Recently I made a yearbook for my four-year-old son Elijah’s class – the Butterflies – at his preschool. It was such a success, I wanted to share my experience creating the book.
Making yearbooks with Blurb is a great way to document a child’s early classroom experience and easily raise money for the school. I set the price of the yearbook and marked it up by $17, then I sold it to other parents. This made Chibi-Chan Preschool $900. Parents were overjoyed because the pictures of the children, teachers, and activities gave them an inside glimpse of their child’s life during the day. Naturally, many parents bought a couple of copies and gave them to the grandparents.
Laying out the yearbook was easy. In this case, I illustrated it and imported the pages as jpgs, which added a valuable touch, but also a considerable amount of time. You can use Blurb’s professional layouts to achieve a very cool yearbook in less time.
Filling books with personal elements other than photos adds visual depth to most projects, so I also had the teachers ask each child about his or her favorite things. I then added the response verbatim to each child’s section. Each child received four dedicated pages in the yearbook. You can add more or less as needed for your school yearbook.
One thing I would recommend to anyone taking on a project like this is to take some time to set the digital camera to the correct settings so that the pictures are not too dark or washed out. It takes time to finesse images later on in photo-editing programs like Photoshop; better to avoid having to do lots of clean up of images.
It’s also worth mentioning that the yearbook was so successful for the school that the Assistant Director is now assigned the task of making Blurb yearbooks for all classes in the future. Chibi Chan can then set up their own bookstore at Blurb, mark up books as they like, continually allow parents to buy books whenever they choose, and make a bundle by sharing the kids’ big smiles.
Now that the school will do this every year, I’m excited to see what they come up with and how much money they’ll continue to raise. Have any other parents done this yet? Would love to hear your stories and how-tos.