Covers Sell

Covers Sell

2017 Horse Annual

Posted by Scott On November - 23 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

Horse Canada’s 2017 HORSE ANNUAL is set to hit newsstands on December 12th, 2016.

The 2015 HORSE ANNUAL and the 2016 HORSE ANNUAL both had Record Breaking sales!

Sales of the 2015 Horse Annual were up 96%.   Sales of the 2016 Horse Annual were up 15% on top of that.

Horse Canada is Canada’s #1 equine magazine on newsstands in Canada.  Their market share (of the top 5 equine magazines) has gone up for the 3rd year in a row.

In 2014 Horse Canada enjoyed a 33.4% share.  In 2015 the share grew to 36.4%. And for the first half of 2016 the share is 36.7%.









Oh no! Oops!

Posted by Scott On November - 11 - 20161 COMMENT

news_green-125x125The NY Post.Com reports that Topix Media, a licensee for Newsweek made a big, big mistake.

Apparently, Topix produced, printed and shipped a special SIP to hit newsstands in time to take advantage of the historic outcome of the Presidential election.  Problem?

They assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win.

“Like everybody else, we got it wrong,” said Tony Romando, CEO of Topix Media, the Newsweek partner which produces special issues under the popular brand.”

The article goes on to say that the Madam President issue hit stores on Tuesday (election day) but were told not to put issues on sale until after the election i.e. Wednesday.  But some stores did.  Romando claims only 17 Clinton magazines were sold out of 125,000 printed and shipped.  Talk about a brutal sell-thru efficiency of .000136%.

Topix Media is now scrambling to get a President Trump SIP out to newsstands sometime later next week.


24 New Rods

Posted by Scott On November - 11 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Winter 2017 issue of Fly Fusion is scheduled to hit newsstands on November 28th, 2016.

This time slot typically produces the best-selling issue every year.

In this issue, the editorial team reviews 24 New Rods that are debuting next year.  Th article provides guidance on helping you pick the rod that is best suited to you.

The cover’s action shot, is yet another example of what we call “top predator” covers, that have a “poster-like” visual impact.  For amazing U.S. sales growth graph see below.


Fly Fusion is a Canadian magazine that has been extremely successful at penetrating the U.S. market. Very few magazines can make that claim.  Sales have been increasing every year for 11 years in a row!


RollingStone Verdict: Guilty

Posted by Scott On November - 10 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125Can RollingStone magazine survive?  That’s the question after a jury ruled that RollingStone and its writer Sabrina Erdely were guilty of libel with malice, and of defamation. The trial lasted two weeks before the 10 member jury delivered their judgment.   The case stems from an article published in RollingStone entitled  “A Rape on Campus”.  In the article, the writer told the story of “Jackie”, who claimed she was raped at the University of Virginia.  It turned out the story was a fabrication.

The plaintiff, Nicole Eramo, a University administrator, claimed she was unfairly portrayed by the writer and RollingStone, as someone who was trying to prevent the story from coming out because “nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school.”  The plaintiff’s lawyers had to prove that RollingStone made her appear “odious, infamous or ridiculous” and that the magazine acted with “actual malice,” meaning that it knew that what it was writing about her was false or should have known that it was false.


The article was first published in the Dec 4th 2014 issue.  According to Wikipedia: “The article included a claim that a student, identified only as “Jackie” by the magazine, had been taken to a party hosted by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia by a fellow student. At the party, Jackie alleged in the article, her date led her to a bedroom where she was raped by several fraternity members as part of an initiation rite. Jackie’s account generated much media attention, and the university suspended the fraternity. After other journalists investigated the article’s claims and found significant discrepancies, RollingStone issued multiple apologies for the story. Further investigation concluded that Jackie had fabricated the incident”.

The lawsuit sought $7.5 million in compensatory damages.

Freelancer Sabrina Rubin Erdely ‘said she was searching for a single, emblematic college rape case that would show ‘what it’s like to be on campus now,’ ’ says a report by three academics at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. (Reuters)

“According to the Associated Press, Eramo told jurors that, after the story’s publication, she had trouble sleeping, feared for her life, and struggled explaining the events to her then-7-year-old son. She said she contemplated suicide at one point, and her husband also testified that Eramo told him she didn’t know that should could live anymore.” She was awarded $3 million, of which $2 million was a judgment against the writer and $1 million against the magazine.  RollingStone has also agreed to pay Erdely’s legal costs.

