4 smart strategies for increasing yearbook sales

Lamar Middle School

Lamar Middle School yearbook staff celebrates successful sales.

Ever wonder how some schools increase yearbook sales? Well, the secret’s out! We’ve asked for advice from our top-performing schools. Here are four strategies these advisers used to sell more yearbooks this school year.

1. Sell early
We have an August date where kids get lockers, take ASB photos for ID cards, pick up schedules, pay fees, etc. Yearbook is paid for at that moment as just another cost of going to school and they are caught up in the excitement. We sell almost 3/4 of our books in those three days before school has started.
Scott Thompson
Sumner, Washington

We send home a yearbook sales flyer in the first day of school packet. The flyer directs parents to the website and shows the pricing schedule, so parents can see the incentive to order early. Our staff {shown above} will celebrate our success with a pizza and ice cream party.
Rachel Dietz
Austin, Texas

Start selling yearbooks early…I started the week before school started and have continued to promote throughout the year. We also reward the students who bought a book by holding a Yearbook Signing Party where they can spend a full hour signing yearbooks, eating lunch, hanging with their friends, and eating cake. Who says you can’t have it all and eat your cake too?
Shannon Maulding
Pearland, Texas

2. Target Parents
Since I teach at the middle level (7th and 8th grade) reaching parents is best way to increase sale. The parents are the ones actually purchasing the book. Every month our school sends out an e-newsletter and I include a blurb about where to get the yearbook because we anticipate selling out.  This year, I placed one professional-looking printed sign in the front office with yearbook information. When parents dropped by, they saw the sign. We sold books every day because of that sign.
Kathryn Wells
Spring, Texas

3. Build a reputation for inclusive coverage
For us, increasing sales means to put what students want to see in the book – THEMSELVES. That means designing spreads, sections and choosing photos to maximize coverage. An example would be adding coverage of the band (an extra spread), because they have 300+ members who will usually buy the book. Or, we make the club pictures big enough for people to be able to recognize their faces. We have 3,500 students at our school, and we have to consider this when designing. Instead of spreads with few photos, we use more modular designs with groupings of photos.

I think we have established a reputation of creating a book that students are proud of and want to buy.
Bern Judson
Etiwanda, California

4. Promote, promote, promote
Use every single avenue to get the message out about ongoing sales, price increases, 8th grade ads (which in turn sells books) and final order deadlines.  We promote in various ways such as on the school marquee, signs around school, morning broadcast announcements, PTO weekly newsletter, call outs and emails to parents of all grades.
Angie Roberts
Missouri City, Texas