Magazines have to make some tough decisions. And choosing a cover can, at times, be particular challenging. That was certainly the case in making a final call for the front page of our November/December 2018 issue, which is being guest edited by Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change.
When we reviewed a wide selection of options with McKenna in early September, the image of a blue shark off southern Nova Scotia’s shore was her unequivocal favourite. When we shared the final three options (above) for our cover vote (held each issue to solicit feedback from our followers to help us choose the front page) with our newsstand consultant Scott Bullock, he was equally clear, saying “There isn’t much doubt in my mind that the shark is the way to go.”
But our voters felt differently. Option three earned a full 40 per cent of the tally, with the other two covers splitting the remainder. Voters generally commented that the image of the rock pillar on Flowerpot Island, in Ontario’s Fathom Five National Marine Park, was the most eye-catching.
Hence this very tough choice.
In the end, we decided to trust our collective publishing instincts — and respect the opinion of our guest editor — by sticking with the shark. While we grant that option three is compelling (we wouldn’t have offered this image if we felt otherwise), experience has taught us that newsstand magazine buyers love top predators. Now it’s sink or swim.
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