Further detailed information all publishers need to know.
a) A contract is typically for 3 years. A national distributor supplies many services but the main ones are
i) marketing of new titles to the chains and wholesalers
ii) billing titles to the wholesalers.
iii) booking promotions with the chains
iv) monitoring RDA (Retail Display Allowance) claims
b) All magazines must have a scannable UPC code. This is often supplied by the National Distributor, though publishers can purchase their own bipad. If it is CTC that supplies the bipad, there will be a minimum one time charge of $75 for the right to use the bipad plus $9.00 for each code needed.
c) A distributor, for the most part, does not 'distribute' magazines. They supply shipping galleys ahead of time to the publisher stating where the product needs to be sent.
d) The publisher initially provides marketing samples (copies, mock-ups, pdf's) so the distributor can send packages to the various chain buyers. If a chain buyer is interested, an RDA contract is signed, giving the distributor the right to send copies to the stores through the wholesalers.
d) As previously mentioned, sometimes the only way to get listed is to buy promotion space. The most common way of being seen at the retail level is through mainline magazine displays. These can be found in all bookstores, newsstands, and pharmacies with copies often being grouped by category (outdoor, fashion, cooking, or politics to name a few). However, almost all chains in Canada offer what is called "promotion space" that enhances the visual display in all designated chain locations. Promotions can be in the form of feature pockets, feature title end caps, A-Frame displays, floor spinners, cash desks, promotion towers, etc. They are designed to give full cover display which will dramatically increase a magazine’s chances of being seen and ultimately sold.
Promotion space is bought for a fixed period of time and costs vary depending on the chain and the promotion being purchased.
e) Most critically, in order to get the job done, distributors need at least 3 months after a contract is signed before the launch issue can be sent to newsstand. Why? Chains need to be signed and wholesalers need to be solicited; this entire process takes time.
f) Distributors will need a production schedule from a publisher. Future distribution of issues is based on having this schedule.
Terms (this is general information only - a specific contract would spell out the real numbers):
1) Publishers only get paid on copies sold.
2) Everything works off of the cover price. Standard discount is a minimum of 53% off. That means the publisher is paid 47% of cover. For example, if the cover price is $5.00 and the remit is 47% then the publisher makes $2.35 per copy sold.
3) It takes anywhere from 3 to 5 months for a publisher to get paid for copies sold. All returns must come back to the distributors from the wholesalers and retailers before this can occur. These returns are credited against the publishers account. No full copies are ever sent back. The returns system is based entirely on affidavit claims.
4) All shipping costs to get product to the market will be paid for by the publisher.
5) RDA - Retail Display Allowance: chains will not sign a magazine unless an extra 10% is paid by the publisher on copies sold. This is monitored by the National Distributor and is deducted from the publishers' statement, often 6 months after the fact since it takes this amount of time to determine sales final.
Putting copies on the newsstand is a great way of promoting magazines. All costs associated with newsstand should therefore appear in your promotion budget. Initially, the goal for most publishers is to break even. Once your title has been established, newsstand sales can in fact generate good revenue.
Information that CTC will need:
1. Name of Magazine
2. Main contact person
3. Frequency of title
4. Cover price
5. Your newsstand objectives in Canada and USA (number of copies for each market)
6. Your packaging and number of pages (is it perfect bound or saddle stitched, etc.)
7. Demographics (who is the audience?)
8. Your competitors are (3 names)
9. Your budget for newsstand promotions
10. Do you have controlled (free) distribution? If yes, how many copies ?
11. If you were with another distributor, are you now free of all contractual obligations?
12. Is there historical newsstand sales data available?
13. Are samples available (please send to address below) or a mock-up if it is a launch?
14. When do you hope to begin distributing?
15. Will you need a bar code from us?
16. Please provide a 3 to 4 sentence description of your magazine.
17. We also need to know:
c) Complete address of magazine with postal/zip code