Masthead Blogs
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock

The Winter 2015 issue of Fly Fusion is set to hit newsstands on November 24, 2014.

As a quarterly, the magazine has to make sure that every cover is particularly relevant to their audience.  The goal with each cover is to create something that generates a feeling of passionate excitement, what we call a “Yes Moment.”  It’s that nano-second where your pulse rate races and the adrenaline is released.

“With every cover, we try and learn from what has worked in the past, and what hasn’t.  We then apply those teachings to the cover at hand, ” says Chris Bird, Group Pulbisher.

I asked Jennifer Bird, Executive Publisher, what a “Fly Fusion moment is:  “The idea is to chase after relevance and those hard to reach ideas that always deliver. Beyond that it is an unmistakable brand and mark. Those who fly fish know it.” It’s that incredibly profound and almost religious experience of rapture that happens when you are engaged in a passion that you love, like watching snow flakes fall from the sky on the perfect Winter fishing trip.

So, what is a perfect cover?  I suppose a 100% sell-out would be one way, after the fact, of describing perfection.  Another more poetic and soulful way of defining it is: does the cover make your heart thump louder and faster?  Are subscribers thrilled when they get home from work and find the magazine in their mailbox?  Are advertisers proud to be in the issue? And do newsstand buyers step up and buy more copies than they ever have before?

“In 2010, 3 of 4 issues set new sales records. In 2011 3 of 4 issues set new records.  In 2012 2 of 4 issues set new records. In 2013 1 issue set a new record.  And so far in 2014  2 of 3 issues have set new records.  That’s 11 new record breakers in the past 5 years, so we set a very high standard for excellence,” says Scott Bullock, Newsstand Consultant.

So the question is:  Does this cover meet the test?  Time will tell, but we think the Fly Fusion “Yes Moment” has been achieved.  It’s almost like a perfect song, the kind that just makes you want to get up and dance.

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The Dec/Jan 2015 cover of Canada’s History magazine is set to hit newsstands on November 24th, 2014. The Last Spike cover, designed by James Gillespie, uses an iconic photograph to help sell the package of train stories. The cover quickly communicates the feature story…"radical clarity!"

This issue is being promoted heavily, as this time slot is typically the best each year.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Rule #30: If it works, keep doing it.
November 1973 

December 1981

 March 1986

 February 1993 

 July 2006
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock

This November, Legion Magazine will publish their 6th SIP.  Now is your chance to help pick the cover. Vote here.



Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Just in time for the Christmas gift giving season, Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties will hit newsstands the first week of November.

Distributed by Coast to Coast Newsstand Services, the title will be on sale nationally in all the top retail chains, and in the U.S. it will be exclusively available at Barnes & Noble. The cover price is $14.99.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Jaclyn Law


Hello, everyone! It’s been a while, but Editfish is back in action.

I'm kicking off October with a round-up of resources and events, since I keep hearing how much you like these. If you’ve come across something that may be handy to other editors and writers, please share in the comments.

Steven Pinker at the Toronto Reference Library

On the evening of Oct. 24, bestselling author Steven Pinker is talking about his new book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon. The event is free, but you’ll need to reserve a ticket. (Can’t make it? The library often shoots videos – check the website later.)

INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair

Toronto is getting a brand-new book fair, coming up on Nov. 13 to 16 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The schedule is jam-packed with author appearances, workshops and cultural showcases. Tickets cost a very reasonable $15, with free re-entry; writers’ workshops start at $45 and include admission to the fair.

PWAC Twitter chats

All writers are welcome to take part in a new series of Twitter chats hosted by the Professional Writers Association of Canada. The free chats are planned for the first Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. (starting Oct. 2; follow hashtag #PWACchat). A short podcast or video serves as a starting point for the discussion – this week’s focus is a video by Steve Slaunwhite about copywriting techniques. (Disclosure: I’m the president of PWAC Toronto Chapter.)

Ladies Learning Code

Not just for ladies, this not-for-profit group makes learning to code fun and accessible. Courses are available in several cities across Canada. If you’re looking to build your computer skills (for example, learning HTML or CSS, or how to use Photoshop), check out the schedule.


I just learned about this from another freelancer, writer/photographer Corbin Smith, at PWAC’s recent Culture Days event about freelancing. Hacks/Hackers is an international grassroots journalism organization with a mission to create a network of hacks (journos) and hackers (technologists) to reboot journalism. It hosts meetups, workshops, demo days and more. Canadian chapters include Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Art Director Amy McCleverty has just unveiled her “refreshed” new look for Motorcycle Mojo. The title has been on a roll of late, with the last nine straight issues outselling the same issue from prior year.


Here’s what Amy had to say about the re-design:

“We are very excited about our new look, a refresh was overdue! Freelance art director, Gary Davidson got the ball rolling with the new direction. Bold new fonts, big images and more white space give the magazine a fresh, modern look. Motorcycles are our reader’s passion, so we are keeping it fun and the focus on beautiful bikes, amazing travel, and industry news. The cover is very different, with a white bar behind the logo, which we hope will make us stand out from the crowd on the newsstand. It also allows for a sky bar that is legible and room for more photos. The cover lines are bold, and lots of them.”

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
The CRTC will be making some decisions about the digital airwaves very soon about what they will do with online video broadcasting and cable tv pricing models. The current market structure is an industry cartel model where supply economics are used by corporations to corner the market to ensure high profits. This page out of the corporate playbook, is not good for consumers, just look at how this is done in oil and gas markets, diamonds and the 407 toll roads in Toronto.
I have empathy for the CRTC as an instrument of public policy to ensure Canadian content and consumer protection is caught in middle of these market forces. The latest noise from the CRTC hearings, is in my opinion a witch hunt to get Neflix out of the Canadian market based on the Canadian content rules for broadcasters. When the cartel says Canadian jobs are at risk, the CRTC should ask them how much of their staff has been out sourced in the call centre, IT and accounting departments.

But is Netflix a broadcaster or a digital video entertainment subscription service that has no advertising or programming schedule, just on demand video downloads. So if Netflix is banned in Canada what will happen? The cartel will launch their own service, just like they did when they banned TIVO, a TV recording hardware device that was popular in the USA, but was packaged as a hardware upgrade for cable subscribers in Canada.

Now what are the implications for publishers that produce video channels of their content online will they be included in this new definition of broadcaster. Will these publishers be banned too or better yet regulated? If you have a YouTube channel will that be included too?  How about the CRTC try and ban Adult content digital channels instead, it will be a losing battle. Whatever happen to FREE TRADE, I guess this does not apply if the cartel’s profits are threatened.

I was one of the early cable chord cutters and I now get 20+ stations through an antennae as I did not want to pay $100 a month for cable TV anymore. I got a customer friendly internet service from TekSavvy for $40/mo for 300 GB and then got Netflix for $10/mo. I use a free Chrome browser plug-in that hids my identity (Hola Unblocker) on the internet and now I can now stream the USA version to my computer TV plus other stations like CBS, ABC, Fox and Hulu. Who needs to watch conventional cable TV anymore, except for live sports programming. I would like to buy a subscription to a sports channel, but I have to buy stations that I do not want, so I do not buy it. So I hope you will allow me to buy such a subscription when you make your final decision.

I believe that the Newton Law of physics applies here as for every action there is a corresponding opposite action and in this case the choices in underground economy of the internet will flourish instead. If you ban Netflix, there is already a service that is for free called Popcorn Time an open source project that looks and feels like Netflix that people can go to based in Europe. If the CRTC believes in freedom as a core value you will not succumb to the lobby efforts of the cartel in Canada, who btw are all saying the same thing in a concerted effort to control markets. Be aware that when somebody tries to control the internet the open source software community will step in and help out with some new code to share to circumvent that.

Now, if the CRTC can  look at the interesting pricing models for smartphones that are inflated in telco contracts, instead of being distracted with Netflix who provides great value to the 4 million+ Canadian households that use the service. I still can’t figure out how you can get a Apple iTouch for $200 but an iPhone costs $650 and all you get extra is the phone, now if you can stop this practice I will be impressed. The internet is a place where freedom and democracy flourishes as consumers can vote with their wallet as the internet has no geographic boundaries that can be controlled.

Yours Sincerely,

Thursday, September 18, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The 2014 Hunting Annuals (SIPS) from Outdoor Canada and Ontario Out of Doors are on newsstands now.  Both covers are interesting, and each has taken a radically different approach to the cover design.

Outdoor Canada has produced a classic SIP. The mother brand is clearly identified in the upper left corner.  The word HUNTING played out loudly.  SPECIAL ISSUE in the traditional “sky bar” space at the top can’t be missed. The “celebrity” cover boy is a Giant Buck.   The main sell line in the classic position upper left, and is handled beautifully tucking in behind the left ear, with a blue “starburst” tucked under the right ear.  Lots of hooks with great benefit-oriented sell lines.


Ontario Out of Doors has opted for the “less is more” approach. The mother brand is handled nicely at the top right.  The word HUNTING is about as large and powerful as it could possibly be, with the word Annual in script layered nicely. This approach uses a montage of images, both predators and prey, that evoke the feeling of actually being out in the field.

Both covers are powerful in their own way.

Which cover do you like best and/or think will sell best?  Cast your Vote here.  We will report back later in the year as sales firm up.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The September 2014 issue of Chatelaine features a “tumble” cover, according to Sarmistha Roy, the magazines consumer marketing manager.  

On one side, a fabulous food cover, flip it over and on the other side is a gorgeous beauty cover. It’s great to see such creativity and attention to detail on both these covers.

Tip of the cap to the entire team for what looks like a very hot issue.


Most Recent Blog Comment
Mara says:
Great list, Jaclyn! Pinker is sold out, but his interview with Anna Maria Tremonti is on the CBC we...
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