The Collectability Factor of the Magazine Cover – Try & Claim That With Digital…

September 9, 2019

Want to see my picture on the cover

(Stone)Wanna’ buy five copies for my mother (yes)

(Stone)Wanna’ see my smilin’ face

On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

…Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

 A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

Attention getting, brand making, sometimes controversial, but above all – inspiring; magazine covers are the gateway into a publication’s inner sanctum: its contents. And as the good Dr. Hook sang in Cover of the Rolling Stone, seeing one’s face on the front of a magazine can be Utopia for a celebrity’s career, even if it’s a controversial cover. After all, if it ignites a firestorm of conversation about the person or the object on that front door, what could be better? Actual ink on paper legitimizes in a way that digital just can’t. With the open-door policy of digital, you can find just about anyone or anything online, but I can promise you that my third cousin, twice-removed, will not be on the cover of People magazine…unless of course, he sweeps Miley Cyrus away from her latest “till death do us part.” And that ain’t happening.

And the second line of the song’s chorus: Wanna’ buy five copies for my mother – well, that’s something else to consider. There is nothing more intoxicating than the collectability factor of an ink on paper magazine and its cover. Granted, you can find just about any and all magazine covers and their contents online, but Mr. Magazine™ is positive that a generation from now, you won’t find them still waiting on you to revisit. Collectability is a leg-up for print that cyberspace just can’t compete with.

Take the current issue of Women’s Health, for example. Julianne Hough is the cover star of the Women’s Health Naked Strength issue and appears on five different covers of the magazine’s September issue. The actress, singer, and America’s Got Talent judge, saw this as a transformational year for her and decided to commemorate it with the magazine photo shoot. It’s monumental for her and her fans, and monumental for Women’s Health, since there are five different covers for those fans and fans of the magazine to collect. It’s a win-win situation for all.

Men’s Health decided its Fall 2019 Guide to Style needed to showcase Tom Brady in two different covers, front and back, with different cover lines for subscribers and for the newsstands. The quarterback for the New England Patriots has never had more collectability value than on these great covers.

Publishers have realized that there’s more to the front door of the book these days than merely creating a dynamic one-only magazine cover. Just like the collectability of the posters of yesteryear within titles like Tiger Beat and Teen Beat; magazine covers can become that addictive to collect, because people love to attain all of an item, especially if they know there’s more than one out there to get.


The September issue of Good Housekeeping is celebrating the 110th anniversary of its Seal of Approval, with four different covers. And for GH fans, this will be epic, collecting and sharing each of these covers among its communities.

The Source, the original hip hop website and magazine, published a two-cover Special Edition recently called “The Future” issue, and in The Source’s case, both covers are numbered with either 1 of 2 or 2 of 2, so there’s no mistaking for fans how many collectables are out there.

Magazine covers have always been the selling point of a publication to its audience, but today with digital able to provide fingertip content, the covers are even more valuable. They give your ink on paper publication something digital can’t: they give it in-your-face, tactile collectability. And that’s very valuable.

Until next time…see you at the newsstands

Mr. Magazine™ will be there collecting covers…

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