Covers Sell

Covers Sell

The Dec/Jan 2021 issue of Canadian Woodworking is now the new All-Time Best Selling issue.

Art Director Jonathan Cresswell Jones created this perfectly executed seasonal cover, which went on sale Nov 16th, 2020.

The issue was promoted at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws.  And it was our first issue distributed by Disticor.

Sales are up 21% from the same time slot last year.  It outsold last year’s average sale by 120%.  All this despite Covid restrictions.

Canadian Woodworking is on the most incredible 6 year roll I’ve ever witnessed.

  • 2015:  Sales up 12%
  • 2016:  Sales up 49%
  • 2017:  Sales up 21%
  • 2018:  Sales up 39%
  • 2019:  Sales up 17%
  • 2020:  Sales up 1%
  • 2021:  Off to a great start with All-Time Record Breaker…up 21%




Posted by Scott On March - 24 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

The second SIP of the 2021 season for Legion magazine is set to hit newsstands on May 3rd, 2021.

Unlike most magazines, the Legion has had great success with illustrated cover treatments.  When we tested this cover vs. an historic photograph our online audience picked this one by a stunning margin.

This particular battle subject has also been one that our readers have responded to favorably in the past…so look for this one to sell!

  • Bold Type Treatment
  • Starburst
  • Great sell-lines

What to Eat Now

Posted by Scott On March - 18 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

The April 2021 cover of Toronto Life is a winner!

According to their dynamic Instagram post the issue promises “a guide to the city’s best pandemic-era dining.”

It boasts that it is “an enthusiastic collection of the city’s best new eats.  This is a must-buy issue to hold on to.


High Ground

Posted by Scott On March - 17 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

The May/Jun 2021 issue of Legion magazine is set to hit newsstands on April 26th.

Art Director Jennifer McGill has created another eye catching cover, for this respected award-winning magazine.

  • Strong skybar treatment
  • Bold type treatment
  • Starburst
  • + Symbol
  • Great use of colour to draw eye down page


Pro Advice

Posted by Scott On March - 10 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

The Spring 2021 issue of Fly Fusion hits newsstands in Canada and the USA this week.

This cover is one of the best they’ve done in recent years.

Compelling image.  Bold type treatment.  Loaded with benefits.


Fat Stash

Posted by Scott On March - 8 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

The May/Jun 2021 issue of Maximum Yield Cannabis is set to hit newsstands on April 5th, 2021.

Art Director Dionne Hurd continues to create powerful, eye-catching covers that sell.

Sales in the USA continue to grow too, with sales up 34%!  This inspite of Covid.

Their Sep/Oct 2020 issue (Terp Sauce) was a new all-time Record Breaker for them, with sales up 48% from prior year!



Atlantic Business: Powerful Women

Posted by Scott On February - 23 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

Here’s what Atlantic Business magazine’s Editor Dawn Chafe had to say about her latest issue:

Thematically speaking, March is Atlantic Business Magazine’s annual energy issue. Meaning oil, gas, hydroelectricity, wind, etc. However, during our editorial planning for this issue, we realized that the publication date is the same week as International Women’s Day.

Inspired by a wave of global leaders like Kamala Harris, Angela Merkel and Chrystia Freeland, we decided to include an article that recognized powerful women in Atlantic Canada’s business community. We settled on ‘powerful’ because it’s synonymous with energy. And 25 because it was a number large enough to impress but still manageable from a print perspective.

Impulsively, we put out a 24-word post on social media: “If you were working on a list of Atlantic Canada’s most powerful women, who would you expect it to include? Asking for a friend.” Contrary to all social media wisdom, we didn’t include any photos or hashtags. We didn’t expect a lot of feedback, but we hoped we might get a couple of suggestions. We were wrong.

Within a handful of days, that post had over 25,000 views (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter combined) with hundreds of comments and even more recommendations. Even before the magazine was published, we felt we had a winner.

Strategically, we used the coveted top right corner of the cover to announce this was our 25 Most Powerful Women issue. Next, we put three of the most recognizable faces in Atlantic Canada on the cover – the three women public health officers who’ve been leading the fight against Covid in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. We felt this would both capitalize on their public personas and maximize the cover’s appeal for audiences in three provinces. We even examined photos of our magazine on newsstands to measure how much of a cover is typically visible – then we made sure that enough of each health officer’s face was showing so as to be immediately recognizable.

Moving to the story lines at the bottom of the page, we deliberately referenced the name of each province covered in the story – really hammering home that we are Atlantic Canada’s business magazine and leaving no one in any doubt what we mean by that.

Next, we looked to the physical presence of the magazine. What could we do to show readers that this is something special? With the newsstand in mind, we opted to replace the red ink in our logo with red foil. We felt this would catch the light as people perused the newsstand – whatever it takes to stand out! Then, we considered our thud factor and tactile appeal. For that, we invested in 80 lb soft touch matte cover weight paper, with a 60 lb soft matte stock on the inside pages.

To really take it over the top, we booked front page advertising in newspapers across the region for Monday, March 8 – International Women’s Day. The ads direct people to our website, where they will find instructions on how to purchase an individual copy or subscription via the website and lists every retailer in Atlantic Canada that sells our magazine:

Will March 2021 be the best-selling magazine we’ve ever produced? That’s yet to be determined. But it won’t be for lack of trying on our part.


National Bird & Wolverine

Posted by Scott On February - 3 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

Check out the two covers from Canadian Geographic in 2021.

The National Bird cover goes on sale Feb 15th, 2021.  The Wolverine cover is on sale now.

In 2016 Nov/Dec issue we also featured the National Bird, and it was the best-selling issue that year.  So, if it works keep doing it.

We also always do well with predators on the cover, and this is the first time we’ve ever featured the elusive Wolverine. Art Director Javier Frutos used a crisp clean white background and one of our boldest main sell lines ever on this one.  Plus the skybar tribute to legend Alex Trebek was a nice touch.

Two Good Ones From Toronto Life

Posted by Scott On January - 28 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

The January and February 2021 covers of Toronto Life are good examples of how to keep it positive despite the pandemic.

We all know its been brutal, so no need to be-labor that obviously depressing reality. These covers offer some desperately needed hope for a better 2021!

Bravo Toronto Life!



Posted by Scott On January - 26 - 2021ADD COMMENTS

The Feb/Mar 2021 issue of Canada’s History is set to hit newsstands on Jan 25th, 2021.

Art Director James Gillespie has created a powerful, eye-catching cover, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the discovery of the lifesaving drug insulin.

The crisp white background works well to create the multi-layered effect of the bottle and Banting and Best.  The hot orange logo and the bold type treatment also work hard.  Four additional hooks in the skybar area offer readers additional reasons to pick up a copy.

Look for this one to sell.



About Me

Scott Bullock is a veteran circulation expert with over 38 years experience in both Canada and the United States. He has worked on trade titles such as Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal and Small Press in the USA. In consumer magazines, Scott was the Circulation Director for D Magazine (the city magazine of Dallas, Texas), and in Canada he was the Circulation Director for Toronto Life, Fashion, and Canadian Art. From 2000 to 2004, Scott was a partner at Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Scott has also held the post of VP Sales & Marketing, for CDS Global, Canada. Currently, CoversSell.Com is Scott’s circulation consultancy. Active clients include: Fly Fusion, Canadian Geographic, Canadian House & Home, Canada’s History, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Canadian Woodworking, Canadian Cycling, Canadian Running, Canadian Scrapbooker, Legion, Harrowsmith, SkyNews, and SuperTrax.



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