How funny. I was just thinking that somebody really needed to create a yearbook group and, ta-da! Here it is.
This is my first year of doing yearbook as well, and I'm finding it very challenging. We use the Taylor company for our book production, and so far, their curriculum has been of little to no use in the classroom. True, it shows kids how to do things that are yearbook-related, but there are few activities that are truly engaging.
Thus far, I've treated yearbook like a "workshop" period. Kids go around campus, take pictures, fill in the yearbook website, and do writing projects related to advertising and copywriting. Even so, yearbook class is not my finest hour as a teacher. I still feel as though I'm just blindly fumbling my way through the process.
So far as ad sales go, I've employed our class advisors (Sr., Jr., etc.) to send out a universal email to all the parents advertising the idea that they need to buy their students yearbook ads to congratulate them. Our price structure is $80 for 1/4 page, $120 for 1/2 page, and $200 for a full page. Needless to say, we're encouraging parents to go with the full-page option. Local businesses will also advertise, but with the group I have this year, I hesitate to step out into the community with them for fear of how they will behave in the presence of business owners. Hopefully they'll delegate this to someone else next year. It seems like they switch off on about a yearly basis, and frankly, that's never enough time for anyone to become truly familiar with the process.