Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Paper Magazine

Posted by Scott On November - 14 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125Have you ever heard of Paper Magazine?  I certainly hadn’t, until yesterday.   But thanks to a morning TV “news” program, I was alerted  to the fact that Kim Kardashian had decided to pose nude for Paper magazine.  A quick google search and there it was, Kim in all her glory for the world to behold.

They call the Winter issue their “Art Issue.”  Their web site goes on to say:  Our 2014 Art Issue is an art project in and of itself, in which we explore, deconstruct and obsess over the theme of attention: BREAK THE INTERNET. Pairing Kim Kardashian with the legendary photographer Jean-Paul Goude was the kickoff. Like it or not, Kardashian is a Hyper-Pop-Culture-Icon-Institution. She understands fame and popularity as if it were coded in her DNA. Goude popped the cork on what makes her an icon: it is not just her ass, but her willingness to give us 100 percent.”   Really?   Uh huh, sure.

According to their website, Paper has been around for 30 years. I guess I’ve been out of touch for 3 decades.  But not anymore. Here is how they describe themselves:

“PAPER COMMUNICATIONS is a MAGAZINE, a WEBSITE and a CREATIVE STRATEGY AGENCY that helps brands connect to the culture that has grown from our days in downtown New York clubs, art galleries and fashion runways. Just as we have evolved over these past 30 years, we are now helping brands embrace the ever-changing cultural landscape with event marketing,design collaborations, trend reporting, content creation, overall strategy and most importantly introducing brands into our world of influencers and tastemakers, who create the culture we celebrate.”   Ok then.

Perhaps that’s why their web site is selling the Limited Edition Nude cover for $20 + $4  for shipping and handling.  You can also order the Cover With Dress for $10 + $4 for shipping and handling.   One can’t help wondering how much Paper paid Kim to pose for their Winter 2014 Art Issue?    The bottom line (wink wink) is that now a lot of people are talking about Paper Magazine,  liking them on Facebook, and tweeting about them on Twitter.   Mission accomplished.






Turbo Madness

Posted by Scott On November - 12 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Winter 2015 issue of Dirt Trax is set to hit newsstands on December 22nd, 2014.

Art Director Andrew Knoor managed to squeeze in a total of 8 hooks, with good use of the key cover real estate.

The image chosen is a classic action shot, and the hot color choices help give the cover a neon power boost.

Vol 16#2

Is This a Perfect Cover?

Posted by Scott On October - 22 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Winter 2015 issue of Fly Fusion is set to hit newsstands on November 24th, 2014.

As a quarterly, the magazine has to make sure that every cover is particularly relevant to their audience.  The goal with each cover is to create something that generates a feeling of passionate excitement, what we call a “Yes Moment.”  It’s that nano-second where your pulse rate races and the adrenaline is released.

“With every cover, we try and learn from what has worked in the past, and what hasn’t.  We then apply those teachings to the cover at hand, ” says Chris Bird, Group Pulbisher.

I asked Jennifer Bird, Executive Publisher, what a “Fly Fusion moment is:   “The idea is to chase after relevance and those hard to reach ideas that always deliver. Beyond that it is an unmistakable brand and mark. Those who fly fish know it.”   It’s that incredibly profound and almost religious experience of rapture that happens when you are engaged in a passion that you love, like watching snow flakes fall from the sky on the perfect Winter fishing trip.

So, what is a perfect cover?  I suppose a 100% sell-out would be one way, after the fact, of describing perfection.  Another more poetic and soulful way of defining it is: does the cover make your heart thump louder and faster?  Are subscribers thrilled when they get home from work and find the magazine in their mailbox?  Are advertisers proud to be in the issue? And do newsstand buyers step up and buy more copies than they ever have before?

“In 2010, 3 of 4 issues set new sales records. In 2011 3 of 4 issues set new records.  In 2012 2 of 4 issues set new records. In 2013 1 issue set a new record.  And so far in 2014  2 of 3 issues have set new records.  That’s 11 new record breakers in the past 5 years, so we set a very high standard for excellence, ” says Scott Bullock, Newsstand Consultant.

So the question is:  Does this cover meet the test?  Time will tell, but we think the Fly Fusion “Yes Moment” has been achieved.  It’s almost like a perfect song, the kind that just makes you want to get up and dance.


