Covers Sell

Covers Sell

SuperTrax 2016 Ride Guide

Posted by Scott On October - 27 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

SuperTrax‘s annual Ride Guide is set to hit newsstands on November 23rd, 2015.

Art Director Andrew Knor‘s design combines an action shot of a sled in motion with a static profile of another amazing sled for the new snow season.


Vol 27 #2


Posted by Scott On October - 26 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The Winter 2015/2016 issue of Canadian Geographic Travel features a cover story on Cuba.

Editor Aaron Kylie has this to say about the cover:

Canadian Geographic’s art director Javier Frutos had a vision for a particularly colourful cover image of Havana for this issue. He and photo editor Jessica Finn found this image, which seems to perfectly fit the bill of the quintessential Havanan street scape. Add cover lines in bold colours pulled from the image and you’ve got a cover that really pops.”

Cuba Winter 2015


Ricardo Success Story

Posted by Scott On October - 23 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125Tracey McKinley was on stage yesterday at the annual Canadian PBAA event to share the success of the launch of a new Food Magazine into the English Canadian marketplace…Ricardo.

The magazine has been sizzling on Quebec’s newsstands for years now…recently selling 52,000 copies on the last two issues at a blistering 69.3% sell-through. In June, they raised the cover price on the French edition by $1 or 14% to $7.99, and sales still increased by 10%.  The magazine has reached sales of over 90,000 copies on the Holiday issue, which this year they plan to mark up to $8.99.

According to Tracey, Ricardo is a media celebrity in Quebec, not only because he is passionate about food and publishing,  but he is a well-known TV personality too.  Tracey attributes the success of the magazine in part to the fact that it is more than a magazine, that it is a “brand” that is part of a larger  “ecosystem” that includes print, digital, television, branded products and more.

The first issue of Ricardo appeared on newsstands September 15th, 2014.  The debut issue had a draw of 80,835 copies…which is an amazing achievement for any magazine, particularly when that doesn’t even include French Quebec.  Tracey was quick to share the success with their distributor (CTC, Bernie Menchise) and the wholesale community, who got behind the ambitious launch in a big way.  The issue sold 23,881 copies for a 30% sell-through, and was in an astounding 5,491 dealers in English Canada…a fantastic result of 4.4 copies sold per store.  The magazine was premium priced at $6.99.  The cover, as you can see below, is quite mouth-watering.

Launch issue 2014


Subsequent covers are equally well-made:

Dec 2014 Feb 2015Apr 2015


2015 06 (Small)2015 082015 10 (Small)


And they have already produced two SIPs.  The first, which debuted on May 4th 2015, focused on BBQ Recipes and sold for $9.99.  The second which debuted on October 5th 2015 focuses on Cookies and sells for $12.99.

Issu 522015 SIP (Small)

Since the premium-priced magazine has sold so well, the cover price for the regular issues of Ricardo has already been raised from $6.99 to $7.99, in English Canada, effective with the October 2015 issue.  Quality sells!

Fussy Trout

Posted by Scott On October - 23 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The Winter 2016 issue of Fly Fusion is on press, and set to hit newsstands in both Canada and the USA on November 24th, 2015.

This time slot almost always delivers the best-selling cover of the year.

This cover is another in our series of Top Predator covers.  (See other Record Breakers below).

Winter 2016 (Small)

Winter 2015 (Small)Winter 2011 (Small)


Battle of Britain

Posted by Scott On October - 19 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The Dec/Jan 2016 issue of Canada’s History is set to hit newsstands on November 21st, 2015.  This time slot almost always generates the best sales in any given year.

The Press Run for this issue is a new historic high of nearly 20,000 copies.  (Special thanks to Ron Sellwood & the CTC team).

Look for special promotions at Chapters/Indigo, Wal Mart and Presse Commerce.

Dec2015 (Small)

Happy Birthday

Posted by Scott On October - 14 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

Playboy’s first issue.  It sure seems like a long time ago.  Now the 62 year old publication has announced it will no longer feature nude women.








