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Covers Sell

Archive for the ‘Check Up’ Category

Trends Up

Posted by Scott On March - 23 - 2022

The Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Canadian House & Home is a big time winner!

This year’s annual Trends issue is the best-selling cover in this time slot in 8 years.

This issue has sold over 40,000 copies at a 57% sell-thru!

Great covers do Sell.


Canadian Woodworking’s Record Breaking Year

Posted by Scott On October - 7 - 2021

Canadian Woodworking is having another Record Breaking year in 2021.  This should come as no surprise, as sales have been going up every year since 2015.  During this period a staggering 24  of 36 covers bested their counterpart in the previous year.

  • 2015…sales up 12%
  • 2016…sales up 49%
  • 2017…sales up 21%
  • 2018…sales up 39%
  • 2019…sales up 17%
  • 2020…sales up 1% (despite Covid)

Now in 2021, 4 of 5 issues have set new sales records too.

  • Dec/Jan 2021 (Christmas Ornaments)…sales up 21%…and is the all-time best-selling issue!
  • Feb/Mar 2021 (Router)…sales up 39%…new record breaker for this time slot!
  • Jun/Jul 2021 (Small Shop)…sales up 68%…new record breaker for this time slot!
  • Aug/Sep 2021 (Beer Caddy)…sales up 25%…new record breaker for this time slot!

Art Director Jonathan Cresswell-Jones has another good one in the pipeline too to finish off the year!



Canadian Geographic on Fire in 2021

Posted by Scott On October - 6 - 2021

Canadian Geographic magazine is enjoying an excellent year on the newsstand so far in 2021.

  • Jan/Feb 2021 (Wolverine) is up 21% from prior year
  • Mar/Apr 2021 (National Bird) is up 18% from prior year
  • May/Jun 2021 (Cougar) is up 24% from prior year
  • Jul/Aug 2021 (Sea Wolf) is up 39% from prior year

Look for more good news to come…as Art Director Javier Frutos has more goodies in the pipeline!

Record Breaking Sales for Canadian Woodworking

Posted by Scott On April - 8 - 2021

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%



2020 Swimsuit Issue…and the verdict is?

Posted by Scott On December - 16 - 2020

The 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue results are in.  This year’s issue was pushed by the SI spin doctors as important and groundbreaking, in a desperate attempt to remain relevant.  Why?  Well, because the brand was going to be featuring their first transsexual bikini model!  Plus, as an added bonus, their PR team pushed their coverage of obese women in bikinis.  So how did that work out?  Did the gushing, free media coverage earn them legions of new customers lining up to plunk down their hard-earned cash?  Or did it send their core audience of red-blooded pig dog dudes running for the hills?

You be the judge.  In chronological order from 2015 to 2020…

“The 23-year-old Brazilian beauty was just named a 2020 Rookie for the upcoming issue (on stands July 21), which marks the first time the iconic magazine has featured a transgender model.”

Valentina Sampaio was photographed by Josie Clough in Scrub Island, BVI. Swimsuit by TRIANGL.

And for the third year in a row Sports Illustrated featured the “world’s curviest” plus size model.

In Canada the sales were:

2015:  33,059 copies sold, worth $297,200

2016:  28,770 copies sold, worth $258,600

2017:  30,986 copies sold, worth $309,550

2018:  18,239 copies sold, worth $182,208

2019:  15,795 copies sold, worth $157,792

2020:  7,063 copies sold, worth $77,622…down 55.3%.



Magnolia Journal (Still Hot)

Posted by Scott On July - 29 - 2020

The Magnolia Journal remains a hot seller in Canada.

Launched in the Fall of 2016, the first issue sold 11,100 copies, on a draw of 24,180, for a 46% sell-through at a $9.99 cover price.  That’s impressive!

  • In 2017, the Spring issue sold 12,580 copies at a 53.7% sell-through
  • The Summer 2017 issue sold 12,481 copies at a 46.2% sell-through
  • The Fall 2017 issue sold 11,882 copies at a 45.6% sell-through
  • The Winter 2017 issue sold 16,071 copies at an incredible 57.1% sell-through

And the magazine remained on a roll in 2018, with sales up 47% in total.

  • In 2018, the Spring issue sold 15,452 copies at a 54.3% sell-through
  • The Summer 2018 issue sold 14,558 copies at a 49.2% sell-through
  • The Fall 2018 issue sold 22,915 copies at a 38% sell-through
  • The Winter 2018 issue sold 25,248 copies at a 40% sell-through

And the magazine remained on a roll in 2019, with sales up 70% in total.

