Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Venus

Posted by Scott On June - 12 - 2012

The May/Jun 2012 issue of SKYNEWS features what Doug Bennet calls ” the ultimate editorial premium in the universe.”

Apparently the Globe & Mail agreed, when it ran a two-page spread, urging readers to pick up a copy of SKYNEWS to learn more about “The Transit of Venus”, and to get a free pair of specialized glasses for viewing an eclipse.  The Transit of Venus, when the Earth, the sun, and Venus are in perfect alignment, is considered one of the rarest astronomical events of the century.  That’s awe-inspiring stuff. 

The cover is pretty amazing too, even if it is a bit hard to get the full impact of the art direction, thanks to the polybag required to carry the premium.  Greg Kielty, co-publisher of the Canadian astrononmy magazine said, “We raised the cover price from $4.95 to $6.95, to help offset the costs of the glasses and the polybagging.  We had an extra 1,000 glasses, which we put on our online store.  They sold out quickly at two for $10, an unexpected $5,000 yield at high margin”.

I suspect extremely strong sales will result from this effort. This is a cover that is indeed worthy of worship, as it takes advantage of so many of the rules…including:

  • Timing Matters
  • Use Premiums
  • Subject Matter Matters

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Scott Bullock’s Newsstand Cover Quiz Show is legendary in the industry. Using covers as the catalyst, this interactive and entertaining format is a light-hearted but hard-hitting spin on Packaging 101. Testing the cover savvy of magazine professionals across disciplines, the Quiz Show pits publishers against editors, circulators against art directors, retailers against wholesalers -- ultimately leading to new common ground in the quest for better covers. Scott is the Owner of Circ3, Smart Circulation Solutions, a circulation consultancy. www.circ3.com

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