Covers Sell

Covers Sell

Archive for the ‘Hall of Fame’ Category

Andy Warhol Esquire Cover Classic

Posted by Scott On November - 3 - 2012

In an article circulated by Bo Sacs from, the legendary art director George Lois talks about the creative process behind the iconic May 1969 Esquire cover featuring Andy Warhol drowning in a can of Campbell’s soup.  The article is required reading for any art director or cover junky.

Read the article by clicking here

Please cast your vote below…does this cover belong in MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, in NY city) and the cover Hall of Fame?

Hall of Fame Worthy

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Also, Please Vote on other Hall of Fame nominees by clicking here:

Tomboy Cover

Posted by Scott On April - 21 - 2012

A very intetesting article in today’s Globe & Mail which, in the print editon,  features a fabulous cover from LIFE magazine in 1965.

The cover is a classic “less is more” treatment.

It is  a great example of the power of an image to get you to stop and take a second glance.  Placed in historical context, the cover was arguably radical,  tackling an important issue about the gender equality movement, and also being ahead of the curve with a sport (skateboarding) that was still in its infancy of developing for both men and women.

Is it Hall of Fame worthy?

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Ali…Hall of Fame Worthy?

Posted by Scott On January - 26 - 2012

The April 1968 of Esquire Magazine is often listed as a top contender for all-time best covers.

(Thanks to reader Katina Solomon for bringing it forward for discussion).   She provided a link that she felt readers would appreciate.

The question is:  Do you think this cover is Hall of Fame Worthy?

Cast your Vote Below

Hall of Fame Worthy

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Katarina Witt Cover Now Selling on Amazon for $28.95

Posted by Scott On December - 7 - 2011

The Katarina Witt cover from December 1998  holds the  rare distinction of being one of only two issues in the iconic brand’s history to be a complete sellout.  The other being the launch issue featuring Marilyn Monroe.  See Marilyn Monroe cover from December 1953 here:

Credit to the folks at SportsNet magazine for pointing this fact out.

Had you invested in the Katarina Witt issue at the $5.95 cover price, you’d be getting a 378% return on investment.  Not too shabby.

When a cover featuring Lindsay Vonn appeared in Sports Illustrated, it stirred up controversey regarding female althletes posing provocatively.

Is the Katarina Witt cover deserving of Hall of Fame Status?

Hall of Fame worthy?

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Better than Time?

Posted by Scott On November - 29 - 2011

In our last Hall of Fame nomination, we highlighted the classic Time Magazine Cover.

Here is a twist on that cover.   While it may not have sold millions of copies, the creativity of this cover treatment is quite special.

Do you agree or disagree?

Compare and contrast to the Time Magazine treatment by clicking here:

Please cast your vote below…

Hall of Fame Worthy

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Posted by Scott On November - 8 - 2011

This cover, from TIME magazine on September 14th, 2001 is both horrific and specatcular.  It captures the moment the world changed irrevocably.  Most everyone can remember precisely where they were and what they were doing as this picture was being snapped.

According to ABC statements, this issue sold 3,430,565 (three million, four hundred and thirty thousand, five hundred and sixty five copies).

The issue prior on September 4th, 2001, sold 154,820.   The issue from the prior year in the same time slot sold 128,455 copies.

The American Society of Magazine Editors ranked it #25 of the top 40 Covers of the last 40 years.

Is this cover Hall of Fame Worthy?  Please Cast your Vote below.  

Also, vote on other Hall of Fame covers by clicking on Hall of Fame Icon on the Home Page.

Hall of Fame Worthy?

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Marilyn Monroe Launches Playboy

Posted by Scott On December - 7 - 2010

While newsstand sales of Playboy have been in steady decline for decades, this cover from December 1953 jump-started a cultural revolution of sexual liberation.

The iconic Marilyn Monroe helped launch one of America’s most iconic brands.  The magazine is arguably one of the most influential ever, and still creates controversy. 

Copies of the launch issue are being sold by Christie’s auction house for $1,500.  Not bad for a fifty cent cover price.

Do you think this belongs in the Hall of Fame?

Monroe, Hall of Fame worthy?

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The Trudeau Special an enormous success.

Posted by Scott On October - 19 - 2010

Received a nomination for the Hall of Fame from Glenn Morgan, at Coast to Coast.

The Trudeau Special was an enormous success.  As Glenn points out:

“The special went on sale on October 23rd, 2000.  At that time $9.95 was a rather rare price in the newsstand marketplace.  The total draw was 146,500 copies.  Initially we distributed 106,500 copies, but subsequently shipped another 40,000 within  two weeks of the initial on sale date.  The total sale was 121,995 copies for an incredible 83.2% sell-through efficiency.”

According to Peter Willson, who oversaw the retail portion of the project on behalf of Rogers and lived every moment of this special newsstand journey:

“The reason it sold so well was the subject matter touched so many Canadians.  Because Trudeau represented, led, provoked and inspired an entire generation.  The Maclean’s editors caught that feeling throughout the book….but it was the cover that clinched the sale.”

Regarding the cover Willson says:

“Sombre but not morbid.  Distinguished.  Simple.  The word Trudeau dominates—there is no doubt what it is about.  Special Commemorative Issue makes it a must have.  And the back cover of Trudeau walking away down a street with his back to us, wearing his beret, was very touching and emotional.  In some cases at retail, the back cover got dual facings with key retailers.”

Regarding the $9.95 cover price, Willson talks about the success they had enjoyed with The Diana Tribute issue priced at $6.95.  So there was lengthy debate amongst the key players at Rogers.  The market spoke and the $9.95 cover prevailed and the rest was the opportunity to generate retail revenue.

Willson credits tremendous support from the wholesale community putting it on full-copy hold and performing re-distribution before Christmas, making it an ideal gift.  Then again in Toronto Airports before March break 2001.  Finally, when the CBC decided to air a mini series on Trudeau in the fall of 2001, Willson approached Chapters/Indigo for an exclusive on the last 3,000 copies they had in inventory and sold an astounding 66% of those copies too.

What a remarkable story.

Do you think this belongs in the Hall of Fame?

Trudeau, Hall of Fame Worthy?

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Texas Monthly Dec 2004

Posted by Scott On June - 7 - 2010

This classic Food cover exemplifies the concept of Radical Clarity.

Rule #23:  The 3 second Rule
Rule #24:  Always ask “What are we Selling?”

In less than 3 seconds you get what this cover is selling. Red Pepper (image) + Mexican Food (2 simple words) = Must Buy!

This issue was by far the top selling issue in 2004. It sold 41,400 copies at a stunning 69% sell-through efficiency. The other 11 issues that year averaged 29,976 copies sold. So this classic outsold the average by 11,424 copies or 38.1% better. An amazing accomplishment, considering how good most Texas Monthly covers truly are, and how loyal their readers are too.

Texas Monthly Dec 2004, is it Hall of Fame worthy?

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New Yorker Sept 24, 2001

Posted by Scott On June - 7 - 2010

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when the Towers fell? This cover pays tribute to the tragedy in a way that only the New Yorker could achieve.

This cover triumphs, in every way, despite breaking a number of rules such as:
Rule # 11:   Color over Black
Rule #12:    Use Bold Type Treatments
Rule #13:    Don’t be Depressing
Rule #27:    Use Cover Lines

According to ABC statistics, this issue sold 162,647 copies at newsstands.  The average sale on all other issues in 2001 was 44,430 copies.  Therefore this classic cover sold 118,217 more copies than the average, an increase of over 266%.

New Yorker Sept 24 2001, is it Hall of Fame worthy?

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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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