  • In 2019, the Spring issue sold 22,966 copies at a 37.5% sell-through
  • The Summer 2019 issue sold 19,927 copies at a 32% sell-through
  • The Fall 2019 issue sold 221,432 copies at a 33.1% sell-through
  • The Winter 2019 issue sold 25,930 copies at a 40.3% sell-through…a new all-time high.

Despite Covid-19, both 2020 issues are poised to continue to sell more copies then prior year.

  • In 2020, the Spring issue sold 24,678 copies at a 34.8% sell-through…up 7%
  • The Summer 2020 issue currently sits at 24,186 copies (not final yet) copies at a 39.7% sell-through

Pioneer Woman

Posted by Scott On July - 29 - 2020

Starting in 2018, Hearst launched Pioneer Woman magazine in Canada.   The magazine was built around celebrity blogger Ree Drumond, who lives on a working ranch in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

According to Wikipedia:  “Capitalizing on the success of her blog, Drummond currently stars in her own television program, also entitled The Pioneer Woman, on The Food Network which began in 2011.”

The magazine was an instant success in Canada.

  • The Spring 2018 issue sold 14,611 copies at a 47% sell-through.
  • The Summer 2018 issue sold 15,922 copies at a 45% sell-through.
  • The Fall 2018 issue sold 17,903 copies at a 40% sell-through.
  • The Winter 2018 issue sold 20,299 copies at a 44% sell-through.

The magazine remained on an upward trajectory in 2019.

  • The Spring 2019 issue sold 17,279 copies at a 38% sell-through…up 18.3% from prior year.
  • The Summer 2019 issue sold 18,346 copies at a 43% sell-through…up 15.2% from prior year.
  • The Fall 2019 issue sold 15,282 copies at a 35.3% sell-through…down 14.6% when they inexplicably cut 1,149 stores or 30% off distribution.
  • The Winter 2019 issue sold 20,346 copies at a 47% sell-through…up modestly from prior year, and best-selling issue ever!

Sadly, Covid-19 has taken its toll on the Spring 2020 issue.

  • The Spring 2020 issue sold 14,999 copies at a 36% sell-through…down 13.2% from prior year.  It went on sale March 2nd…bad timing, but still a very respectable outcome.

The covers are all “celebrity based” and beautifully composed.  This magazine is a shining example of excellence in difficult times. Covers are in chronological order from launch to current, left to right.







Cottage Life Up Big in 2020

Posted by Scott On June - 25 - 2020

Cottage Life magazine, a Canadian gem, is off to a sizzling start with their first issue of 2020 (All Hale the Eh Frame).  Sales were up 2,326 copies or 43% from last year’s issue in this time slot (The Warmest Season).  Since 2016 this winter time slot has been their top producing slot.

Cottage Life had a down year in 2019, with sales dropping 24% overall, with just 2 of 6 issues posting gains.  But the biggest contributor to the decline was the first issue, which was down 47% from the previous year, effectively dragging the averages down with it.

When you compare the 2019 Winter cover against the 2020 Winter cover you can see that while both featured A Frame Cottages, the 2019 edition was rather bleak, while the 2020 version was fun, playful, bright and active, with a warm yellow logo and sell lines, plus a much bolder type treatment.  What a great way to start off the new year!


In Style Down 13% in Canada in 2019

Posted by Scott On January - 31 - 2020

In Style magazine has posted a 13% decline in newsstand sales in Canada for 2019. It’s better then the two prior years when sales were down 16% in 2018 and 22% in 2017.   In 2019, 4 of 12 issues posted gains.

Their best-selling issue of the year, the September 2019 issue, sold 30,355 copies at 39% efficiency, but that is down 14,473 or 32% from last year’s results in this time slot.

The November 2019 issue was down 21% this year and was the second-to-worst performer of the year.  They tried removing all cover lines except a small patch down in the far right hand corner (the cover real estate I refer to as Baltic Avenue). Total flop.

The December issue is posting a gain of 11% from prior year, and is the 3rd best performer of the year.  A clearly classic cover.

Nostalgia Cover Rocks for Cottage Life

Posted by Scott On January - 23 - 2020

The Aug/Sep 2019 issue of Cottage Life (on sale July 15th) was a winner…their best-selling cover of the year.  This cover was, in my view, the most non-traditional cover they’ve done in years, with a very unique nostalgic twist.  Subject Matter Matters, but this design was spot on brilliant.

This issue out sold the average of the other five issues by nearly 35%!



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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