Last year we had some nightmare problems with the printing process. Due to a paper shortage we had to print the magazine twice. The first printer in Colorado dropped the ball in many areas with the print run going a week late and then they handled the mailing of the VIP’s and that turned out poorly as well. We printed a ton of regional covers and that factored into the problems. There was also a problem where the Big Ten cover went to Big 12 area and vice versa.
This year the printing and VIP mailing process went much more smoothly. Two days after we sent the magazine to the press (June 7th) everyone who signed up for the VIP package had digital access to the magazine even before it was printed! The printing process was delayed a couple of days but as soon as the magazines started rolling off the press Kirk Phillips and the good folks at Learfield got all the VIP’s into the mail that day and VIP’s got their magazines weeks before they hit the newsstands! It was a 360-degree turnaround!
There is good news and bad news when it comes to the regional covers this year. I will start with the good news. This year Krifka over at Barnes and Noble came up with the idea of having two different covers available in certain Barnes and Nobles! I went thru each state and picked out the ones that we would send two covers to each location in that state. As an example, in California, you can choose the Pac 12 cover with five Pac 12 schools on it or if you are a USC fan you can choose the national cover which has USC on it. I think that while it made the distribution process a little tougher on Barnes and Nobles part, you the in-store customer benefits from having a choice of covers.
The bad news and it involves the the regional cover supply thru our office and the Learfield office. This year there were fewer regional covers allocated to the office as most of the regionals were shipped to Barnes and Nobles. Unfortunately, there was a problem in the shipping of the magazines from Kansas City to our location and the majority of the regional cover magazines were ruined. Here it is one week into the shipping process for magazines ordered thru our office or online and we are already out of the West Coast, East Coast and SEC covers. There will not be another print run and we will not get the stock replenished. If the cover is very important to you then your best bet is to head out to your local Barnes and Noble and get your regional cover.
Next year this little glitch will be corrected, and we will have regional covers available thru the office but one of my favorite places to go with my daughter is Barnes and Noble as they have a massive selection of books, magazines and other stuff so get to the store and get your favorite cover. Here is a breakdown of which covers are available in each of the 50 states at Barnes and Nobles.