Please contact us if you need any assistance. Our customer service representatives are here to answer any questions you may have about our student publishing program.
Q: What is considered a classroom book?
Classroom publishing is a collaborative effort from students in a class, with each student contributing written text along with corresponding artwork to create one combined classroom book. If you prefer, the book could contain only artwork or only typed or written text.
Q: What grades can create classroom books?
Any class, grade Pre-K to 5th grade with at least 10 students contributing work to the book, may create a classroom book.
Q: I don't have the required 10 students in my class. What should I do?
Multiple classrooms, grade Pre-K to 5th grade, may combine their work to create one classroom book. With each student given 2 pages, a maximum of 33 students may contribute to the book, so be careful not to combine too many classes. Templates P1, L1, and P4 may accommodate up to 66 students when each student contributes only 1 page each. See our page templates for recommendations and watch our video for assistance.
Q: How many students' works can be in a classroom book?
Ten to 33 students may contribute if each student submits 1 page for writing and 1 page for artwork. Each student is limited to 2 pages. If you want more students to contribute, use our blank (P1 or L1) or half-blank/half-lined (P4) template, which allows for up to 66 students to contribute 1 page each. Watch our video for assistance.
Q: How many pages are allowed in my classroom book?
Students are limited to 2 pages each for books include 10 to 33 students or 1 page each for books include 34 to 66 students. You will also receive 4 extra pages: title page, dedication page, and 2 personal pages. For example, a book with 10 students' work would have 24 pages (20 pages of student work and 4 extra pages). A book with 33 students' work would have 70 pages (66 pages of student work and 4 extra pages). We cannot bind books with more than 70 pages. For 34 to 66 students, use template P1, L1, or P4. Each student would contribute 1 page of content. Watch our video for assistance. Books cannot exceed the page limit. We reserve the right to deny books that exceed the allowed page limit.
Q: Can I publish a classroom book with more than 70 pages?
No, we cannot bind books with more than 70 pages. Books cannot exceed the allowed page limit. We reserve the right to deny books with more than 70 pages. (See question and answer above.)
Q: Is a classroom book really FREE?
Yes, as long as you meet our student publishing requirements*: (1) book has the work of 10 or more students, (2) your class is grade Pre-K to 5th grade, (3) teachers must send Parent Order Forms home so parents have an opportunity to purchase books, and (4) parents must sign and return Parent Order Forms or respond online, whether they purchase or not. Most families feel the books are a great keepsake for their child; however, there is no obligation to purchase classroom books. We'll send you one FREE full-color, professionally printed and bound hardcover book for the classroom. We don't bind your original manuscript like other companies, which helps make our program the best!
*If ordering 15 or more books, requirements will be waived.
Q: How much do parents, friends, and family pay for each book?
Hardcover classroom books can be purchased for only $20; however, there is no obligation to purchase. The price includes FREE shipping (within the contiguous USA).
Q: How do I start?
Simply order our FREE Publishing Kit. You'll need to select which template you plan on using. See our page templates or watch our video for assistance. The kit will include a Step-By-Step Publishing Guide (PDF) and other material to help you with every step of the classroom publishing process. If you want students to practice or you would like to start your book immediately, download and print templates from our Printable Material page. The downloadable templates can be used for submitting your book.
Q: What's in the Publishing Kit?
The FREE kit contains almost everything needed to publish a classroom book! We provide template sheets for a cover illustration, title page, dedication page, 2 personal pages, and sheets for students to write stories and create drawings. The Step-By-Step Publishing Guide (PDF) is included to explain the whole process. You'll also find take-home envelopes pre-stuffed with Parent Order Forms and letters, plus stickers for students to wear home announcing that you're publishing a classroom book. We even provide a prepaid UPS label to submit your order. Basically, it's everything you need except the markers you'll use for the drawings and text. See all Kit items on our Printable Material page.
Q: What medium is best for artwork and writing?
Use standard color markers. Do NOT use crayons; watercolors (or other paint); pencil or colored pencils; light-colored, neon, or highlighter markers; gel pens; or anything with glitter or metallic properties. We are not responsible for print quality and colors if this material is used. Writing should be in black marker or Sharpie®. Have students use a black marker, or use pencil, then the teacher should write over pencil with a black marker or Sharpie®. Do not erase pencil – it may smudge. Watch our video for recommendations and follow our Step-By-Step Publishing Guide (PDF)
Q: Can we make a classroom book about any topic?
Yes. The great thing about classroom publishing is you can choose topics such as holidays, family, biographies, autobiographies, animals, and more. We have hundreds of topic ideas for inspiration, including science, language arts, social studies, and math. You're only limited by your imagination. Student publishing is ideal for project-based learning. Check out our Themed Templates if you need a quick topic idea. (We reserve the right to not print anything we consider inappropriate.)
