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Yearbook Cover of the week- #1304


School Annual

We have even created some custom clip art to coordinate with cover # 1304.  We used this custom clip art combined with our Quick Creator backgrounds to make a fun portrait page!

Call your School Annual Representative to have the custom clip art uploaded to your School Annual Online yearbook site:

 describe the image


Now is a good time to check your 2013-2014 cover selection off of your to do list.


Click on the following link to submit your cover:

What to expect from your yearbook price quote...

You have called around to 10 yearbook publishers.  You have scribbled notes in a notebook. There are prices and information everywhere and you can't even remember the name or the people talked to.  Now what?

First we want you to be aware, not all yearbook companies are the same. It is a lot more than just a price/book.  Do you want a cheap yearbook from a printer?  Or do you want to offer a comprehensive yearbook program to your school from a publisher who has 60 years of experience?

At School Annual we want to prepare you for exactly what you should expect to get in your yearbook price quote.  You should be informed of all the information about your yearbook in a clear and concise way.  All your questions should be answered up front and EVERYTHING should be sent to you in writing.  

After you call School Annual and talk to your Yearbook Expert, we will then email you your quote in writing.  The quote will contain:

1.  Price/Book for all page and copy counts you request

2.  Information on delivery dates and turn around times

3.  Information on sales tax and what to do if you are tax exempt

4.  Information on how you will create your yearbook

5.  Information on how you will create your cover and if there are costs

6.  Pricing for any add ons such as cover personalizations

7.  All that is included in your price/book 


Sales supplies

Creation tool

Yearbook Kit...

Don't be afraid to ask about hidden or additional fees.  You should get an up front and honest answer.  With School Annual, the answer is always "No, there are no hidden fees."

Not only should you get a quote in writing, you should also be sent free yearbook samples. Not every book is printed the same way.  Pay special attention to the binding of the book. Give the pages a good tug and see if you can pull them out.  

And don't worry, once School Annual sends you all this information, your Yearbook Expert will make sure to follow up with you weekly. Not only will you remember School Annual, you remember your yearbook expert by name.


Need something to help you stay organized?  Download our evaluation checklist to compare all the materials you got.

yearbook evaluation checklist.pdf





A true story of customer service

What happens when you know what you’re looking for, but the company you’re dealing with doesn’t have solutions?

My teammates know I have incredible consumer loyalty.  I brag about my experiences with my online shoe store, my cowboy boot store, the coffee vendor I use, or the support software we use to log your School Annual issues.

When you WOW me, you have my loyalty.  It takes a lot to shake that trust.

I shared a recent experience with my teammates about what I expected from my personal planner pad company and how my WOW factor was totally flattened.  It made me question my loyalty to them.

You would think as a technology supervisor that I have the latest gadgets to keep my schedule running smoothly.  I don’t.  I live and die by my paper planner.

This summer after some recent surgery, I emailed that favorite planner company explaning why I’d like to see an outdated sample of a smaller sized spiral bound planner.  I wanted to touch and feel and see if this would fit better into my life.

Five days later, I received a #10 letter envelope with 3 folded sheets of 7 ring binder planner paper samples. 

So I went to Facebook - “Hey, I love your products, but I wanted to try this and asked for a sample.”   The response was “they don’t mail well”.

That was the end of the exchange.  That didn’t answer my question and my customer service person didn’t make any further attempt to get me closer to holding a smaller spiral bound planner so that I could ultimately place my new order.

At School Annual, we have a great TEAM of people working for you.  You’ve probably noticed when you phone our office that even if you ask for your yearbook expert, we will still ask if there is something we can help you with.  If we don’t have an immediate answer, we’re going to ask more questions to understand exactly what you want to accomplish. 

Did you know that almost half of our staff members are or have been advisers in their own schools?  Your question is OUR question; your issue is OUR issue.  We’ve probably asked it ourselves!

We have samples to send you and we are proud of those.  These are customers who are willing to share their books because they had a great experience.

Did you know that those cover and clipart books in your Yearbook Kit are also “samples” - we create and print them in the same way we print your yearbook. 

In our Support Department, we use our own School Annual Online software to create the printed Online User Manual for your kit.  By the time you start working on your site, we know how to help you solve those things you’ll want to do as an adviser.

At School Annual, we do some pretty unique things to help you come up with ways to sell and create. We want to solve your dilemmas – that doesn’t make you a demanding customer to us – but it might make you a demanding customer to a competitor if you asked the same of them.  We take OWNERSHIP in our products and our service to you.

