Magazine Stand Best Practices

Here are some tips publishers can use to get the most out of selling on the newsstand and avoid premature returns.

Date Your Issues Carefully

Particularly relevant for magazines that do not publish frequently, paying close attention to the wording of your issue dates will avoid stale-dating. Retailers pay close attention to the dates you publish on your cover and they may return magazines early to ensure they don’t miss a final return date. In the case of a quarterly magazine, if your magazine comes out in April but will stay on the newsstand until July, it’s a good idea to call the issue Summer, not Spring—if it’s the middle of June and retailers see Spring on the cover, they may send the magazine back because they don’t want to miss the final return date. Sales may also improve if your Summer issue comes out as early as March or April, because consumers may think, “Wow! This must be brand new.”

Stick to a Regular Publishing Schedule

Many retailers have each title’s frequency set in their computers. Let your readers and your retailers know when to expect a new issue by publishing issues consistently and stick to a schedule.

Publish a Display-Until Date On Your Cover

A good trick for newsstand success is to print a “Display Until” date right on your cover. This tells retailers not to remove your magazine from their shelves too early. Best placement for the display-until date is above or below the barcode and price..

Use Your Cover As a Marketing Tool

Here are some tips to help you think about your cover and how it helps maximize sales.

  1. Add a tagline that briefly describes the soul of the magazine
  2. Connect the main cover line to the image
  3. Use cover lines, sell your editorial to readers
  4. Play up the coverlines, put them in a prime location
  5. Use the skybar at the top of the cover to promote features by using short, punchy teasers that will grab the consumers attention
  6. Be generous. Use words like “Bonus,” “Plus,” and “Special”
  7. Be useful. Use words like “How-To” etc.
  8. Use numbers to quantify value (100 Best Hotels, Top 10 Restaurants)
  9. Use big, bold type and typographic techniques
  10. Blow your own horn. Did you get an award? Say so on your cover
  11. Trumpet the big story, if there is one
  12. Reuse the buzz words that work
  13. Make it distinctly different from the last cover
  14. Use quality stock on your cover
  15. Avoid clutter on the cover, help consumers focus on your main message
  16. Use bright colours to make cover visually appealing
  17. Don’t forget to add your barcode and price

Source: Years of industry experience and Folio magazine