Covers Sell

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Archive for August, 2016

2016 First Half Newsstand Results

Posted by Scott On August - 31 - 2016

news_green-125x125MagNet, the U.S.-based data clearing house, has just released it’s 2016 First Half Newsstand Sales Overview.

Sales in Canada are reported to be down by 9.8%, with dollar volume down 4.7%.

Sales in the USA are reported to be down 10.9%, with dollar volume down 6.5%.

The overall average cover price is now $5.55, up from $5.28 last year,  which is according to MagNet  “due to a change in the mix of titles that consumers are purchasing…fewer lower cover priced celebrity and tabloid titles and more higher priced specials.”

The MagNet report also offered some positive news:  “Many titles are doing quite well on the newsstand. In fact, in the first ½ of 2016, there were 136 titles that released at least four issues this year, and the same number of releases last year, that grew both their unit and dollar sales. Collectively, their sales were up 8.7% in units and 11.5% in dollars.

Magnet reports that “Titles in the Food/Wine, General Interest, Game/Puzzle/Crossword, Entertainment, Recreation, Lifestyle and Science categories, collectively had an increase in unit sales of 3% and an increase in dollar sales of 10%. Titles in the Celebrity and Women’s categories generated 36.4% of newsstand sales in the first half, but dropped 14.3% in units and nearly 12% in dollars compared to same period in 2015.”

An interesting side note is contained in the chart that shows how each of the National Distributors are doing so far in the First Half of 2016.  Our Canadian distributors are doing quite well.  Disticor’s sales are reported to be up 5.4% in units and 6.6% in dollars.  And Coast to Coast is reported to be up 16.2% in units and 25.1% in dollars.  That’s impressive when compared to all the U.S. distributors.

Coast to Coast CEO Glenn Morgan had this to say when asked to comment:  “CTC is very pleased to be experiencing continued growth as a National Distributor in today’s challenging newsstand marketplace.  We are very fortunate to be regularly launching new product from both existing CTC publisher clients, as well as some exciting recent client additions to our roster. Both CTC and its client publishers greatly appreciate the support received from both the wholesalers and retailers in Canada and the USA”.






Magnet also shared a list of just some of the 136 titles that posted gains.  It is interesting to see that Playboy (now with no nudes) posted an increase of 17.8% in units, and 30.8% in dollars.

magnet 3

Adbusters Cool Fascismo

Posted by Scott On August - 31 - 2016

cover_of_the_week-125x125The August 2016 issue of Adbusters is one to watch.  While the traditional newsweeklies have been selling more copies than usual featuring Donald Trump as their cover boy, Adbusters is having some fun with a Trump cover of their own.

Adbusters can always be counted on for some very interesting, entertaining, and creative covers.

This one uses a classic black & white image of Trump, frowning, and let’s the UPC code make the point/joke.  Clever.  It’s a powerful cover.  And fun.

I expect that this one will resonate quite strongly with their readers and should sell well.  Great job!

2016 Aug



Our Land

Posted by Scott On August - 26 - 2016

The Fall 2016 issue of Prairies North is scheduled to hit newsstands on September 12th, 2016.

A careful analysis of all their covers revealed that cover stories that focus on the theme of loving the landscape yields better then average results, and on multiple occasions has produced the best-selling issue in the respective year.

Art Director Lionel Hughes has captured the  feeling of the fall harvest in this magical cover shot.

2016 Fall (Small)



Bows & Arrows

Posted by Scott On August - 23 - 2016

The Oct/Nov 2016 issue of Canada’s History is scheduled to hit newsstands on September 26th, 2016.

This concept cover is bright, clean and uncluttered., and features a bold type treatment, and a vibrant sky bar.

The art director, James Gillespie, worked hard to get it right.  There was concern that we avoid falling into the trap of doing a cliched image, that might be considered insensitive.

The solution was to focus on the artistry of the items, rather than the shooter on horseback.



2016OctNov (Small)



Sad News to Report

Posted by Scott On August - 22 - 2016

The folks at Creative Scrapbooker magazine are in shock and are hurting.  Their beloved colleague of six years, Christy Riopel, passed away suddenly at the tender age of 45 years old. The cause of her demise is yet to be determined.  She leaves behind a loving husband and two young daughters.