I had to find my own solution to my planner problem – I ordered an end-of-year product at a significantly reduced cost.  My rep never mentioned that as something to consider so I could try the product.

At School Annual, we work with our peers and our production colleagues to find ways WE can help accomplish your goal.  We communicate with each other so that we create the best possible Customer Experience when it comes to creating your yearbook.

Got Questions? Need Help?  Just ask.  Our team is ready to WOW you.


Diane Albert

Supervisor of Tech Support

School Annual's Yearbook Buddy Referral Program

School Annual wants to know- Who's your buddy?  

Lots of times as a yearbook adviser, you may know other friends, moms, teachers, PTO members, etc. that are in charge of doing their own yearbook for a different school.  These friends are great thing to have to support you through your yearbook adventure.  They get what you are going through.  Wouldn't it be great if you could all work together and get a discount?  That's right, if you can get your friends to sign up with School Annual and complete a yearbook, you both get 10% off your order.

It’s a sure fire way to save the students, parents, and ultimately the school money.  If you do know any other yearbook advisers that are on a hunt for a new publisher please let us know.  Again, if the referred school orders from School Annual, both your school and that school receive 10% off the entire order right off the bat!  Keep this cool fact in mind too…if you refer 10 schools who all order from School Annual, your school will receive your books for free. 

We challenge you to get your yearbooks for free this year.  Download and print the buddy referral coupon today:

 2014 Buddy Referral Coupon

Please let us know if you have any questions about our Buddy Referral Program.  We are here to help!

2014 Buddy Referral

8 Myths About Low Cost Yearbooks

You’ve sent countless email requests, received email correspondence from multiple yearbook companies, and collected stacks of sample yearbooks to decide on a company.  So you think you’ll go with the least expensive?  Not quite.  Those higher priced books might cost you less grief in the long run.

Myth No. 1

The Myth: Since all books look alike, I should go with the cheapest.

The Reality: While all the samples may look alike, be aware that all companies will send you the best of the best.  For a true test, ask to try out their software with your pictures and then compare true print quality variation.

Related: Most yearbook companies do not color correct.  Just as what you see on your monitor, and what prints out on your ink jet printer are vastly different, the same will happen with low cost yearbooks. Go with a company that takes the time to color correct in order to make your book look its absolute best.


Myth No. 2

The Myth: All yearbook company companies are the same.

The Reality: There are yearbook printers, and there are yearbook companies who value education.  Look for companies who support the value of education, and who hire people with degrees and advanced degrees.  Knowing the challenges that education faces, yet providing a product supported with information of the process is invaluable.


Myth No. 3

The Myth: A low cost, quick turn book is what you need!

The Reality:  That myth is great if you are perfect in creating the book.  Look for a company who has yearbook experience to look for those embarrassing images – improper hand gestures, gang signs, and inappropriate poses.  Taking serious time to softproof every page for image content issues takes time – but is so important.

Related: Ask the company if they review photos for inappropriate content.  Time consuming, yes, but if you have photos coming in from a variety of sources, do you have time to check each and every one?  Quick turn = no looking for you.


Myth No. 4

The Myth: If they make an error, they’ll fix it.

The Reality: What if you made an error?  Will they fix it, or do you have to live with it?  Your name is tied to the yearbook, and you will do your best, but errors happen.


Myth No. 5

The Myth: All these books are glued, and they look pretty good!

The Reality: Take one of the sample books, and count 7 sheets in and pull. If the binding isn’t sturdy, the page will pull out easily.


Myth No. 6

The Myth: I don’t really need a kit – everything is online.

The Reality: The kit is a representation of support for you while building the book. Ask for the kit prior to making your decision.  You’ll be surprised how much information is in the kit that you don’t have to dig for online. A supportive yearbook company will provide both, so you don’t have to print those instructions using your paper and toner.


Myth No. 7

The Myth: I don’t need a minimum, and the company will sell the book online.

The Reality:   Do you really want your work to just ship to the home and never enjoy the event at school? The excitement in looking through that book with friends is part of the yearbook experience.

The Reality: Minimums?  Remember that you, the adviser, will determine how many books you want. If you talk through the order with your yearbook company, they will work with you to eliminate the risk to you and your school.


Myth No. 8

The Myth: All yearbook creation tools have the same speed when creating a book.

The Reality: When you are working on your book in March and April, and have to wait until 2 a.m. to get any speed to place images and save, the reality is apparent. 