Q: Are there any topics that do not qualify as a classroom book?
Any book that does not follow our publishing requirements does not qualify, and we reserve the right to deny the order. We also reserve the right to not print anything we consider inappropriate.
Parents must sign and return the Parent Order Form because books are intended for parents to purchase for their child. We are able to provide a FREE classroom book because we know that many parents will purchase copies. If a book is made to be given to one or a few individuals with no intention for sales, then we reserve the right to deny the order. Examples of disqualified books include yearbooks, get-well books, and teacher gifts.
Q: Can I use a class photo for the front cover of my classroom books?
Q: Can I put photos on the pages?
Yes. You may add each child’s school picture (wallet-sized) on his or her illustration or text page. Use glue or rubber cement to adhere photos. Do NOT use tape or staples. Photos are limited to only ONE photo per student. Watch our video for directions.
Q: Can Wite-Out® or other editing marks be used on the pages?
Use correction tape rather than Wite-Out®. Your FREE classroom book will be a real printed book, not your original sheets bound with a cover, so correction tape provides best results. Any other edit marks written in pencil, ink, or marker will appear on your printed pages. We do not make any changes or edits to your manuscript. What you see is what you get, so be sure to omit any marks on pages you do not want to appear on your printed pages. Watch our video for instructions.
Q: What should I do if I want stories to be typed rather than handwritten?
Q: In what order do I assemble my book pages?
Assemble all book pages in this order: cover template, title page, dedication page, 1 personal page, students’ pages, last personal page (optional). Pages will be printed in the order they were received. We do not edit or correct pages. If each student contributes 2 pages each, it's important their pages appear side by side. Use our Storyboard (PDF) to assist you.
Q: Do we need to reserve a press date?
No. Unlike other student publishing companies, we do NOT require a press date. We realize unexpected things may delay you, making it difficult to work with a firm press date. Just keep our production time in mind and allow for shipping time (both to us and from us). To ensure classroom books arrive when you need them, see our production chart for peak season deadlines.
Q: When should parents receive order forms?
The best time to send home the letters, envelopes, Parent Order Forms, and student announcement stickers is when your class begins their classroom book. The creation process may take several weeks, and this will allow time for you to follow up with parents who have not returned their signed order forms by the deadline you have given them. Use our online tools to send parent reminders.
Q: Why are parents required to return signed Parent Order Forms even if they do not order?
If parents sign the order form and check "NO" (they don't want to purchase), this tells us they reviewed the order form and did not simply forget to order classroom books. We can provide our FREE classroom publishing program simply because we know many parents/guardians will buy classroom books. When the full order is placed at one time, it is more efficient for us to produce books and pass the savings on to parents. The initial order is the ONLY opportunity for parents to purchase copies because we will not reprint later.
Q: Do I need to call UPS to pick up our order?
If UPS comes to your school daily to deliver and pick up packages, check with your administrative office as to where packages should be left for UPS pickup. Do not mail.
Q: What do I do with unused Kit material?
We don't need it back. The only items we need are your actual book template sheets for cover and pages, Classroom Book Order Form, and Payment Envelope with Parent Order Forms and payments.
Q: How long will it take to receive our classroom books?
Once we receive your order and book material, we'll need approximately 15–20 business days (3–4 weeks) to complete your classroom books. Keep in mind, once UPS picks up your order at your school, it could take 2–5 days to arrive to us. Once your order is complete, please allow another 2–6 days for shipping. See our production chart.
Q: How much do classroom books cost?
Our student publishing program offers a great value! Parents/guardians may order hardcover classroom books for $20 (shipping is FREE within the 48 contiguous United States). If books exceed the maximum allowed page limit, we reserve the right to deny the order or charge extra for the books.
Q: What happens to our original manuscript?
Your original material, including all artwork and any photos, will NOT be returned to you.
Q: Do you have a program for students to create individual books?
Our blank books are perfect for Pre-K to 12th grade students to create their own individual books. Blank books are ideal for journaling, artwork, storytelling, special projects, and more. Each student writes/draws directly in his/her own book. We do not print additional copies.
PLEASE NOTE: Classroom Books can be completed at school or remotely. If teaching remotely, just follow our Publish From Home Tips to help make the process easy for you and your students. And remember, at School Mate® Publishing, we do not require publishing dates or press dates. Classroom Books ship within our normal production schedule or sooner. If your school is not open, have your Classroom Book order shipped to your home or an alternate location. Please write the alternate shipping address on your Classroom Book Order Form before sending your order to us.