Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Beaver with Attitude

Posted by Scott On April - 21 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Jun/Jul 2016 issue of Canada’s History is going to feature two covers…one for Quebec to Newfoundland, and another for the rest of Canada.

The original plan was to go with a classic military history cover, which almost always works well for Canada’s History.  But after reading the draft copy of Roy MacGregor’s article (on the essence of being Canadian), the team decided it too would have great appeal as a cover feature. Plus, we could have fun doing an unconventional cover, featuring an illustration.

A tip of the cap to the team:  Melony Ward, Publisher, Mark Reid, Editor, James Gillespie, Art Director, Karen Simpson, Design Consultant, and Danielle Chartier, Circulation Manager.

2016 junjulbeaver (Small)


2016JunJulFinalWar (Small)

Meryl Streep

Posted by Scott On April - 18 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The May 2016 issue of Vanity Fair looks like a winner.

This classic profile shot of the actress, proves that a black & white cover can indeed be extremely powerful.

The 172 page thick magazine is a great value at just $5.99.



2016 May (Small)

Guess which of these 4 covers from 2015 sold the best to worst here in Canada?


Jan 2015                                                   Jun 2015

2016 Jan2016 Jun



Sep 2015                                                     Dec 2015

2016 Sep2016 Dec


Answers Here:

  1. Jun 2015 (Caitlyn) sold 45,705 copies at a 55% sell-thru
  2. Jan 2015 (Cooper) sold 30,768 copies at a 38% sell-thru
  3. Sep 2015 (Swift) sold 30,414 copies at a 40% sell-thru
  4. Dec 2015 (Murray) sold 17,170 at a 23% sell-thru

Creative Scrapbooker’s Summer Issue Sizzles

Posted by Scott On April - 15 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

Creative Scrapbooker’s Summer 2016 issue is set to hit newsstands on May 30th, 2016.  This high-quality quarterly publication (perfect bound, over-sized trim, 148 pages thick, retails for $11.99), published out of Calgary, Alberta, has been on a roll.  In 2015, newsstand sales were up 16%.  And the last 6 issues in a row have all posted gains!

Effective with the Spring 2016 issue, Creative Scrapbooker has entered the USA market, with a test at Barnes & Noble.  Scan data shows that after just 5 weeks on sale we have already sold over 40% of the copies distributed, with 7 more weeks to sell even more.

Checkout their Canadian and USA covers:

2016 Summer Canada (Small) (2)

2016 Summer USA (Small)



Disticor acquires LMPI

Posted by Scott On April - 14 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125Disticor has just announced that they have recently signed an agreement with LMPI, a division of LS Distribution North America, to purchase its North American distribution operations.

Since it was established more than fifty years ago, LMPI has maintained solid relations with many international publishers, which has contributed to their success distributing some 3,000 imported titles through 3,000 specialized retailers, many of which are in Quebec.

Disticor is a good fit for LMPI`s business because Disticor already operates Disticor Direct, which also specializes in international titles, seeking both Canadian and USA specialty distribution.

Mark Lafranier, President, Dsiticor, estimates that 60% of the acquired titles are English language and 40% are French language specialty publications.  The Disticor team is busy working on ramping up their tie-line operation, and expect to begin distribution of the new line of titles to the newly acquired accounts effective June 1st, 2016.

This is good news for the Canadian newsstand business.



Posted by Scott On April - 8 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The April 2016 issue of Chatelaine looks like a winner to me.

While the international media has been gushing about the Prime Minister’s good looks, Chatelaine has decided to remind us that his wife Sophie is certainly worthy of her own moment in the spotlight.

The other hooks certainly suggest this issue is packed with good stuff.

Look for this one to sell, sell, sell.

april 2016

The Bismark

Posted by Scott On April - 1 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The May/Jun 2016 issue of The Legion Magazine is scheduled to hit newsstands on May 2nd, 2016. The cover feature is about the sinking of The Bismark.

Art Director Jason Duprau has done a great job of finding a classic frontal view of this imposing war ship.  A bold type treatment, strong sky bar, starburst and + symbol all come together to make for an exciting cover.

