 2014 issue of National Geographic is noteworthy.

I love the way they have layered the cover to create a very textured effect.   While the yellow frame remains an essential part of their brand equity, it shows courage and confidence by their team to play with that device.

The main selling feature cover lines are clear, concise and compelling.


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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