Winter 2015






Last Spike

Posted by Scott On October - 14 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Dec/Jan 2015 cover of Canada’s History magazine is set to hit newsstands on November 24th, 2014.

The Last Spike cover, designed by James Gillespie, uses an iconic photograph to help sell the package of train stories.

The cover quickly communicates the feature story…”radical clarity”!

This issue is being promoted heavily, as this time slot is typically the best each year.

Dec 2014

Panda Covers

Posted by Scott On October - 2 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Rule #30     If it works, keep doing it

Nov 1973Dec 1981

Mar 1986Feb 1993

Jul 2006

Pick Your Fave

Posted by Scott On September - 29 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

This November, Legion Magazine will publish their 6th SIP.  Now is your chance to help pick the cover.


Major 1Major 3Major 2


Vote Here:

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Past Sips Include:

WWICover-1 (Medium)WWIICover (Medium)KoreaFrontCoverFinal (Medium)

VC_CoverFinal (Medium)Liberating Normanday

Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties

Posted by Scott On September - 26 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

Just in time for the Christmas gift giving season, Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties will hit newsstands the first week of November.

Distributed by Coast to Coast Newsstand Services, the title will be on sale nationally in all the top retail chains, and in the U.S. it will be exclusively available at Barnes & Noble.

The cover price is $14.99.


Dinner Parties for Divas_FINAL_v2

New Look for Mojo

Posted by Scott On September - 22 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

thenandnow_125x125Art Director Amy McCleverty has just unveiled her “refreshed” new look for Motorcycle Mojo.

The title has been on a roll of late, with the last nine straight issues outselling the same issue from prior year.

Here’s what Amy had to say about the re-design:  “We are very excited about our new look, a refresh was over due!

Freelance art director, Gary Davidson got the ball rolling with the new direction.

Bold new fonts, big images and more white space give the magazine a fresh, modern look. Motorcycles are our reader’s passion, so we are keeping it fun and the focus on beautiful bikes, amazing travel, and industry news.

The cover is very different, with a white bar behind the logo, which we hope will make us stand out from the crowd on the newsstand. It also allows for a sky bar that is legible and room for more photos. The cover lines are bold, and lots of them.”


Nov 2014


SeptOct 2014Jul 2014 (Small)

Two HUNTING Covers

Posted by Scott On September - 12 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

boxing_globe_icon_125x125.2The 2014 Hunting Annuals (SIPS) from Outdoor Canada and Ontario Out of Doors are on newsstands now.  Both covers are interesting, and each has taken a radically different approach to the cover design.

Outdoor Canada has produced a classic SIP.  The mother brand is clearly identified in the upper left corner.  The word HUNTING played out loudly.  SPECIAL ISSUE in the traditional “sky bar” space at the top can’t be missed.  The “celebrity” cover boy is a Giant Buck.   The main sell line in the classic position upper left, and is handled beautifully tucking in behind the left ear, with a blue “starburst” tucked under the right ear.  Lots of hooks with great benefit-oriented sell lines.

Ontario Out of Doors has opted for the “less is more” approach.  The mother brand is handled nicely at the top right.  The word HUNTING is about as large and powerful as it could possibly be, with the word Annual in script layered nicely.  This approach uses a montage of images, both predators and prey, that evoke the feeling of actually being out in the field.

Both covers are powerful in their own way.

Which cover do you like best and/or think will sell best?  Cast your Vote here.  We will report back later in the year as sales firm up.



Outdoor Cda - 2014-45-70165OOOD cover_Sept2014


And the winner is ....

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Ricardo Launches In English Canada

Posted by Scott On September - 11 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The Premiere Issue of RICARDO is set to debut in English Canada on September 15th, 2014.

In Quebec, the magazine has been an incredible success story for years, with sales of 40,000 to 50,000 copies at a 50% sell-through efficiency.

Here’s what Coast to Coast’s April Ruckemann has to say about the launch:

Ricardo, Canada’s Cooking Magazine, is soon to be on a newsstand near you. With excellent content, fabulous photography and high quality paper this product feels more like a book and is great value at only $6.99. The launch cover is perfectly designed for the fall cooking and entertaining season. You will find Ricardo on mainline racks as well as numerous promotional and checkout positions. All this, combined with a healthy media campaign, is sure to see Ricardo build and maintain a steady following of readers. We at Coast to Coast are pleased to have partnered with Ricardo on this project.


Ricardo 2014-10-57052 (3)





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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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