It’s always sad news to lose a colleague in our publishing family, but it is especially difficult when the friend was so young.  Here are some words from her colleagues, posted on Facebook:

“We are not ready to let you go Christy.

You were the heartbeat of our magazine, a creative soul that will never be replaced, a plane that let us soar and a lighthouse that guided us home. 
Much more than the magazine – over the last 10 years – Christy became a part of our family. A friend we laughed with, celebrated with and cried with. A sister we called for advice, a mom who picked us up when we were down, a confidant we shared our secrets with, a girlfriend we hung out with drinking wine and doing facials. Christy was a special place that we could be ourselves. Christy was a place we called home.

We are not ready to let you go Christy. The keyboard is slippery with tears.”






Creative Scrapbooker on a Roll!

Posted by Scott On August - 18 - 2016

The Fall 2016 issue of  Creative Scrapbooker is scheduled to hit newsstands on August 29th, 2016.

The magazine has been on a winning streak now for eight (8) straight issues, with every issue from the Fall of 2014 posting gains.

Starting with the Spring 2016 issue, Creative Scrapbooker, published out of Calgary, is now distributed in the USA too.

  • Sales of the Spring 2016 issue are up 25% from prior year.
  • Sales of the Winter 2015 issue were up 18%.
  • Overall sales in 2015 were up 14%, plus efficiency improved.

CSM Fall 2016 Front Cover_CDN (Small)

2016 Summer Canada (Small) (2)2016 Spring1 (Small)2015 Winter (Small)

2015 Fall (Small)2015 Summer (Small)spring 2015


A New Look for Harrowsmith

Posted by Scott On August - 10 - 2016

The 2017 edition of the Harrowsmith Almanac is sporting a new look. This year’s edition marks the 40th Anniversary of this well-loved Canadian brand.

Publisher, Yolanda Thornton says, “We have traditionally gone with an illustration on the front cover, because this digest-sized issue covers the scope of an Almanac and a regular Harrowsmith issue, and it’s on newsstands for several months. This year, we have selected an eye-catching photo that identifies with the Harrowsmith brand. We now carry  more sell lines on our cover, which has contributed to increased newsstand sales.”

The new look also helps reinforce a consistent branding with their other three seasonal offerings.

Here is the new look.  See below for old look.  Also for most recent Gardening book with similar branding.

Almanac 2017 cover FINAL


2016 Regular (Small)

2016 Garden (Small)




Fashion’s 8 Page Gatefold Cover

Posted by Scott On August - 8 - 2016


cover_of_the_week-125x125This just in from Fashion Magazine:

 Magazine has partnered with Canadian retailer Joe Fresh on the September 2016 cover featuring supermodel Karlie Kloss. Via an editorial-driven eight-page cover gatefold and second cover, FASHION has executed a first of its kind branded integration spanning both print and digital platforms.

“We are excited to bring this unique content collaboration to life in the September issue of FASHION via print, digital, social media and in-store,” said Jacqueline Loch, VP & Group Publisher St. Joseph Media, Women’s Brands. “This is partnership at its best and it really raises the bar for collaborations in the future. Joe Fresh challenged us to do something bold, first to market and groundbreaking — and we responded with a beautiful multi-platform editorial integration that is on-brand for FASHION, and designed to engage consumers.”

The extended cover gatefold – which includes FASHION directed original photography of five Joe Fresh looks and subtle Joe Fresh branding – opens up to a second cover featuring Karlie Kloss. The issue also contains a five-page feature article, also showcasing the model wearing items from the Joe Fresh fall collection. A special 5,000 copy print run of the cover gatefold will be available at Joe Fresh’s flagship store on Queen Street West beginning today.

The September issue also marks the first time FASHION has unveiled a cover via Snapchat (@FashionCan) with the brand curating the day’s story solely to the September cover reveal. Newsstand drop date (August 15th) will be supported by a special 45-second video featuring behind-the-scene moments from the cover shoot that will live online at and on Instagram (@FashionCanada). Further momentum will come from a contesting component whereby followers of FASHION’s Instagram have the chance to win a fall wardrobe from Joe Fresh valued at $500 using the FASHIONxJoeFresh hashtag. FASHION will host two shopping events this September in Toronto and Vancouver Joe Fresh stores, as well as provide editorial support for each.



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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