Related: When doing your research, ask for references so that you can ask how the creation speed is during peak yearbook season.




Yearbook Quote- Get it in writing...

Below is a list of some of the items that other yearbook companies charge extra for and School Annual includes in the price of their books. If you are speaking with representatives from other yearbook companies, you may want to ask if any of the services below are included in the price you were given or if there will be additional charges added to the order should you need to utilize any of these services. Whatever you do, please be sure to get everything in writing up front, including the fine print! This way both you and the school are protected.

  • Will you put the price in writing showing all charges- per book price, shipping, etc.?
  • Do you receive free a yearbook kit with hard copies of all of the educational materials needed to get started with your book? Are multiple copies available upon request for students and fellow team members?
  • Are there online site set-up fees, uploading fees for material created in another program or for digital files that need to be uploaded to the online site?
  • If you are downloading their program to your computer- will it work on your computer? Do you have the correct edition of Windows, Firefox or Safari? What operating system or systems do you need to use their online program? Is there an additional charge for extra fonts, clipart, templates?
  • How many people can log in and work on the site at the same time? If you are downloading their program to your computers, how many computers is the program license for? Charge? To license additional computers, what is the fee?
  • Are the sales materials free? Are they professionally printed? Is a custom poster or postcard designed with your school’s information printed available? Is there a limit to the quantity of sales materials you can order or receive? Is there a charge to ship them to you?  
  • If you are using an online site to create your yearbook, are you able to pull your photos and templates over from one year to the next? Is there a charge or a set-up fee for using their site? Uploading fee for them to scan or convert files to be uploaded to your online site?
  • If using their online site, do you have the ability to create your own templates or modify the ones provided to you- the shape, size and quantity of photos on the page?
  • Do they offer unlimited technical support and a team of customer service representatives available to answer your questions, offer assistance and help you create your pages? Is there an additional charge for them to create your pages?  
  • When using a standard cover, do you receive 2 free lines of foil stamping on the cover or is there an additional charge for foil text?
  • What is the charge for a custom cover? Can it be created on-line using their program? Can you submit digital cover files? How about original artwork to be scanned and a professionally designed cover created for you?  What is the charge for this service? Is there a proof charge? Is a proof provided? Do they offer cover lamination? Is there a cover lamination charge?
  • Are there multiple deadlines or just one submission date? If multiple page submission dates are provided and one of the deadline dates is missed, will there be an additional charge to keep the original delivery date?
  • Do they offer you a guaranteed delivery date?

At School Annual we offer all of this and so much more to our yearbook partners! Pick up the phone and speak with one of our knowledgeable Customer Account Representatives today! I invite you to experience the School Annual difference for yourself!  

Mary Myers

Customer Account Representative and Yearbook Expert

A yearbook advisers plan…

You signed up to do the yearbook, now where to begin?  School Annual makes that very easy for you.  We recommend starting by opening your School Annual Yearbook Kit:

 School Annual Online Yearbook Kit


The kit is all tabbed out for you.  So when you ask yourself, where to begin, start with tab 1.

Tab 1-Getting Started

                In this tab you will find a Quick Start Guide to yearbooks with School Annual, a Calendar to help you stay organized and a Planning a Yearbook booklet.  Read through these items carefully and create your plan on what to do first.  My recommendations are:

  1. Plan a demo of School Annual Online with your Rep. 
  2. Plan your page ladder.  Make an outline of what you will put on each page.
  3. Designate your photographers and make sure you have a photographer lined up for each event.

    Tab 2-Yearbook Sales Supplies

                    Once you have your initial plan set up it is time to move on to tab 2-Yearbook sales.  School Annual has made a tab featuring all of our FREE sales supplies.  Order what you need.  Call School Annual and consult your yearbook expert on a sales plan that will help you sell as many books as possible. 

    Tab 3- Making your yearbook

                    Now it is time to start putting that plan to paper.  You have already done your online demo with your School Annual Rep, now it is time to start working on the website.  Check out tab 3 for a lot of useful user guides.  Also go to for more help. 

    1. Start by uploading pictures.
    2. Go through the template book and find template you like. Add them to the appropriate pages.
    3. Add page headings to all your pages and play around with fonts.  This will help you to remember what the page is and learn how to use the text box tool.
    4. Start adding images to your templates once they are uploaded.

    Tab 4-Mailing Envelopes

                    As you are creating your pages online and working on your yearbook sales, think about what you need to mail to School Annual.

