Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for the ‘Cover of the Week’ Category

Erosion of Democracy

Posted by Scott On June - 14 - 2022

The current cover of Sports Illustrated is generating chatter because of a case that is before the Supreme Court in the USA.

“The sports magazine promoted an article on its Twitter account penned by Greg Bishop that discussed the case involving high school football coach Joe Kennedy’s right to pray on the field after a game. Although the case has yet to be ruled on, Sports Illustrated warned that a ruling in favor of Kennedy would be “an erosion of a bedrock of American democracy.”

“SCOTUS will soon rule on the case of a public school football coach who wants to pray on-field after games. @GregBishopSI on Joe Kennedy, the machine backing him and the expected result: a win for Kennedy and an erosion of a bedrock of American democracy,” the post read.

It will be interesting to see if this cover sells…as controversial covers generally generates free promotion and therefore interest.  It will also be interesting to see how the court rules and if democracy is indeed “eroded” if the outcome swings one way or the other.


Elon Musk

Posted by Scott On December - 17 - 2021

Time magazine crowned Elon Musk the Person of the Year for 2021. Time’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal explained the decision to pick the richest man on Earth, saying he was emblematic of 2021 and the year’s most influential person.

“For creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society’s most daring and disruptive transformations, Elon Musk is TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year,” Felsenthal added.

Some people were outraged by the choice, like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who took to Twitter that same day to weigh in on the billionaire wealth debate: “Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else.”

Musk was having none of it and responded by telling her to “stop projecting” and calling her “Senator Karen.”

“You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”

In yet another follow up Musk wrote: “Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen.”

Earlier in the year Elon Musk made news when he moved Tesla’s  headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas.

Tesla is not the first company to move to Texas. In 2020, tech powerhouse Oracle announced it was moving from Silicon Valley to Austin.

 Technology firm HP and carmaker Toyota have also moved their US headquarters to Texas from California.

California has stronger labour laws, and higher living costs and taxes than other states, while Texas is known for cheaper labour and less stringent regulation.

Mr. Musk moved his home to Texas from California at the end of last year to focus on Tesla’s new car manufacturing plant there. His SpaceX rocket company has a launch site in the southern tip of Texas.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, is projected to pay more than $8.2 billion in taxes on stock he sold in 2021, Forbes estimates. Because he sold nearly $13 billion in stocks through December 13 of this year.   Musk will pay the largest tax bill in US history.


Posted by Scott On October - 26 - 2021

The November 2021 cover of Toronto Life is going to be hard to miss–or resist–on newsstands.

“For Toronto Life’s November cover story about therapeutic psychedelics, we didn’t want to use 60s/70s drug trip imagery. It would be too easy to depict hippies or crazy swirling bright colours and it wouldn’t give the story the gravity it deserves. Psychedelics are serious business now. We wanted to emphasize the medical, psychiatric and medicinal aspects of psychedelics today and make it feel current and contemporary. Toronto Life’s art director, Christine Dewairy, saw the potential immediately of a simple, dramatic, iconic mushroom. It’s elegant and powerful and has a poster-like quality. Plus the red works really nicely with our logo,” said Annie Gabrielian.

Cover price is $7.95 and on sale is Oct 25th.

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.


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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