Covers Sell

Covers Sell

The Trudeau Special an enormous success.

Posted by Scott On October - 19 - 2010

Received a nomination for the Hall of Fame from Glenn Morgan, at Coast to Coast.

The Trudeau Special was an enormous success.  As Glenn points out:

“The special went on sale on October 23rd, 2000.  At that time $9.95 was a rather rare price in the newsstand marketplace.  The total draw was 146,500 copies.  Initially we distributed 106,500 copies, but subsequently shipped another 40,000 within  two weeks of the initial on sale date.  The total sale was 121,995 copies for an incredible 83.2% sell-through efficiency.”

According to Peter Willson, who oversaw the retail portion of the project on behalf of Rogers and lived every moment of this special newsstand journey:

“The reason it sold so well was the subject matter touched so many Canadians.  Because Trudeau represented, led, provoked and inspired an entire generation.  The Maclean’s editors caught that feeling throughout the book….but it was the cover that clinched the sale.”

Regarding the cover Willson says:

“Sombre but not morbid.  Distinguished.  Simple.  The word Trudeau dominates—there is no doubt what it is about.  Special Commemorative Issue makes it a must have.  And the back cover of Trudeau walking away down a street with his back to us, wearing his beret, was very touching and emotional.  In some cases at retail, the back cover got dual facings with key retailers.”

Regarding the $9.95 cover price, Willson talks about the success they had enjoyed with The Diana Tribute issue priced at $6.95.  So there was lengthy debate amongst the key players at Rogers.  The market spoke and the $9.95 cover prevailed and the rest was the opportunity to generate retail revenue.

Willson credits tremendous support from the wholesale community putting it on full-copy hold and performing re-distribution before Christmas, making it an ideal gift.  Then again in Toronto Airports before March break 2001.  Finally, when the CBC decided to air a mini series on Trudeau in the fall of 2001, Willson approached Chapters/Indigo for an exclusive on the last 3,000 copies they had in inventory and sold an astounding 66% of those copies too.

What a remarkable story.

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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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