That’s often the first question, isn’t it?
The easiest answer would be to start listing what we can do for you; the products, services, options, innovations, and support that United Yearbook provides to all our clients. And we will get to that list…it’s a pretty good list after all.
But that first question is a why question, and a why question should get a why answer…and besides, trust isn’t usually based on a list of services.
But that first question is a why question, and a why question should get a why answer…and besides, trust isn’t usually based on a list of services. So, here’s why we are in this business, and why we do business the way we do, and why we would like a chance to serve you.
We make no apologies about it: We at United Yearbook are in business to honor God in all that we do. Our founder-president, Sarah Tse, was already in the publishing industry when she was introduced to the yearbook business by the former yearbook representative of a national yearbook publisher and she saw almost immediately that there had to be a better way, a way built on biblical principles like service, integrity, character, honesty, commitment, respect, and care . And so, with those operating principles as a foundation, she began United Yearbook.
And that why is what drives our how. It drives the way we do business.
It puts us on the hook to operate with integrity and honesty. It means that all costs are spelled out clearly in the contract; no unexplained charges or hidden fees or surprise add-ons. It pushes us to under-promise and over-deliver, and not the other way around.
It causes us to look at schools as partners, not just as customers, and to see ourselves as fellow educators, not just as publishers.
It causes us to look at schools as partners, not just as customers, and to see ourselves as fellow educators, not just as publishers. We respect the advisors we work with, and that partnership is crucial, because creating a yearbook in the 21st century is a challenge: In a culture where individuality is prized, how do you get your staff to work as a team? In a world where every student walks around with a camera and many create their own digital content, why should they be interested in a book?
It encourages us to be creative and innovative, always looking for new ideas both in our book designs and in the way we operate. We recognize that each school culture is unique, so cookie-cutter solutions are often not helpful.
It also reminds us that our reputation rides not only on every book we produce, but also on every phone call and every conversation. When you set up your company to honor God, people expect a lot, and they should. It sets a high bar.
Which also keeps us small; we don’t take on more clients than we can serve well. We don’t send you our B-team…we don’t have a B-team. So, you are literally not a number; we’re on a first-name basis with the advisors at our school partners.
We help our partners create books to be proud of, both in quality and creativity. Together, we’ve done really good work.
So now we come to the what: the services and products, options and innovations, that make us more than good-intentioned. We help our partners create books to be proud of, both in quality and creativity. Together, we’ve done really good work.
We’re not there just to take your order and your money and bring you back a truckload of books. We’re with you from theme to colors to cover all the way to release day (and beyond if you need us). Partners, remember?
This is what we do for all our clients:
Innovative designs: We have award-winning designers who really like saying yes. The heat-sensitive cover got some attention a couple of years ago, and this surfboard cover got the attention of CNBC.
In-class workshops: We take the educational aspect of this seriously, because it’s not just about creating a book. We have tools and workshops to give students transferable skills and wisdom in design, photography, writing, project management, teamwork and interpersonal communication, ethics, time management, and marketing. We help you create a culture which inspires innovation and creativity, develops student leadership, and empowers your students to discover and use their talents with confidence.
Best-in-class software: It’s clean, consistent, web-based, and very powerful…yet has a 20-minute learning curve.
Help in planning and designing your book: We’re not there just to take your order and your money and bring you back a truckload of books. We’re with you from theme to colors to cover all the way to release day (and beyond if you need us). Partners, remember?
Marketing plans and assistance: It’s frustrating to work hard on a book that doesn’t sell. How and why consumers make purchase decisions evolves by the minute, and what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. United Yearbook has dynamic, field-tested and real-world-aware strategies to build awareness and anticipation for your book all year long, and we will even set-up email and social media campaigns for you at no extra charge.
When you’re making your decision, trust is a huge factor, and when it comes to trust, it is important to see not just what a publisher can do, but why and how they do what they do.
Deciding on a publishing partner for your yearbook is a big decision with a lot of factors. Among other things, you will need to ask:
Am I truly happy with my current publisher? Do I trust them?
What are my biggest challenges, and does my current publisher give me the resources to meet them?
If there are things I want to do differently, will my publisher support me?
When you’re making your decision, trust is a huge factor, and when it comes to trust, it is important to see not just what a publisher can do, but why and how they do what they do. United Yearbook may — or may not — be the best partner for you; the way we do business may — or may not — fit your wants and needs. But before you partner with any publisher, we encourage you to ask those why and how questions, because your success means more to us than winning your business.
Dr. John Tuttle, Curriculum Specialist & Lecturer
Dr. John Tuttle is a lecturer for UYB’s in-class workshops, and also works with curriculum development, podcasts, and blog posts. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy of Religion and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Biola University, where for ten years he was Director of Student Communications. For several years, Dr. Tuttle has also worked as an adjunct faculty member within Biola’s “great books” program.