Covers Sell

Covers Sell

100 Greatest Explorers

Posted by Scott On June - 2 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The June 2015 issue of Canadian Geographic features a cover story on the 100 Greatest Explorers.

Here is what editor Aaron Kylie has to say about the issue:

“Explorers and exploration are a big deal for our readership, however there are not a lot of universally well known modern Canadian explorers. So with this cover, art director Javier Frutos played up a largely graphical treatment with a prominent main cover line with a simple direct sub-line. He also used a row of small images of select explorers, inspired from a December 2004 Canadian Geographic cover that had done particularly well at newsstand.”

Jun 2015 (Small)

Dec 2004



NMA announces Readers Choice Award

Posted by Scott On June - 1 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125The National Magazine Awards Foundation is offering a Readers Choice Award for best cover this year, says Richard Johnson, Special Projects Manager.

“These ten nominees have been selected by the National Magazine Awards jury from entries nationwide, and represent the best in Canadian magazines from 2014. The juried winners (Gold and Silver) will be announced on June 5 at the NMA Gala in Toronto. The People’s Choice winner will be announced on Twitter (@MagAwards) on June 4. Vote today, and thanks for your support of Canadian magazine creators.”


Three of the ten nominations (30%) went to Report on Business.

Four of the ten nominations (40%) went to covers featuring profile shots of guys.

Two of the ten nominations (20%) went to city magazines.

Here are the ten choices:

16222_26 (Small)16243_26 (Small)

16264_26 (Small)16010_26 (Small)

16136_26 (Small)16833_26 (Small)

16958_26 (Small)16599_26 (Small)

16526_26 (Small)16647_26 (Small)






Bruce Jenner says, “Call me Caitlyn”!

Posted by Scott On June - 1 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The July 2015 issue of Vanity Fair is a shocker.  The cover girl is former Olympic star Bruce Jenner, who has completed his transition to a women.

The cover shoot was done by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz.  The article is written by Pulitzer Prize–winning contributing editor Buzz Bissinger.

I’m a bit surprised that People Weekly or one of the tabloids didn’t get the first “reveal.”


Jul 2015 Bruce Jenner



Music to view cover by…click below








Battle of Britain

Posted by Scott On May - 29 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

Legion Magazine‘s Jul/Aug 2015 issue will feature a cover story on the Battle of Britain.

This cover was 99% perfect on the first draft, with only some minor tweeks needed in the sky bar area.

Art Director Jason Duprau.

JulyAugust 2015 (Small)

House & Home’s latest Bookazine

Posted by Scott On May - 25 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125Canadian House & Home has produced another remarkable Bookazine/SIP… called Summer Style. This one measures 8 1/2 X 10 1/2.  The cover stock is a heavy  matte finish. It’s 100 pages thick. And it is packed with advice and inspiration. It’s a beauty!  The issue goes on sale May 25th, 2015 and it retails for $11.95.   To view some of CH&H’s other great looking Bookazines/SIPs see below: Summer 2015 (Small) 2013 322013 34 2014 422014 43 2014 442014 46 2015 52

ASME Covers of the Year

Posted by Scott On May - 21 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125The American Society of Magazine Editors (USA) has just announced it’s winners of their annual Best Covers Contest.

The ninth annual ASME Best Cover Contest was open to all consumer print magazines published in the 2014 calendar year.  With 10 different categories, over 100 print magazines participated by submitting over  270 covers to the competition.

Their is also a Reader Choice Awards, which are voted on by Facebook users.

The Cover of the Year was The New Yorker’s “Broken Arch,” published on December 8, 2014, which pays tribute to race relations challenges in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

The finalists in each category are show,  but the winners are:

Sports and Adventure:  ESPN The Magazine, October 13, 2014

Fashion and Beauty:  Harper’s Bazaar, March 2014

Business and Technology:  The Atlantic, November 2014

Family and Home:  FamilyFun, August 2014

Entertainment and Celebrity:  The New York Times Magazine, September 14, 2014

Science and Nature:  New York, June 9-15, 2014

Lifestyle:  Men’s Health, November 2014

Brainiest:  Bloomberg Businessweek, August

Most Delicious:  Bon Appétit, June 2014

And the Readers Choice Award Winner was Paper Magazine.















New SIP from Legion

Posted by Scott On May - 21 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The latest (our 8th edition) in a series of SIP’s from Legion Magazine is scheduled to hit newsstands on June 22nd, 2015.

The magazine will retail for $14.95, and is only available at newsstands.

This issue focuses on the Battle of the Atlantic, which is to say the entire naval campaign during the Second World War.

Art Director Jason Duprau.




