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Marketing your Yearbook: Extra effort = increased sales

Marketing is a multifaceted effort. From publicizing book and ad sales to promoting the yearbook program, it all leads to one goal: getting your book into more hands.


Select a staff member (or members) to be the Yearbook Sales Manager. The person selected needs to be responsible and personable. Using the guidelines outlined on pages 13 & 14 of the Yearbook Paybook, the Yearbook Sales Manager will get the message out about the yearbook. It will be his or her job to delegate, delegate, delegate then follow up on assignments.
Every editor and staff member is a part of the Yearbook Sales Team.


■ Use your school’s summer mailing to jumpstart your sales campaign by including
a colorful yearbook promotion piece in the envelope.
■ Visit with the district or school web master to see if yearbook photos can be
displayed on the school/district website during the summer. Make sure to include
early sales information.
■ Have order forms and yearbook info for new students in all guidance packets.
■ Use your district’s phone message center to call homes during the summer or right
before school starts with info on the website.
■ At the end of the year, visit the middle school and pass out discounts for early buyers.
■ At distribution in the spring, place an early discount order form in every yearbook.
■ Create a package for seniors that includes an ad and a book.


Get the administration to buy into your program by doing some of the following:
■ Meet with principal during the summer. Share your theme and give him/her a staff
■ Frame photos for his/her office.
■ Create brochures.
■ Show him/her proofs of beautiful pages. (This is not prior review. This is engaging.)
■ Write him/her thank you notes whenever he/she uses school budget to buy the yearbook things.
■ Frame a staff photo at a conference or camp.
■ Invite him/her to go on trips with you to journalism conventions.
■ Give office secretaries staff shirts.


■ Fill a showcase with photos; change them regular intervals.
■ Create staff T-shirts & wear them on designated days.
■ Announce all recognition. Include being showcased in Yearbook Yearbook.
■ Set up a table at the homecoming game with old yearbooks for the public to
peruse. Do the same at open house.
■ Create a showcase of equivalents. How many pizzas equals a yearbook? Stack boxes. How many Teen Vogue and/or ESPN magazines equals a yearbook? How much of a pair of jeans equals a yearbook? Cut off a portion of one leg. How about a pair of tennis shoes? Cut them up. You get the idea. Be creative.


■ Make the yearbook room the center of activity in the school.
■ Create an area near the yearbook room that displays the most current index.
■ Also, create as much buzz as possible by having your staff out in the halls collecting
quotes, photos and stories.
■ Assign newer photographers to freshman and JV games. Also, assign staff members beats: sports, classes, clubs, etc.
■ Mount your best photos and place them in the front office, guidance office and library.
Display all awards, certificates and info about the staff.
■ Use your broadcasts and websites to alert the school to picture day, sales weeks, etc.

6 tips for getting started on your 2018 yearbook

With schools back in session, planning your 2018 yearbook is top of mind. Where should you get started? Spend a few days introducing the rookies to the yearbook world by covering these staff topics and procedures. This exercise also serves as a refresher for the returning staff so everyone starts out on the same page. 

Tip #1: Create a binder or Google doc with essential information:

  • -The bell schedule, school calendar and master schedule
  • -Student alpha list with grade levels
  • -Coaches with contact information
  • -Club sponsors with contact information
  • -Yearbook representative and account executive contact information
  • -Yearbook tech help number
  • Staff member directory with addresses, mobile numbers and emails
  • -Yearbook deadlines and work day schedule.

Tip #2: Go over camera equipment and check-out procedures. Have a photo editor walk through camera basics. Teach staffers how and where to download images. Use this handy camera check-out sheet to keep track of where your staff cameras are at all times.

Tip #3: Practice interviewing each other before going out for the real thing. Encourage “why” and “how” instead of “yes” and “no” questions. Emphasize gathering details and reactions. (Check out our post on Listening for quotable quotes.)

Tip #4: Show staffers how to access yearbook pages and where to save worked photos. Getting familiar with the workflow is important so staffers can be efficient as the school year progresses and deadlines approach. Now is a great time to create user log-ins for the software your staff will be using.

Tip #5: In the design software program, point out important tools, panels and inspectors. While you may not be ready to let student design real pages, it’s a great time to have your staff practice drawing text and picture boxes, placing photos and adding lines, shapes or color. Creating a practice spread to learn the basics or refresh veteran staffers can be helpful.

Tip #6: Walk through basic design principles and writing structure. Show several examples and practice together.

Don’t worry about covering everything—just hit the basics. Students will learn and assign more meaning to the skills as they put them into practice. It’s the beginning of a new year and we’re excited to be back to yearbook!


Prep for Yearbook Summer Camp

Think. Bond. Create. One of the best ways to jump-start next year’s book is to attend a summer workshop. Here are three reasons to sign up:

Theme development Whether you’ve chosen a theme or starting from scratch, a workshop is the perfect place to test drive a concept. You’ll see lots of ideas, consult with journalism experts and discover innovative ways to develop the theme throughout the book.

Staff bonding The social aspect of yearbook keeps students invested in the program. Sharing dorm space, working late into the night and goofing off together enhances the camp experience.

Creative inspiration In addition to learning about theme, design and coverage, your staffers will see stunning visuals. Cool covers, showstopper spreads and trending topics will inspire their own design and theme choices.

Bonus: Most journalism workshops are held on a university campus giving staffers an opportunity to experience a college environment. Contact your representative for workshops in your area or check our list of summer camps.

Thank a Teacher!

Thank you for everything you do as a teacher. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we offer inspirational messages about the importance of education.

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” -Robert Frost
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” -John Dewey
“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” -Lily Tomlin
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”    -Nelson Mandela

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” -B.B. King

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” -Bill Gates

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” -Michael Morpurgo

Here’s our heartfelt thanks for all of your hard work. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

What’s a Colophon?

Providing details about a book’s publication, colophons have been included in books and manuscripts as early as the 6th century. Today, a colophon provides a description of printing notes relevant to the yearbook.

Located at the end of the book, it gives facts about the publishing process including production and technology details. It should include information on:

  • Publishing: volume number, staff name, high school, city, state and publisher
  • Theme: theme concept, when and where it was developed
  • Production: number of pages, cover and endsheet materials, paper stock, computers and software used
  • Sales: book sales, book cost, ad costs
  • Graphics: fonts and colors
  • Photography: portrait photographers, staff photos, cameras
  • Awards: state and national recognition
  • Acknowledgments: names of people who supported the staff

Staffs may also include policies regarding portraits, group shots and sensitive issues (death), etc. A colophon can run at the end of the ads or index section, or possibly on the back endsheet.


Staffs often place the colophon on a spread with their staff list, editor’s note and pictures. Use the editor’s note to talk about the significance of the theme or the concept’s evolution. Explain how the staff overcame obstacles (weather events, computer crashes, etc.) and thank the staffers and adviser for their hard work. Remember, it took help to create that beautiful book.


Bonus tip: Here’s how four staffs presented their colophons in 2016.