Besides familiarity of your brand and your logo, the only thing that is going to move your magazine off the newsstand is an interesting cover. Editorial consultant Kim Pittaway reveals some secrets to cover success:
Avoid negative words on your cover. "There is a place for coverlines that speak to issues your readers are passionate about," says Pittaway.
Remember what your reader is coming to you for and what kind of mood they may be in when they sit down with your magazine.
Consider your place on the newsstand. What kind of racking are you getting? What part of your cover shows? What titles neighbor your magazine? What is your key selling cover real-estate?
Know what you are selling. Is your publication a beautiful piece for the coffee table, a service and solutions book or a combination of both? If there is no benefit, then avoid putting it on the cover.
Use power words like "solutions," "inside," "behind," "secrets," "special," "guide" and "bonus."
Follow the path of the large service magazines. Use numbers like "99 Tips" or "Top 10 Best" Don’t use big words. If potential buyers are not familiar with one of the words used in a coverline, most likely they will think the topic is unrelated to their interests.
Use slashes and bursts with caution. Limit yourself to one per cover.
Avoid irony. "Most readers don’t get it in the first few seconds on the newsstand," says Pittaway. "Avoid goofy metaphors, and watch cute rhymes and alliteration."