Friday, July 14, 2006

Being yanked from Indigo newsstand not all bad news for Harper's

Being banned by Indigo may be good for single copy sales elsewhere, apparently. According to a story by Judy Stoffman in the the Toronto Star, the decision by Indigo to pull the June issue of Harper's may have increased demand for the issue elsewhere.

That issue of the magazine carried a commentary by cartoonist Art Spiegelman illustrated in part by the so-called Danish cartoons (and other images). Indigo yanked the issue, (as it had an issue of the Western Standard containing some of the same images).
" 'We did sell out pretty quickly and we got more,' said Greg King, manager at Pages on Queen St. W. 'People commented that they appreciated being able to find it.' Guilia Melucci, Harper's spokesperson, said, 'We received quite a few calls and emails from Canada inquiring where it could be purchased.'

"The average issue of Harper's sells 7,800 newsstand copies here. Shawn Green, the magazine's head of circulation, said no final tally is available on Canadian sales of the June issue (returns are still being counted) but the magazine is aware of numerous requests from distributors such as Metro News in Toronto for additional copies. 'We supply copies to the wholesalers and they distribute it to the (distributor) chains,' Green said from New York. 'When the distributors ask for more early in the month, that's an indication of a strong seller.'
The Star article also indicates that decisions about pulling a magazine, or not, rests solely with Indigo proprietor Heather Reisman, which makes people uncomfortable.
"Deborah Windsor, executive director of the Writers' Union said: 'When a large bookseller who controls 60 to 70 per cent of the marketplace blocks a magazine, it becomes unavailable for a lot of readers.' "


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