Tuesday, September 21, 2010
REALITY CHECK: American Society of Magazine Editors Best Cover Contest: Most Delicious
Anyone who has ever worked in the restaurant business knows how fiercely competitive it is, and how fickle foodies can be with their affections and loyalties.  One day you are the flavour of the month, and the next you are out of business.  Just ask Gourmet.  So it goes with food covers.  Get it right, and the customers hungrily devour you.  Wallets emerge, open and disgorge themselves willingly and with joy.  Fail to impress, and you’ve got a stinking, rotting mess.

(Note:  Edible Manhattan is not ABC Audited)

ASME: Most Delicious
ASME: Most Delicious

Reality Check on Bon Appetit cover:
According to ABC statistics, the average sale for the Jul/Dec 2009 rate base period was 113,500 copies sold.  This nominated cover sold 82,000, or 28% worse than the overall average.  With so many excellent, high selling covers to choose from, leaving this stinker on the menu is perplexing.

Reality Check on Atlanta cover:
City magazines often do exceptionally well with food covers, even though food is not their single-minded editorial focus.  According to ABC statistics, this nominated cover sold 4,950 copies compared to the average of 4,502 for the Jan/Jun 2010 rate base period.  That’s a 10% lift.  Not bad, but not exactly a breath-taking gusher.

Reality Check on Saveur cover:
This really is an American classic.  Everything about this cover works.  White background.  Corner slash.  Great use of the real estate.  Clean and uncluttered.  Strong supporting sell lines.  According to ABC statistics this was the best-selling cover of the Jul/Dec 2009 rate base period.  It sold 48,429 copies compared to the average of 41,420, for a 17% lift.  That’s delicious indeed.

Reality Check on Texas Monthly cover:
Is there any doubt what is on the menu with this cover?  Burgers is as prominent as the logo for the Texas Monthly restaurant.  According to ABC statistics, this cover sold 41,591 copies, compared to the average for the Jul/Dec 2009 rate base period of 34,646.  That’s a 20% lift.  Not only was it the best-selling cover of the period, it was the best selling cover since May of 2008.  Now that is indeed mouth-watering.

Reality Check on Food & Wine cover:
According to ABC statistics, this elegant, refined and perfectly gorgeous cover sold 70,243 copies compared to the 53,911 average sold for the Jan/Jun 2010 period.  That’s a 30% lift in sales.  It was also the best-selling issue of Food & Wine since July of 2008.  The “beautiful science” is irrefutable.  This cover’s scrumptious recipe for success is totally, impossibly, irresistible.

- Scott Bullock
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.
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Kelly says:
Any news on how it performed on newsstands?...
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