If the economy is having an impact on your yearbook program and you haven’t sold as many books or ads as you expected, here are some easy ways to cut your yearbook costs for next year:
- Reduce the number of pages in your book – Of course, this is always easier said than done. Once you start looking through your book, you can’t imagine being without any of those pages, especially since what you really need are more pages, not less. Consider cutting pages from the teachers’ section or reducing the sizes of team and club photos, even combining them on a spread by sport or season. Put the team photos in a row across the bottom of the page and fill the rest with great candids of the big games. Better yet, put all team and club photos in a “Resource” section in the back of the book. Remember, if the economy bounces back, you can always order a supplement to get those pages back.
- Downsize the book – Do you really need a 9×12? If you’re already at an 8 1/2 x 11, did you know books come in size 7 3/4 x 10 1/2? It’s a very small difference in size, but a huge difference in savings. Most people don’t even notice it’s smaller.
- Go back to black and white – If you recently switched to an all-color book, consider going back to black and white. In my experience, the administration and advisers get more excited about books being in all color than the students buying the book. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a student say, “I’m not sure I want to buy a yearbook. How much of it is in color?” If you’re afraid students will be expecting a color book again, work it into your theme. Maybe your theme next year is “Black and White” or “Back to Basics”!
- Use a company cover – This definitely will not work at just any school, but you can save a lot by using a company cover. It wouldn’t hurt to ask your rep to see the samples. And if you can get away with it at your school, this is the year to do it.
- Switch from a litho to a silkscreen cover – It’s more elegant anyway. Again, work it into your theme. Not sure what the difference is? If your cover was printed, it’s a litho. If it was painted onto a base material, it’s silkscreen.
- Reduce the number of colors on your cover – You’d be surprised at what can be done with different shades of just one color!
- Meet all your deadlines – This is something you can do without the need to change your book. If you had to pay any fees in the past for missed deadlines, make sure you work extra hard to make them all next year.
- Submit in signatures – Some publishers reward schools who submit in complete signatures. Check with your rep.
- Turn in your cover early – Again, some publishers reward schools who submit their cover designs early as well. That’s why many reps host Spring Cover Design workshops, so the covers are done before school even starts! Check with your rep for more details.