Rotman Cover Rocks

Posted by Scott On May - 14 - 20151 COMMENT

cover_of_the_week-125x125Toronto-based Rotman Management magazine competes with the Harvard Business Review.

The current issue is, in my opinion, the best cover yet produced since Rotman launched an aggressive newsstand expansion in both Canada and the U.S., back in January of 2013.

Kate Mills, circulation manager, informs me that this is the first time the magazine has done a split cover, with one version for subscribers, and this version for the newsstand. “This cover was created by Bakersfield – the Editor, Karen Christensen, showed them clip art that she liked and they created a fresh image for the cover based on it! Which I think is pretty cool of them, said Mills.

Their website is:   spring 2015


The Subscriber version is below:

A_Spring15 (Small)


Harrowsmith Garden Digest Success Story

Posted by Scott On May - 7 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

check_mark_125x125The 2014 version of Harrowsmith’s Garden Digest is a great case study in not giving up.  But first let’s talk about the regular Harrowsmith Almanac that competes directly with the American Old Farmers Almanac.

When Yolanda Thornton brought back the classic Harrowsmith Almanac in 2013, the venerable name/brand was enthusiastically embraced by readers. The magazine sold-through at a very strong 37% on a huge draw.  This confirmed that the Harrowsmith brand still had pulling power.

This success encouraged Ms. Thornton to bring out a Gardening Almanac the following Spring season.  The cover was an almost identical replica of the regular Harrowsmith Almanac cover, but was labeled Spring. It was also priced a $5.95 and the distribution was replicated.  Unfortunately, the sales of the Spring Almanac were just 22% of what the Regular Almanac sold.   See Covers Here:

2013 Regular (Small)garden1 (Small)

Once again, the classic 2014 Harrowsmith Almanac was a huge success, selling-through again at a solid 37% efficiency on a sizable draw.

But for the 2014 Gardening Digest we needed to make some radical changes. In 2014, to differentiate it from our regular Almanac,  we re-named the issue the Gardening Digest.  We increased the size from a small digest format to a larger digest format (5.125 X 7.5 to 5.125 X 8.25).  We replaced 75% black and white pages on newsprint in 2013 to 100% full colour on glossy stock in 2014. We lowered the price from $5.95 to $4.95.  We scrapped the illustration and went with a photograph instead. We added a cover slash.  We added a starburst button.  We moved the UPC code to the lower right.  And we massively cut back the draw by 45%.  This allowed the title to invest in quality upgrades and promotions.  We invested in some targeted retail promotions that bore fruit:

  • Sales at Canadian Tire promo up 73%
  • Sales at Home Depot promo up 27%
  • Sales at Lowes promo up 958%
  • Sales at Metro Richelieu up 418%
  • Sales at Loblaws promo up 123%
  • Sales at Federated floor display up 144%
  • Sales at Overwaite floor display up 424%
  • Sales at Sobeys floor display up 78%

Overall, sales were up by 48% an efficiency improved by 16 points.

garden digest 2014


The 2015 Digest is now on stands and is sporting another new look:

GDigest Sum2015 COVER (Small)

Canadian Running New Look for 50th Issue

Posted by Scott On May - 5 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

thenandnow_125x125The May/Jun 2015 issue of Canadian Running is a milestone for the publication.  This is the 50th issue of the magazine.

To celebrate, Publisher Sam Cohen, Editor-in-Chief Michael Doyle,  and Art Director Warren Wheeler, have unveiled a new look.

It’s a gentle evolution, but presents a much cleaner, bolder and powerful poster-like quality.


2015 MayJun


2014 04




Azure (10)
Canadian Geographic (10)
Check Up (109)
Circasaurus (49)
Cover Fight (20)
Cover of the Week (198)
Covers that Sell (246)
Esquire (10)
Hall of Fame (17)
New and Net-worthy (193)
Quiz Show (4)
Texas Monthly (10)
The Beaver (10)
Then and Now (34)
Uncategorized (11)

WP Cumulus Flash tag cloud by Roy Tanck and Luke Morton requires Flash Player 9 or better.


About Me

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.



    See you at the Newsstand .....
    Garden Making issue 4 promo at Chapters Our Feature pktNewsstand Marketer of The Year 2010Scott in the countyIMG_3227Can Geo's Overwaite RackCanGeo201006 SafewayGeo201006Chapters End CapWall of Covers at Native PeoplesDay at RacesVespa at BeachCanadian Geo's Great Wall of CoversGarden Making issue 2 promo at Wal-Mart New Release RackGarden Making issue 2 promo at Chapters End CapPools at CostcoWalmart PromotionPools, Spas & Patios at ZellersHome Depot (Pools, Spas & Patios + Canadian Geographic)Garden Making Launch at ChaptersKen Whyte's Wall of CoversBucky