Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for the ‘Cover of the Week’ Category

Playboy’s New Cover Man

Posted by Scott On October - 5 - 2021

Playboy magazine (digital) has just made news by featuring their first gay man on the cover.

The magazine is celebrating their first-ever male cover model, beauty influencer Bretman Rock—and the media is hailing it as a milestone for the LGBTQ community.

The photo and accompanying video show Rock posing in Playboy’s traditional bunny costume, complete with requisite rabbit ears, bushy tail, and high heels.

Kitchens + Baths SIP

Posted by Scott On May - 28 - 2021

The 2021 Canadian House & Home Kitchen & Bath SIP is now on sale.

This annual Special Interest Publication is always a strong seller.

The 2020 edition was a huge success, with sales spiking up by 46%!



Cottage Wars

Posted by Scott On May - 20 - 2021

The June 2021 issue of Toronto Life is going to sell, and sell big.

This cover is fun and timely.

According to their Instagram account:  “The pandemic has turned cottage hunting into a blood sport as Torontonians duke it out for a little piece of lake.  In our June 2021 issue, we take a look at the outrageous bidding wars, property battles, big winners, and buying adventures in cottage country.”

The real estate theme almost always works for city and regional magazines.  And this cover checks all the right boxes. Kudos to Art Director Christine Dewairy.  


What to Eat Now

Posted by Scott On March - 18 - 2021

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.


Atlantic Business: Powerful Women

Posted by Scott On February - 23 - 2021

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.


Two Good Ones From Toronto Life

Posted by Scott On January - 28 - 2021

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!


Day One

Posted by Scott On January - 22 - 2021

Time magazine’s latest cover.

Fanning the flames of division.  I’ll bet it works.

Kitchen + Baths SIP 2020

Posted by Scott On July - 8 - 2020

The 2020 Kitchen + Baths SIP from Canadian House & Home is on newsstands now.

This gorgeous cover strikes all the right notes.

  • Bold type treatment for the Logo
  • Crisp white background
  • Good use of color to draw attention to features
  • Use of numbers to quantify value proposition

Look for this one to sell!







Posted by Scott On December - 13 - 2019

Time magazine has declared Greta Thunberg the 2019 Person of the Year.

The cover is getting tons of free media, as Trump reacts and triggers outrage.

“So ridiculous,” Trump said on Twitter. “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

Earlier in September, when the sixteen year old slammed everyone at the United Nations with her famous “How Dare You!” speech, Trump had this to say: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future,” Trump wrote. “‘So nice to see!”

This cover is sure to be a winner!


Posted by Scott On August - 9 - 2019

The August 19th, 2019 TIME cover (Enough) is getting lots of free promotion on CNN and other left-leaning media outlets in the USA.  The cover is in response to the tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this past week.  The cover lists the 253 cities that have been impacted by a mass shooting this year.

The striking cover, is a great example of 3 of my cover Rules:

Rule #6:  Be Controversial

Rule #31:  Radical Clarity

Rule #32:  Timing Matters

Here’s what the Editor-in-Chief and CEO of TIME.had to say about the cover:

Last year, we put five survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on the cover of TIME, with the word ENOUGH emblazoned across the image. Determining the cover is always a team discussion, and in the course of it, some in our newsroom urged that we not use that word. How to determine what exactly is enough? Wasn’t it enough at Columbine? At Virginia Tech? At Fort Hood? Won’t it be enough when, sure as night follows day, the next massacre occurs?

We all have our measures of how obscenely normalized domestic terror has become. At TIME, one is how frequently we have felt compelled to devote our cover to the subject. In my own less than two years in this job, we’ve run seven of them, from the 2017 massacre at a Las Vegas music festival that killed 58 people to this spring’s murder of 50 worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In recent days, as the heartbreaking news from Gilroy to El Paso to Dayton swept across America, I thought about these covers as well as the hundreds of images from mass shootings we’ve published over the years. Terrified children who survived Sandy Hook walking single file to safety. Giant photographs of the dead at the prayer vigil for the victims at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The side-by-side graves of two brothers killed, among 11 altogether, at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Searing images and yet somehow forgotten by leaders with the power to effect change.




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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