In Journalism, What Words Sell?

By Jack Limpert

One goal of my life as a magazine editor was to sell lots of copies on the newsstand. If you could get someone to buy a newsstand copy, they then might subscribe and subscription renewals are one key to a magazine’s financial health. So what cover subjects and cover lines will sell?

People magazine was a newsstand star for many years and its founding editor, Dick Stolley, once came up with his laws of magazine covers. A little tongue-in-cheek but pretty accurate: