Annual publications, more often called simply annuals, are are hardcover books appearing regularly once per year. Many Doctor Who and related annuals have been produced. Annuals consist mostly of text stories, features, puzzles and games. Some include an occasional comic strip or strips.
Note: The date on the cover (when there is one) is always that of the year following publication.
"Dalek annual" is an imprecise term used to denote seven hardbound books that were issued by joint arrangement of Terry Nation and the BBC. The Dalek annuals were released in two groups. Three came out during the earliest stirrings of Dalekmania in the 1960s, published by Souvenir Press and Panther Books, and the remaining four came out in the late 1970s published by World Distributors (Manchester) Ltd UK.
The first so-called "Dalek annual" actually preceded the first Doctor Who annual, and was one of the very first pieces of Doctor Who merchandise. Only The Dalek Book had a direct tie to Doctor Who, in that it featured a photo-montage of The Daleks, and therefore showed images of Susan and other characters from the original Dalek serial. All the remaining books were efforts to build the mythology of the Daleks independently of the parent programme.
Between 1965 and 1985, twenty-eight Doctor Who Annuals were published by World Distributors Ltd UK (later World International). In addition to the twenty 'regular' Doctor Who Annuals, there were three reprint volumes. The Doctor Who annuals were published each September between 1966 and 1979, after which it moved to an August publication schedule for the remainder of the series.
World Distributors Ltd stopped producing the regular annuals in 1986. A bumper volume followed featuring the best of previous editions and was the last title to be released. With the return of Doctor Who in 2005, the publication of annuals began again. The first, Doctor Who Annual 2006, was published by Panini, and all subsequent annuals were published by BBC Children's Books.
There was a lapse for a few years in publication before Marvel Comics secured the license to produce a Doctor Who Yearbook. These followed the same mix of prose, comic strip stories and features, this time all Who-related and directed at a more sophisticated audience. The Yearbooks ran from 1992-1996.
Doctor Who Storybooks were annual, hardbound Panini books, published from 2007-2010. They were the brainchild of Clayton Hickman, who created the line as a response to BBC Worldwide's revocation of Panini's right to release a book branded "the Doctor Who annual". Each volume was mostly comprised of short narratives and comic strips — or, as the title implied, stories. These stories were written by people who had written for the television series or other licensed ranges arising from the BBC Wales series.
The future of the publication was thrown in doubt when DWM 426 announced that the planned 2011 edition was cancelled due to "licensing issues".
The Brilliant Book replaced Panini's Doctor Who Storybook series in the 2010 production schedule, and was followed by a second volume in 2011. Published by BBC Books, the two Brilliant Books were hardback behind-the-scenes illustrated guides to the new series of Doctor Who.
In 2010, Idea and Design Works Comics (IDW) released the Doctor Who Annual 2010. Being a US publication, the date on the cover is the same as the year of publication. Titled both annuals and specials, these softcover graphic novels are essentially comic books, containing only comic strips and no text stories or features.