Raise Cover Price?

Posted by Scott On October - 2 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

check_mark_125x125The question a lot of circulators and publishers ponder this time of year is whether or not to raise cover price.

Here’s a case study you may wish to consider.

Outdoor Canada produces a fabulous Hunting Special (SIP) each year.  The cover designs are always first class.  In 2014, they raised the cover price from $6.95 to $7.99, an increase of $1.04 or a 15% increase in the retail price.

So, how did that play out?

  • In 2012, the Hunting Special sold 19,145 copies at $6.95, for a total gross revenue of $133,058.  (Personally, I like this cover the best).
  • In 2013, the Hunting Special sold 18,662 copies at $6.95, for a total gross revenue of $129,700.  That was a variance of just 483 copies or 2.5%.  Still a great performance.
  • In 2014, the Hunting Special raised the cover price to $7.99, and sold 17,676 copies.  That’s down 986 copies or 5.3%.  However, gross revenue was $141,231, for a revenue gain of $11,531 or 9%.

Clearly, this trusted brand still has a loyal following, who appreciate the quality of the magazine, and are prepared to pay for it!

Covers in sequence (2012, 2013, 2014 and the new 2015 edition, which went on sale August 24th 2015):

2012 Special2013 Special


2014Special2015 Special

New Horse Canada Cover

Posted by Scott On October - 1 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Horse Canada is set to hit newsstands on November 2nd, 2015.  This time slot is typically the best year after year for Horse Canada (11 of the past 13 years have seen the Nov/Dec slot producing the top selling issue of the year).

In 2014, sales of Horse Canada were up on all six issues, for a total gain of 52% for the year!  And their 2015 SIP, which sells for $7.95, is up 100%!

2015 NovDec

2015HorseAnnual_Cover_Digital (Small)




New SIP from Legion: AVIATORS

Posted by Scott On September - 30 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

The latest in our series of SIP’s is set to hit newsstands on November 2nd, 2015, just in time for Remembrance Day.

Art Director Jason Duprau has created a completely fresh new look in this series of successful SIPS.

Look for special promotion displays at Chapters/Indigo, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal Mart and Gateway.





Hockey News Success Stories

Posted by Scott On September - 25 - 2015ADD COMMENTS

check_mark_125x125The Hockey News is reporting some exciting success stories.  Pat Strangis, Director Newsstand Marketing, TVA Group, was kind enough to share the good news with CoversSell.Com.

What the Hockey News has been testing is the idea of making more of their regularly scheduled  issues look like SIP’s, both by beefing up vertical content in these issues, designing the covers to look more like SIPs, and by raising the cover price.  The strategy appears to be working!

Example #1:

The 2014 Season Preview issue (on sale Sep 15th 2014) sold 9,540 copies, compared to The 2013 Season Preview issue (on sale Sep 16th 2013) which sold 8,163 copies.  That’s a positive variance of 1,377 copies or a 17% lift.  Plus, the 2014 issue retailed for $5.95 vs. $4.95 in 2013.  So newsstand revenue was up 40.3%!

2014 Season Preview

Example #2:

The 2015 World Junior issue (on sale Dec 8th 2014) sold 14,509 copies, compared to The 2014 World Junior Issue (on sale Dec 16th 2013) which sold 9,004 copies.  That’s a positive variance of 5,505 copies or a 61% lift.  Plus, the 2015 issue retailed at $5.95 vs. $4.95.  Therefore newsstand revenue was up 93.4%!

World Juniors 2015

Example #3:

The 2015 Playoff Preview issue (on sale April 6th 2015) sold 10,386 copies, compared to The 2014 Playoff Preview (on sale April 7th 2014) which sold 6,937 copies.  That’s a variance of 3,449 copies or a 50% lift.  Plus, the 2015 issue retailed for $5.95 vs. $4.95.  Therefore newsstand revenue was up 80%!


Playoff Preview 2015





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.



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