12 Things That Must be Done Before October 1

It’s a new year, new theme, new kids, new ideas… It’s so easy to get caught up in all the fun stuff and lose focus on what really needs to be done. Use this list of the 12 most important things that need to be done by October 1st to help your staff stay focused. (But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun!)

  1. Open Your Kit
    • Your yearbook kit contains all the materials necessary to produce your yearbook.
    • Start with the “Start Here” Envelope.
    • Check the Kit Guide to make sure all items have been included
    • Use the order form on the back to order any additional supplies you will need.
  2. Contact Photographer
    • Schedule a meeting with you school photographer during the first few weeks of school.
    • Discuss your full color needs and be sure he understands the importance of deadlines
    • Give him your deadlines. Predate them one week as a safety margin.
    • Discuss what you expect from him and what he can expect from you. Find out what services he is willing to perform and schedule his services for important school activities, such as homecoming.
    • Have senior portraits or DVD delivered to your school at least 10 days prior to your senior deadline
    • Set dates for underclass and faculty portraits and determine when  you will receive your Quick Panel Plus CD
  3. Determine Deadlines
    • Check your deadline packet from your reps. Make a note of your deadline dates and number of pages due.
    • Check your deadline packet to determine when your color pages are due, if your book is not all color.
    • Check with photographer to determine when DVD of senior portraits
  4. Develop a Theme
    • If you have not yet chosen a theme, select a small group of staff members, preferably returning ones, to work on the theme.
    • Have them discuss what is new and different this year, and have them make a list of these changes in order to find a theme that fits your school and is unique to this year.
    • Conduct brainstorminwg sessions with the entire class and present the group’s ideas.
    • Plan to have the theme appear in some way on the cover, the endsheets, the opening section, the division pages, and in the closing.
  5. Make a Ladder
    • Before any pages can be assigned, a page ladder for the entire book must be completed.
    • Check your publication agreement to see how many pages there will be in your book. Obtain enrollment figures for your school from the administration.
    • Decide on the number of pages you will need for seniors, underclass and faculty.
    • Make a list of every club, sport, organization, and event you wish to include.
    • Compute the number of pages needed for each section. Be sure to leave enough space for your opening, closing, divider pages, index and advertisements
    • Use a pencil for your first draft of the ladder; or laminate it and use a dry-erase pen, or use the HJ Planner program.
  6. Design the Cover
    • If you attended the Spring Cover Workshop, be sure to finalize your cover design.
    • Consult your yearbook representative to see what types of covers are available and within your budget.
    • Decide on the type of cover that best fits your theme and ask your reps to show you examples.
    • Assign a few staff members to develop a sample design.
    • Once the style and design are decided, determine exactly what type of material you wish to use, the color of the material, the applied color or colors, and meet with your reps to put it all together.
    • Decide whether you will order individual name stamps or name plates for the books, and choose the color for these name stamps/plates.
  7. Select Endsheets
    • Several choices of endsheet materials and styles are available to you including company designed full color, colortext, and solid color. Check with your rep to see what options best fit your budget.
    • Select an endsheet that will complement your cover and will carry your theme forward. Be sure that the endsheet colors coordinate with the colors of the cover.
    • Discuss other endsheet options with your reps such as printing on the endsheet, four-color endsheets, die cuts, short-trim endsheets, foil stamping, embossing, and tinted embossing.
  8. Sell Ads
    • Make a card file that contains the name, address and phone number of every business that has advertised in your book over the last five years as well as merchants who have advertised in other yearbooks in the area.
    • Add cards for businesses that are owned by parents of students in your school.
    • Expand your file further by adding businesses in your area from the Chamber of Commerce directory for your city and from the yellow pages. Pass out an equal number of cards to every staff member, letting them select those that they know.
    • Students must contact each business. Require that a business card or design is submitted for each ad sold.
    • Give commissions or a bonus to students who sell ads.
  9. Plan Full Color
    only if you’re not doing an all-color book

    • Take four Roughing-Its, staple and fold them down the middle. Number them from 1 through 16.
    • Take this 16-page signature and use it to “rough in” your title page, opening spreads and student life spreads and/or any other signatures that will include color pages.
    • Plan the color for one flat or the other or both. Try alternating 4-color with spot color on different flats.
    • Plan to cover activities on your color pages that will occur at least one week before your color deadline.
    • Refer to your “Basics” booklet (in Your Kit) for more explanation on signatures and flats.
  10. Make a Style Guide
    • Have each member of the staff make a notebook of graphic and typography samples collected from magazines and brochures. (Ask your reps for a list of good publications.)
    • Review the samples and choose ideas that the staff would like to include in the yearbook.
    • Make a style guide for each section that will include the layout style for that section, the type of headline to be used, and the style for copy and captions.
    • Using Roughing-Its, have staff members use photos and copy from magazines to mock-up double page spreads for each section of the yearbook.
  11. Organize Staff
    • Select and Editor-in-Chief who is experienced, knowledgeable, and most of all, a coordinator of people. He/she must be able to encourage others to perform.
    • Choose a good writer with strong personality as copy editor and a good organizer as photo editor. Finally, you should have a financial editor or business manager who is very responsible and who can also motivate people to work.
    • Divide up the remainder of the staff into sections of the book: Student Life, Academics, Clubs and Organizations, Sports, Seniors, Underclass, and Faculty. Be sure that each section has a good writer and a computer expert.
    • If you wish, you may select editors for each section.
  12. Sell Books
    • Decide whether to have a one-day sale or a one-week sale. You will sell more books in a short period of time than you will sell all year.
    • Prior to the sale, put up posters, make announcements over the PA, send letters home and in general, try to get the students excited about the yearbook.
    • Remember to include dates and prices in your advertisements.
    • Juat before the sale, have a yearbook rally and have guest speakers talk about the importance of their yearbooks. Be ready to take orders that day.
    • During the sale, assign several students to man the tables at convenient locations.
    • Keep tabs on money and receipts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *