If your debating when to start your project, I would always say sooner rather than later. If you need to take time out and study for exams that’s fine- your yearbook will be happily waiting for you when you return to the project 🙂
When people hear about the project for the first time, there will probably be a flurry of excitement as people log in to see what it’s all about. This is usually enough to get people started but the momentum will slow towards the holidays as people get distracted with the winter ball or mock exams and so on. The important thing to do is get a rough idea of when you want hand out your books so you can set deadlines for members to complete their entries by. If you don’t have a plan in place, your members wont know when they need to finalise their profile and you’ll end up chasing people and sending reminders left right and centre. Instead plan ahead early- think ‘I want to hand out my books when we finish in May so I’ll say the cut off is March’. That gives you a full month to tweak pages before your final proofread and if anybody desperately needs to make changes, you can do this on their behalf.
As you know the books take between 10 and 17 working day to print and deliver. Note the word WORKING here. That means Monday -Friday people! It’s up to you to ensure you have everything ready in good time and your staff proof-reader has also done everything they need to do. Don’t just presume you can finish the night before your print deadline and your teacher will be online to approve the final draft. Teachers have lives too so be mindful and leave a little leeway for your staff members to do their bit.
TOP TIP! Be sure to jot down any holidays that may affect your plans and availability. If your book is set to go to print during the holidays, can you still reach your staff proof-reader by email or phone? If the answer is no, you’ll need to rearrange your delivery plan slightly so dates fall when everybody is available 🙂 Trust me, it’s worth it to avoid the stress of not being able to track down your teacher and delaying your print and delivery!