    1. Send in your PSPA CD from your school photographer.  This will arrive after portrait day.
    2. Send School Annual any images you need scanned and uploaded to your site- like baby photos!

    Tab 5- Cover Selection

                    Now that everything is moving along smoothly, it is time to think about your cover.  Are you creating your own or picking a standard cover.  Make sure to consult your yearbook expert with any questions.  Call in your standard cover number by your cover deadline listed on your School Annual Online home page.

    Tab 6- Yearbook Enhancements

                    Your yearbook sales have been through the roof!  Can you add anything extra special to your yearbook, like our Flashbax Insert?  Call your yearbook expert for pricing.

    Tab 7- Last Step

                    By now it is probably the spring time. We have taken you from start to finish.  The last step after proofing all your pages online is to fill out your shipping ticket:

    As you are working your way through your yearbook plan remember- “If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.”  Your School Annual yearbook expert is always here to help.

    Fall themed yearbook layouts

    Fall themed yearbook layouts-

    Yesterday marked the first day of Autumn.  Autumn is a great time to hang out at School and get great outdoor yearbook photos.  The colors and weather make for beautiful and fun yearbook photos.  You can get the kids on the playground, in their Halloween costumes or playing their fall sports.

    Once you have all these great photos you can upload them to School Annual online and create an entire 2 page yearbook layout using our specially designed Fall backgrounds.  Here are a few samples of some great yearbook layouts you can create.

    Check out School Annual Online's fall themed backgrounds:

    Yearbook backgrounds created by School Annual in a fall theme.


    Check out a sample of a fall themed layout combining a background and template from School Annual Online.  You can drag and drop your images into the blue boxes:

    Fall themed yearbook layouts created by School Annual Online.

    Digital photography tips for your yearbook photos.

    Need help taking yearbook photos?  Here is a list of tips to help guide you on your way to taking great yearbook pictures.

    1.  The rule of Thirds

    Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid in your viewfinder. Place your subject off center to create a dynamic picture.

    2.  Lock your focus

    Center your subject straight, press the shutter button half way down, re-frame your picture (using the rule of thirds), take the picture.

    3.  Watch the natural light

    Great lighting makes for a great picture.  For people, watch for overhead sunlight that will cast harsh shadows.  Try choosing soft/cloudy lighting

    4.  Know how to use your flash

    Know what your flash range is.  Do not try to shoot a picture beyond that range.  Use your fill flash setting for outdoor pictures.  It will lighten up shadows on your in your images.

    5.  Get close and down to your subject level.

    Move in close and fill your frame with the subject.  Hold your camera at the subject's eye level for a more powerful image.

    6.  Watch for busy backgrounds.

    Look for a clear background with no clutter to take away from your subject.  Watch for trees, poles and wires "growing" out of your subject.

    7.  High resolution images all of the time!

    Make sure your camera is set on high or fine for crisp, clear images.  You may need to buy a larger memory card to hold your images.

    8.  Learn how to use your camera.

    Read your manual to learn about all the functions of your camera.  This will prevent you from scrambling to figure something out while photographing an image.

    9.  Be in charge.

    Take a little extra time to compose and create your pictures.  Re-arrange your subjects, try different ideas and add some props.

    10.  Additional ideas...

    Frame your subject with foreground objects to add depth to an image.  Try unusual angles, be creative!  Pay attention to lines, curves and diagonals.  Add energy and movement to your image.

    Most importantly, have fun!  You have a special job as yearbook photographer.  You get to capture memories from all the important events at school.  Without you, there would be no yearbook!

    Todd Judd

    Senior Customer Account Representative/Professional Photographer

    What's new for 2014? Part 1

    Believe it or not, School Annual has been working on ideas for 2014 for several months now.  It is time for us to get ready for a new school year.  As we go through this process it is crucial that we get feedback from all our advisers so we know what we can improve on.   We send out surveys to help get some feedback and are so thankful when you take the time to fill them out.

    We can already tell you about a few new items we have on the horizon. They happen to be the 2 of the most requested items from our surveys- clip art and backgrounds!


    We are adding 7 new styles to the headlines category.  These are the pieces of clip art that say- First Grade, Second Grade, Faculty…

    We will also be adding 3 new styles to the class of category.


    This year we will be adding 125 items to our Quick Creator section of clip art.  This will include 100 new background options with coordinating clip art! 

    Stay tuned for more new features to come!  We will have updates on covers and new features on School Annual Online!

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