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Saddle Stitch Booklets

Cheap Booklet Printing

Saddle stitch binding gives you a low-cost, high-impact product that looks and feels very professional. Stapled booklet printing is distinct from our other book binding options. The stapling is performed by the finishing unit as the booklets come off the digital press, which reduces the cost compared to other binding types done by hand.

How Are Saddle Stitch Booklets Bound?

  1. Pages are arranged and printed 2-up on each side of a sheet
  2. Sheets are folded in half and nested so pages read in the correct sequence
  3. Booklets are stapled twice on the fold
  4. Edges are trimmed evenly by the printer's booklet finisher

The staples go through the fold, or saddle, hence the term saddle stitch booklet.

The low cost and simple elegance of stapled booklets make them a great choice for magazines, event programs, team memory books, playbills, business reports, student publications and more.

Saddle Stitch Binding Page Count

Because each sheet creates 4 pages in your finished booklet, page counts must go in multiples of 4. If you meant to order 1 sheet folded in half to make 4 pages, order this on the 4-Page Half-Fold Newsletters product page instead.

Stapled booklets can accommodate up to 180 pages on 20/50# Bond. The page-count cutoff will lower with each increase in paper weight and thickness. Enter your details on the quote/order form to see options.

Saddle Stitch Book Design Tips

Please setup your files 1-printed-page per page in your file, not as reader spreads (where two pages appear side by side).

Booklets should NOT be setup as spreads.

Do not set your pages up as spreads.
Results in booklet printing in wrong sequence.

Booklets should be setup as single pages.

Set them up as single pages instead.
We will auto-sequence booklet for print.

We will automatically sequence each page so that booklets read in the right order. Reader spreads will not let us do that and will result in printing booklet pages out of order. If your pages are already arranged correctly in booklet spreads, we can print these but do not recommend setting up your spreads manually.

Print Booklet Covers in Gloss

Cheap booklet upgrade makes cover art come to life.

If you're looking to upgrade the quality while keeping costs low, try adding a glossy cardstock cover for an extra boost of professionalism. Because unfortunately, many readers still tend to judge a book by its cover. For full color booklets with a lot of graphics, consider using the 32/80# Text Gloss for the inside.

Bleed Printing

Do you need printing to go to the edge, leaving no margin? If so, make sure to choose "Bleeds - Yes" and setup your bleed content according to our specifications.

If you have any questions about saddle stitch binding, including setting up your files for stapled booklets, please feel free to call or email.

Templates

Template Section

View File Setup Help

Cheap Booklet Printing FAQ

What is a saddle stitch booklet?

Saddle stitch booklets, also called stapled booklets, are a fast, affordable binding method that creates 4 printed pages out of each individual sheet of paper. For a standard-size booklet, 2 pages are printed on each side of an 11x17 sheet, creating 4 - 8.5x11 pages out of each. The finishing unit stacks the sheets in order, folds them in the middle to create the "saddle," then staples — or stitches — them together. The edge of the pages are face-trimmed to create a smooth book edge, and the booklets come off the press ready to box and ship out.

Because there is little (if any) hand finishing involved, saddle stitched booklets are typically the most affordable way to bind your book, catalog or newsletter.

When should I print saddle stitch booklets?

Saddle stitch binding is incredibly popular because it delivers a professional product at the lowest price possible. Because the folding and stapling is done by machine, this keeps the costs low. This makes saddle stitch booklets ideal for material such as product catalogs, magazines, newsletters, student publications, event guides and more.

Cheap booklets don't have to look cheap. While stapling is the most economical printing and binding method, you may want to consider our other book binding options depending on the needs of your project.

See All Book Binding Options

Why do page counts go in 4's?

This is because of the way saddle stitch booklets are constructed.

Picture an 8-page stapled booklet which is sized 8.5x11. If you were to open to the center spread and pull out the staples, you would see that the booklet is actually only made from 2 - 11x17 sheets. Because each 11x17 sheet produces 4 - 8.5x11 pages (2 on each side), this is the only way pages can be counted.

If your booklet page count doesn't quite reach a multiple of 4, you can add more content or just add blank pages to get there.

Do you print 4-page booklets?

Because a 4-page booklet is only 1 sheet folded in half, we categorize this product under Newsletters and Brochures:

4-Page Half Fold Newsletters

What paper should I use to avoid see-through to the backside?

To absolutely avoid show-through in your printed booklet, we recommend either of the 32/80# Text options or heavier. In our experience this is a safe choice for booklets printed with photos, graphics and text alike.

For booklets where most of the content is text, most people are happy with the 28/70# Text Smooth. This is a mid-weight paper and has minimal show-through, which is much less noticeable with text-oriented pages where the text is more or less aligned back-to-back.

Will I receive a digital proof before you print my booklets?

In most cases, we do not automatically send a digital proof. If you do want a digital proof first, no problem! Just request this in the Job Notes. The reason for this is that the vast majority of files are setup correctly and require no reformatting or proofing. Most customers also want their job as fast as possible. Unfortunately with email, there is always the risk that the digital proof could end up in the Spam, Junk or Promotions folder, which is more likely to cause a delay in production than it is to stop a misprint from occurring.

But there are some cases in which we must receive proof approval before we can print. This includes:

  • Files which are not uploaded as JPG, PNG or PDF
  • Any time we make file edits at your request
  • If we happen to notice something that looks "wrong" but aren't sure

Is there a limit for saddle stitch binding page count?

Because of the way saddle stitch booklets are created, there are page-count limitations due to the thickness of the paper and length of the staples. The page limit for your booklets will depend on the paper you select.

Our thinnest paper for cheap booklets is the 20/50# Bond, which will allow up to 180 pages printed in your saddle stitch booklets.

Higher quality paper like the 32/80# Gloss is capped at 48 pages, while middle-weight papers fall in between.

Can you mail my printed booklets?

Yes we can. Select a Bulk Mailing option on the order form and upload your mailing list (Excel or CSV) with your files. If you need them folded in half and tabbed closed, this requires a custom quote: please fill in your job details to the best of your ability (including Bulk Mailing) and click "Save as Quote." Then you can email us and let us know you need pricing for folding and tabbing.

Printing
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Count number of pages (not sheets) whether it's cover, inside, blank or non-blank page.

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Click here for help choosing your paper

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* Special file setup is needed. View

Covers
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* Special file setup is needed. View

These specs = shrink wrapped sets.

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