Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Aug/Sep 2013 issue of Canada’s History is set to hit newsstands on July 29th.

Here’s what editor Mark Reid had to say about this cover choice: “It’s not often noted, but women played many important roles during the War of 1812. As writer Dianne Graves points out in the August-September 2013 issue of Canada’s History magazine, when their men went off to fight, women were left with sole responsibility for farms, homes, and businesses. Some also tended the wounded, single-handedly defended their property against plunderers, rallied First Nations to fight, accompanied their soldier husbands on campaign, and conveyed important intelligence across enemy lines. The most well-known of these women was Laura Secord. But Graves’ article focuses on the lesser known of the War of 1812’s heroines.”

The cover image is rich an inviting, with a strong type treatment, and a clean, uncluttered feel.

Click to Enlarge image

Monday, July 22, 2013
Canadian Living is debuting a new look with its September 2013 issue.

The new logo has beefed up in size and impact. The sky-bar area is working much harder with three strong hooks. The main sell line is up top, not down low like so many fashion magazines. Bold use of the number 30 adds quantity to the quality. Good positioning of the starburst button. And love the tag line and treatment.

It’s great to see such a legendary brand not afraid to shake things up!

Check out that special “TRY ME” price of $2.99.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
The twits are twittering about the August 1st, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Moral outrage abounds. Tasteless. Disgusting. The indignity of it all.



Here’s the offending cover.

Is it really so different than this cover?

Is this cover less offensive?

How tasteless is this cover?

Does this cover glorify a criminal?

Is this gangster a saint?

My guess is that the article is brilliantly researched and written and, I predict, will win some editorial awards very soon. Given all the buzz and free publicity, I also predict the issue will sell extremely well, particularly in Boston. It’s Rolling Stone magazine…they’ve been covering Patty Hearst, The Black Panthers, The Weatherman, and all sorts of wild and crazy guys for decades. 

All I can say is: Really?

Here’s a tune to remind you…


Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The latest issue of Sportsnet magazine is sure to stir debate. I can't wait to read the jaded and cynical comments from anonymous trolls on industry blogs. However, this issue will certainly send many a newsstand browser to their chiropractor’s office (as they wrench their necks in double-take, jaw-dropping ecstasy and pain). I am thrilled not to see a sweaty hockey player cover in July.

“The much anticipated and hotly debated inaugural Beauty of Sport issue is on newsstands July 18," says art director Jamie Hodgson. "Following the 30-minute behind the scenes TV documentary that aired on Sportsnet, we are unleashing the issue to the country. An eight-month project of logistics and photo shoots from LA to Montreal. We used the same photographer, Matt Barnes, for all 28 athletes centered around a whirlwind week in Las Vegas. Eighteen athletes, five days and very long hours produced some of our most memorable images for the package. These aren’t bikini models, actors or runway stars. These are homegrown, world-class athletes—like you’ve never seen them before.

"The unique angle we have is they are all Canadian, men and women, and they are some of the best athletes in the world. And we’re ready to show them off proudly. The cover itself was the product of many variations of many different athletes over a few weeks of trial and error. Finally we decided on Emily Batty, an Olympic mountain biker standing with her killer hot pink bike in Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas. This image best encapsulated what we are trying to represent with this issue, beauty and sport, and Emily captures both perfectly in this image. Blowing out the top sell will let readers know exactly what they are getting themselves into when they pick it up on newsstands — Canada’s Hottest Athletes. It’s been a fun project with a ton of work to get to this point. Can’t wait for next year!”

Friday, July 05, 2013
The Canadian Newsstand Boxscore for 2012 results has been completed by Coast to Coast Newsstand Services. Chief exectuive officer Glenn Morgan has released the Top Line data to CoversSell.Com

Here are the macro level findings. In future installments, we will get into category analysis, drill down on specific magazine success stories, and talk about the biggest decliners too. 

Look for future installments to come soon.

  • Total Units sold in 2012:  83,488,654
  • Total Units sold in 2011:  90,006,896
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -7.2%

So if your magazine did better than a decline of 7.2% you are a winner relative to the overall index.

  • Total Retail $ Sales in 2012:  $458,793,287
  • Total Retail $ Sales in 2011:  $491,535,040
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -6.7%

Higher priced SIPs and the usual upward movement on cover prices helped a bit.

  • Total Units sold of Canadian magazines in 2012:  13,546,978
  • Total Units sold of Canadian magazines in 2011:  14,210,138
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -4.7%

Good to see that Canadian magazines are doing considerably better than the overall index.

  • Total Units sold of USA & Other magazines in 2012:  69,941,676
  • Total Units sold of USA & Other magazines in 2011:  75,796,758
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -7.7%

Here are some other observations… 

  • Overall Newsstand Sell-through in 2012:  31.3%
  • Overall Newsstand Sell-through in 2011:  31.6%

 Sell-through remains stable.

  • Canadian magazines sold as a percentage of overall total newsstand sales in 2012:  16.2%
  • Canadian magazines sold as a percentage of overall total newsstand sales in 2011:  15.8%

A good story is that the percentage of Canadian magazines sold on newsstands has been trending up every year.

In 2008 Canadian magazines represented 13.5% of the total units of English language magazines sold on newsstands through Canadian wholesalers. So in the last five years we have seen market share increase from 13.5% to 16.2% for Canadian magazines.

 Here’s another interesting statistic…

  • Total number of issues distributed in 2012:  22,050
  • Total number of issues distributed in 2011:  22,285
  • %+/- 2012 vs. 2011:  -1.0%

The number of issues distributed has stabilized since the biggest drop in 2009. That year only 21,839 total issues were distributed compared to 23,582 in 2008. This was a drop of 7.4% which was a significant reduction in issues distributed for 2009 compared to 2008.

Again, all of the comparison and data provided are for English language magazines only, and that are distributed through Canadian mass market wholesalers.

About Me
Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock is the the creator of Coverssell.com. Bullock has worked as circulation director for both consumer and B2B magazines including Toronto Life and FASHION. If you have a great cover to share, please send all submissions to 

Note to readers: some of Bullock's posts may refer to his clients.
Most Recent Blog Comment
Kelly says:
Any news on how it performed on newsstands?...
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