MayJune2016 (Small)

2016 Trail Special

Posted by Scott On March - 31 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The 2016 Trail Special (from Canadian Running) hit newsstands on March 21st, 2016.  Last year’s Trail Special was the best-selling issue of the year.  Only the 2010 Trail Special ever sold more copies.  Wholesalers and retailers please be reminded to keep it on shelves…as it is an annual.

2016 Trail Special



Posted by Scott On March - 29 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Spring 2016 issue of Prairies North goes on sale this week.  This year’s issue features a shaggy Bison.

The white backdrop gives the cover high-contrast pop.

A similar cover was done back in Winter 2004, which was the best-selling issue that year.

If it works, keep doing it!

2016 Spring


2004 Winter




Grizzly Haven

Posted by Scott On March - 28 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The April 2016 issue of Canadian Geographic features a Grizzly bear as the “celebrity.”  Top Predators typically work extremely well for this title.

This image of a bear has great eye contact, a bold type treatment, and a starburst and a + sign to help draw the reader in.

2016 Apr

Canadian Cover Awards 2016

Posted by Scott On March - 23 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125Last night Magazines Canada and the CMC hosted the annual Canadian Cover Awards.  MC Ron Sellwood announced that this year was a record for most submissions entered, with 88 applications.

Generous sposnorship prizes were handed out by Presse Commerce, Gateway, and AAM.  

Presse Commerce sponsored the Small Magazine category, and winners receive:  Gold: $3,000 of retail promotions; Silver: $2,000 of retail promotions;Bronze: $1,000 of retail promotions.

Gateway’s sponsorship is $3,000 for each Gold Winner (with the exception of Small Magazines, which Presse Commerce sponsored as above).

AAM awarded $500 to the Newsstand Marketer of the Year.

Mike Martin (CMMI) was named Newsstand Marketer of the Year.  

I’m delighted to report that clients of won 4 golds, 1 silver and one bronze in the eight categories hounored.

Gold winners were, Fly Fusion, Canada’s History, Legion and Canadian Geographic.  Silver went to Rotman Management, and Bronze to Canada’s History for their split covers in Aug/Sep 2015.

Fly_Fusion 2016

Canadas_History 2016 1

Legion 2016


Rotman 2016


Aug2015Squid (Small)Aug2015Quebec (Small)



The Complete List of Winning Covers is here:

General interest, arts, lifestyle and regional

  1. Canadian Geographic, Jan/Feb 2015 (Gold)
  2. Toronto Life, July 2015 (Silver)
  3. Toronto Life, January 2015 (Bronze)

Home & Décor

  1. Canadian House & Home, January 2015 (Gold)
  2. Chez soi, July 2015 (Silver)
  3. Style at Home, July 2015 (Bronze)

Men’s Service

  1. Ignition, Winter 2014 (Gold)
  2. Ignition, Spring 2015 (Silver)
  3. Sharp, April 2015 (Bronze)

News, Business & Celebrity

  1. Canadian Business, winter 2014 (Gold)
  2. 7 Jours, September 2015 (Silver)
  3. L’actualité, February 2015 (Bronze)

SIPs & New Magazines

  1. Legion, November 2014 (Gold)
  2. Tellement bon, December 2014 (Silver)
  3. Canadian Living Specials – Summer BBQ Book (Bronze)

Small Magazines

  1. Canada’s History, December 2014/January 2015 (Gold)
  2. Rotman Management, Spring 2015 (Silver)
  3. Canada’s History, August/September 2015 (Bronze)

Sports & Leisure

  1. Fly Fusion, Winter 2015 (Gold)
  2. Canadian Aviator, November/December 2014 (Silver)
  3. The Hockey News, March 2015 (Bronze)

Women’s Service

  1. Elle Canada, September 2015 (Gold)
  2. Coup de Pouce, December 2014 (Silver)
  3. Canadian Living, November 2014 (Bronze)


Here are the other Gold covers:






Here are the other Silver covers:





Here are the other Bronze covers:








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.



    Activate the Flickrss plugin to see the image thumbnails!