Erdely was not fired after the article was retracted and continues to write for RollingStone.

RollingStone also faces a $25 million lawsuit from Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity where Jackie claimed her assault took place. That case is scheduled to go to trial late next year.

Collectors Item

Posted by Scott On November - 9 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The October 31st, 2016, issue of New York magazine will go down as an epic mistake, on par with Dewey Wins.

This one may become a collectors item.  Watch for this one to sell.

We will certainly be seeing a lot more Trump covers over the next 4 years.

And lots of hysterical skits on Saturday Night Live.

The big winners last night may be comedians and magazine publishers.




















Horse Canada Winter Issue

Posted by Scott On November - 8 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

The Nov/Dec 2016 issue of Horse Canada hit newsstands yesterday.  This time slot is typically the best each year, as the issue has a longer on-sale period.

Art Director Sieu Truong has created a clean, crisp cover.  The white background creates a seasonally appropriate color scheme and works to provide a high contrast platform for the image and type.  Great use of the cover real estate for the sell lines.  A strong, service-oriented cover!


They Like Us

Posted by Scott On November - 4 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

cover_of_the_week-125x125The Oct 29th, 2016 issue of The Economist features a cover story on Canada. Naturally, it is the Cover of the Week.

But check out some of their other recent covers too.

Very few magazines have mastered the use of illustrated covers the way these folks have.

Clean and uncluttered, the messaging clear and concise, these covers are designed to sell.  They are Masters of the “3 second rule.”







Did You Know that Cover Prices…

Posted by Scott On November - 4 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125At a recent newsstand seminar, (the MBR Conference at the Old Mill, on October 25th) Glenn Morgan, CEO of Coast to Coast, and Craig Sweetman, presented some interesting findings from the recently completed 2015 CTC Boxscore.

The CTC Boxscore looks at 3,091 English language magazines sold in Canada.

Did you know that the average price of a magazine in 2015 was $6.26 cents, up from $5.45 in 2012?  An increase of 14.9%.

If you haven’t considered a price increase recently, it may be time to do so.




New Fly Fishing Covers

Posted by Scott On November - 3 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

Checkout the latest covers for Southwest Fly Fishing, Northwest Fly Fishing and Eastern Fly Fishing.

The publisher, Steve Cole, moved his 3 regional titles from a U.S.-based distributor to Coast to Coast effective with the Jan/Feb 2015 issue.

  • Since then 7 of 10 issues have posted gains on the Southwest edition in the USA.
  • Since then 8 of 10 issues have posted gains on the Northwest edition in the USA.
  • Since then 9 of 10 issues have posted gains on the Eastern edition in the USA.

We have expanded dealer coverage considerably, and Art Director Jon Luke has been turning out great covers.  A great team effort.




Did You Know…

Posted by Scott On November - 3 - 2016ADD COMMENTS

news_green-125x125At a recent newsstand seminar, (the MBR Conference at the Old Mill, on October 25th) Glenn Morgan, CEO of Coast to Coast, and Craig Sweetman, presented some interesting findings from the recently completed 2015 CTC Boxscore.

One factoid in particular was a real eye-opener:

In 2015 close to 55 million copies of English language magazines were sold on Canadian newsstands through the mass market wholesaler network.  So this obviously doesn’t include any French language magazines sold in Canada, nor any copies sold through the Direct-to Retail channel, both of which are considerable.

Assuming a 12 hour shopping window per day (9am to 9pm) here’s how that 55 million copies breaks down…

  • In this country 3.6 magazines are sold every second.
  • In the next minute over 200 magazines will be sold in Canada.
  • In the next hour close to 13,000 magazines will be sold on Canadian newsstands!
  • In the next day over 152,000 magazines will be purchased by Canadian consumers!
  • In terms of total retail dollar sales, almost $1 million a day of magazines are sold in Canada.

Pretty impressive, eh?




Azure (10)
Canadian Geographic (10)
Check Up (110)
Circasaurus (49)
Cover Fight (20)
Cover of the Week (200)
Covers that Sell (255)
Esquire (10)
Hall of Fame (17)
New and Net-worthy (198)
Quiz Show (4)
Texas Monthly (10)
The Beaver (10)
Then and Now (34)
Uncategorized (11)

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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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