Oklahoma Today magazine: When collecting six covers of one issue becomes more like an old fashioned baseball cards collecting game…

August 31, 2011

Oklahoma Today’s September/October issue is a special one indeed. Special in dual ways: content and presentation. Oklahoma Today magazine devotes this 132-page issue of the state-wide publication to “Oklahoma’s unprecedented contribution to country music…” and since “Oklahoma country music can’t be communicated in a single cover…” the magazine offers “unprecedented (they must love this word) six cover looks.”

I was lucky enough that my friend Joan Henderson, the magazine’s publisher, mailed me all six covers: Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. Once I started reading the magazine and comparing the issues I was surprised to find out that the “Newsstand buyers will find the Blake Shelton cover. Subscribers will receive…” one of the other covers. The catch, the magazine asks readers to collect all 6 covers.

My question, how can you do that if you can’t buy them at the newsstands? Since all the copies on the newsstands have the same cover, one has to buy six issues of the Blake cover and start trading with other subscribers to get the collection of the six covers. Does this remind you of the good old days of baseball cards trading and collecting? Anyone willing to trade their Reba cover with my Blake cover?

A good idea waiting for execution… who will be the first in Oklahoma to get the entire 6 covers of Oklahoma Today and what will be the price for such a collection on eBay? Good luck and let the games begin!

(Truth in reporting: I used to work as a publishing consultant for Oklahoma Today magazine)


  1. Love this. I remember trying to collect all of the covers of my favorite magazines when they the multiple cover thing. Luckily for me the Barnes & Noble on 23rd & 6th used to carry most of the multiple cover issues.

    I’m speaking about maybe 2 different ones. Six covers? I don’t know if they would have carried all six.. lol.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to recreate this is iPad mag form. I was thinking “random covers” each time you opened an issue.. but wasn’t quite sure.

  2. Joan Henderson from Oklahoma Today here. This decision was made way too late in the production cycle to execute with any finesse on the newsstand. But, we still went with it!

    We also thought six covers on the newsstand might be frustrating for the shopper and the retailer, so we made the six pack available online (at a discount).

    I’ll let you all know whether this is a success or a failure!

  3. Six covers is a bit much for the newsstand, however, it can be done and it’s not that hard to execute. You simply have to arrange with the printer to mix the covers in the bundles. Depending on your distribution, some of your larger retailers may get all of the copies, but most will get at least a few. From past experience, 3 unique newsstand covers in a single issue seems to be the maximum to work with.

  4. Magazine covers sometime tell the whole story with just a picture or a 2 or three word headline. Sometimes that is all that is necessary to see and read to understand the story. Magazine covers are the calling cards as they are lined up at the newsstand. The catchiest, the most attractive and the most creative magazine covers are the ones that will be picked first, especially for those looking for something to read on the commute to or from work.

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