Monday, March 26, 2012
In an article on Pubexec.com, Mr. Magazine offers up his opinion on the importance of size, when it comes to a fabulous magazine reading experience.

It’s all about quality.

Mr. Magazine points to foreign examples, but perhaps more importantly for the North American market, he refers to the approach being taken by Hearst.  This passage is key:

“David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, explained to me in a recent interview why Hearst is upsizing its magazines: “We are investing in a number of our editions because we do want to be best in class in all of our titles. We do know that as far as advertising, we want to be, ideally, one, two, maybe three; in terms of a category, you don’t want to be four or five.” In the last three years, Hearst has upsized Country Living and Good Housekeeping, and published both Food Network and HGTV magazines in a larger size than the majority of the magazines in the marketplace.”


Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Zoomer magazine’s April 2012 issue is arguably the most daring/risky cover they have attempted since launch.

“In the issue Jann Arden tells it like it is on turning fifty (50), amping up her humorous damn-the-torpedoes honesty.  In a photograph taken by Bryan Adams, Jann Arden bares all for a centerfold,” says Kathryn Eves, Marketing and PR Manager for Zoomer.

Jann on why she chose to pose nude:

“It appealed to my sense of frustration with body image in mainstream beauty and fashion, something I have always been passionate about: the fact that most of us normal women are marginalized and set aside for not looking a certain way.  Doing a nude shot would make a huge statement.  So, for the first time and perhaps the last, I took my duds off.  Scared?  Yes, but somehow relieved to be able to say, “Hey, women of the planet Earth.  Love thyself right now.  Don’t wait until it’s too late!”

Kudos for risk taking!

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Refreshing your magazine’s look is important, for many reasons… not just to juice newsstand sales. Keeping the magzine fresh and vibrant is important to subscribers and advertisers too.

After all, we are in the information and entertainment business, and our magazines help high-end brands (that spend a lot of time thinking about design as part of the brand-building exercise) show off their products and services in a modern and sophisticated environment that is as equally lush, vibrant, slick and sassy, as they are.

East Coast Living won a free “magazine makeover” from K9 Design in Toronto. So, what has happened since?

According to Janice Hudson, editor, “The redesign has been very well received by our readers and advertisers. I’ve found that the new contemporary design appeals to our core group of readers, but also to younger, urban readers, which is very exciting. It’s wonderful to be presenting our stories in a fresh, modern way. There’s a new energy surrounding the magazine, which is building interest and buzz among our advertisers and our subscribers. Even people outside of Atlantic Canada are recognizing that we’re a modern, sophisticated publication.”

“The new design has also strengthened our advertising revenues for the magazine. Overall ad revenues have grown by 20 per cent since 2009. Full-page ads increased from 19 per cent in 2009 to 26 per cent in 2011. The amount of national advertisers grew from 15 per cent in 2009 to 27 per cent in 2011,” says Hudson.

It’s a good idea to refresh your look to help circulation efforts, but when it generates ad sales increases like this, that’s golden.

Full disclosure:  I was a sponsor, and a judge, of the contest, and K9 is a sponsor of this blog.  
Friday, March 09, 2012
I just received my new April issue of Toronto Life. Looks just like the Cincinnati magazine cover I blogged about last week. A loyal reader pointed out to me that this concept has been around for a while.

The New York cover was done in January 2007, and sold nearly 26,000 copies or 28% better than the average that year!

The Boston cover sold below their average for that year.

The Toronto Life rendition (the issue marks the 30th annual edition of Where to Eat Now) is strong, and should sell briskly. Less clutterd. Nice touches of color. Less is more. Love the little mini mag guide that comes with it. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012
The March issue of InStyle is a knock out. It’s also as thick as a phone book.

The cover features Jennifer Aniston… who as a cover girl almost always delivers strong newsstand sales. The 552-page Mega Issue is impressive… who said ad pages are hard to come by?

Great eye contact. Love the way Jennifer interupts the logo. Super use of numbers to quantify the benefits. And love the type on an angle.

This issue is sure to sell big… take it to the bank.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012
The March 2012 issue of Cincinnati magazine is hot.

This innovative cover from the liitle C market can show those big city A market magazines how it’s done.

While the Where to Eat theme is a steady staple with the city magazine genere, very few art directors ever go beyond hiring a food stylist to air brush a burger. 

This cover dared to think big, and was willing to even “chalk board” their logo, to create an eye-catching and sophisticated cover treatment that communincates quickly, clearly and creatively. That’s fun and gutsy!

And on a persoanl note, if you ever go to Cincinnati, my favourite bar in North America is the Blind Lemon in Mt. Adams. Don’t forget a dose of Skyline Chilli (3 way) and a chili dog, no onion, no mustard. Plus, the mint chocolate chip ice cream at Greaters is the best in the world.

Monday, March 05, 2012
There were a few other SIP’s that turned in some eye-popping results in 2011.

Maclean’s William & Kate (The Royal Wedding) Special was a spectacular success. The issue had a retail price of $9.95 and sold over 91,000 copies at a 75% sell-through efficiency. That’s insanely good.

Vancouver Magazine’s City Guide turned in an amazing performance.  The issue had a retail price of $9.99 and sold over 9,000 copies at a 52% sell-through efficiency.  It outsold the previous year’s Guide by 190%, making this their best-selling City Guide ever. Very impressive.

Style at Home’s 100 Best Designer Secrets Special was a big success. The issue had a retail price of $7.99 (up from their $5.50 regular price) and sold nearly 54,000 copies at a 45% sell-through efficiency. This was their best selling issue of 2011, both by units sold and by revenue. Nice addition to the line-up!

Legion WW1 Special had a retail price of $14.95. This was the first-ever SIP for the title. It sold 5,659 copies on a draw of 12,650, for a 45% sell-through efficiency. The title grossed $84,602 retail dollars. It was honoured with a Bronze award at the 2011 Canadian Newsstand Awards in the SIP category.  (Full disclosure: a client of CoversSell.com).

Vote for your favourite on this page

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.

Note to readers: some of Bullock's posts may refer to his clients.
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