The annual yearbook overlap

Written by Elizabeth Braden, CJE

It’s time to start thinking about your next yearbook.

Even though this year’s book is not finished, you need to think about what you can do this spring to ensure a smooth transition from one book to the next and from one staff to the next.

While your current staff is busily covering the current year, creating spreads and planning distribution, you need to start preparing to select the next year’s staff and start working with them on several tasks regarding their yearbook. See if this list of tasks will help you. Assign some of these tasks to next year’s staff and to this year’s staff if you are a spring delivery book.

You can find more information on these subjects, and examples of items, at and


  • Recruit next year’s staff, especially before students sign up for next year’s classes, even if yearbook is a club and not a class. This gives students a chance to think about how to include yearbook in their busy lives.
  • Have applications ready for students to apply.
  • Use recruitment banners, fliers and other materials.
  • Find out the date of the mailing of registration packets to parents for the next school year and see if you can include information on yearbook and ad purchasing and pricing for next year’s yearbook.
  • Talk with administrators about including yearbook and ad purchasing and pricing information with other school mailings, such as report cards.
  • Know which summer workshop you are attending with your staff, or at least your editors. Go to
  • Ask your yearbook sales representative, your editors or an adviser from another school to conduct a mini-workshop in April or early May to train next year’s staff on InDesign or Online Design, Photoshop, writing, photography and marketing.


  • When your staff is selected for next year, have a work session with this year’s and next year’s staff. Discuss expectations, summer workshop, summer coverage and summer ad sales.
  • Prepare the information, or make sure the information is ready, to give to seniors next month on getting their senior portraits taken.
  • Prepare a senior ad flier to send with the senior portrait information or to hand out before seniors take their portraits over the summer.
  • Prepare to take yearbook orders during student registration in August or September. Check with the person in charge of registration to get the yearbook listed as a line item on the fee sheet parents fill out at registration.
  • Make plans to go to Walsworth’s Adviser Academy in Kansas City in July. Get more information at
  • Order ad contracts to cover the upcoming summer and fall campaigns as well as yearbook receipt books if you need them.


  • Finalize staff organization and editor and manager positions for the incoming staff.
  • Prepare to conduct a business ad sales campaign this summer. Train your marketing manager and have that student train the staff. Set revenue goals.
  • Have the current year’s staff update the staff manual or create one for next year’s staff. Items to update include job descriptions, school contacts, next year’s school calendar, information on equipment such as computers and cameras, class expectations and grading information.
  • Make sure summer coverage assignments are in place for next year’s staff.
  • Activate Members Only for next year.
  • Set up Online Sales.
  • Give your customer service representative your summer contact information.
  • Meet with your school photographer. Discuss any issues, and schedule picture days for the fall.
  • Assign a few students on this year’s staff to inventory equipment that needs repairs and items that need replenishing.


  • Launch your business ad sales campaign.
  • Attend or continue to prepare for summer workshop.
  • Continue to prepare to take yearbook orders at registration.


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Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Elizabeth Braden, CJE, is the former editor of Idea File magazine. Before retiring, she was a copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks for more than 15 years, writing articles for various marketing materials, and proofreading copy for the Yearbook and Commercial divisions. Her career included reporting and editing for United Press International and editing for Knight-Ridder Financial News. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media News from the University of Tulsa.