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Sales Not Exactly Brisk for GQ’s iPad Edition

Publisher says it’s sold 365 copies of December issue for device

GQ was one of the first magazines to produce a version for Apple’s iPad.

Like most publishers, Condé Nast has been largely mum on how well those versions are selling. But some numbers trickled out today – and they don’t sound terribly impressive.

GQ VP and publisher Pete Hunsinger told Min that it sold 365 “copies” of its December issue on the iPad – essentially digital copies of a back issue at $2.99 a pop (or roughly $1,091.35 in extra revenue).

According to a spokesperson for the magazine, the 365 figure reflects sales in March and April alone.

“This costs us nothing extra: no printing or postage,” says Hunsinger. “Everything is profit, and I look forward to the time when iPad issue sales become a major component to our circulation.”

For a magazine that sells about 200,000 copies per issue at the newsstand, Hunsinger could be looking forward a long time. But, again, that’s a back issue. As Mashable notes, GQ’s May 2010 issue for the iPhone and iPod touch is the best-selling in the iTunes store “suggesting that the magazine is developing a solid base of repeat buyers.”

In January, Condé Nast said it sold 6,614 copies of the December issue of GQ for the iPhone, 12,000 copies of the January issue.

That month Peter Kafka crunched the numbers: “At $2.99 a pop, and after subtracting Apple’s 30 percent fee, that’s about $39,000 in revenue for the publisher, which isn’t even enough to rehire anyone the company let go during last fall’s layoffs.”

To date, Condé Nast said it has sold 57,000 copies of GQ’s iPhone/iPad version since December. (My admittedly rough math: 57,000 x $2.99 = $170,430 – Apple’s 30 percent cut = $119,301.)

In other words: not great, not terrible. A decent start.

In terms of print advertising, things are (thankfully) looking brighter for GQ, with its June issue up 40 percent over last year’s brutal performance.