What’s Next While You Wait for Your Yearbooks to Arrive?

Things you need to do while you are waiting for your books to arrive!

By Nicole Hammond, Professional Development Trainer

Once your queue (or immediate order) has been submitted, the FIRST thing you should do is pat yourself on the back. Congratulations on putting your book to bed!
Do it quickly though – there’s work to do while you wait approximately 3 weeks for your books to be delivered. Whether you are the one running the show, or you are in charge of a yearbook team, use the following suggestions to plan now for next year:

1- Brainstorm themes for 2020.
Magazines are a great place to get inspired! Also think about any special anniversaries, updates or events for your school community, and think about featuring one of those.

2 – Complete an evaluation of the yearbook process.
What worked? What didn’t? What should you implement for next year? Even if you are the only staff member, this is a good thing to do. Just don’t talk to yourself out loud…

3 – Organize your yearbook space.
You’d be surprised (and I’m sure you know already!) how messy things can get over the course of just a few months! Sample print-outs? Photos? Crafty bits? Now is the time for some spring cleaning. Make sure your space, office, classroom, or cubbie gets a serious cleanup so you can start fresh for the next round!

4 – Have profit?
You earned it! But decide what your staff might need to spend it on wisely. Perhaps a shiny new camera for school use? A speedy top notch laptop? Some yard signs? Or…a Taco Bar. Why not?

5 – Recruit! Recruit! Recruit!
If you have a student-based team, talk to teachers for recommendations! Create an application for new staff members (plan to ask them to write a few paragraphs so you can not only see their writing ability, but also their level of commitment).

6 – Plan your Distribution Party.
That’s right. I said party! Distribution is a perfect time to drive and increase yearbook sales!

But WHOA! Wait. Did I say use distribution to increase sales? Yup! What better way to make sure you capture new sales for next year, than to make a big deal of this year’s book and increase interest and desire? This is the single BIGGEST advertising opportunity of your year! At no other time will the entire student body be focused on the yearbook. Use this to your advantage and throw a Yearbook Signing Party.

Stay with me though – I’m not suggesting elaborate or expensive party planning! Just something that gets all of the students together; and the kids who didn’t purchase, get their hands on a book (because, you know, they’re signing everyone else’s)!

If you need supplies for the signing party, consider reaching out to local businesses to donate: snacks, markers, games, etc.

KISS: Just Keep it Simple Sweetie 😉  

Take a look at the following examples of signing party ideas using some of our yearbook themes:

Carnival Theme

  • Work with the PTO and/or local rental companies to get popcorn and cotton candy machines (and inflatables if you’re feeling bold!
  • Have the gym teacher create fun “game” stations.
  • Ask the art teacher to create a spin-art or tie-dyeing station.

Social Media Theme

  • Set up a photo booth – use the cover colors for photo props. Design and print ones that say “I’m in!” (like “in” the book), “I <3 this book” “#ourstory”, etc.
  • Create a hashtag unique to your school using the theme: #OurSHSstory #OurstoryPHS
  • Encourage students to post their photo booth images and offer prizes for the funniest, craziest, most students in one image (maybe Starbucks cards as the prize).

Watercolor/Doodle Theme

  • Have small Sharpie packs available with each book, so doodles can be colored, and books signed.
  • Get permission to create a mural for the school on painter’s cloth. Give the students a turn to draw a doodle and sign their names.
  • Or, use watercolors and allow them to create an abstract mural and then add character words to inspire their peers.
  • Download the cover template (from the downloads page) and allow them to design a cover for 2020. Then vote on the winners!

Building Block Theme

  • Hand out bags of building block candies!
  • Ask families to donate used blocks and set up building stations (after the party, donate the blocks)
  • Hold contests for creations that are the tallest, strongest, biggest…etc!

Once you have finished your “waiting period” assignments, and the books arrive, it’s time to open the boxes!

First, download the distribution list from your storefront. Keep in mind that the manifest that comes with your printed books is NOT a distribution list. Go to your storefront, click on “view reports” and download the report.
Export the report as an Excel Spreadsheet or CSV. You can manipulate this file in any way necessary.
Finally (and this is so, so important):

  • Please open the books ASAP, take the books out and inspect them for any defects!
  • Then, count them and make sure that the number of books shipped is equal to the number of books purchased, and the number of books in your manifest*

Our #1 goal is to delight you with your books! Our expectation is that they will be beautifully printed and bound, and delivered to you, correctly, in a timely manner. If for any reason, that is not your experience, please tell us right away!
To do that:

  1. Take pictures (print issue, pages falling out, etc.)
  2. Email the images and the issue to your CSS. Include your account email address, any relevant page numbers and/or order number.
  3. If parents believe they didn’t get their ordered book, check the store report to see if they ordered. If they did order, and don’t have a book, send the order number to your CSS, who will take care of it. If there is no record of the order, have the parent call or email parent support: [email protected]  or 855.537.0050.

And, as always, if we can help you in any way, please contact us!
Enjoy your books – and your summer break!