How to Arrange the Pages of a Saddle-Stitched Booklet

Pages must be in multiples of four.  Saddle stitched booklets are constructed of folded sheets.  As such, each folded sheet joined within the finished booklet will form four pages of the booklet.  This means the page count of every saddle-stitched booklet must always be a multiple of four ( 4). It is not possible to create a 7-page, l 0-page or 25-pages and so on.  Even if a page in the booklet is blank, it still counts as a page.




READER SPREADS- shows the pages in the order they will appear to the reader.  
The main purpose of Reader Spreads is to help visualize how the page layout will look once the booklet is bound (illustration A).




PRINTER SPREADS- displays the booklet's pages as they will actually print side-by-side on a sheet (illustration B).

IMPOSITION/IMPOSED- refers to the process of arranging a book's, pages prior to printing so that once printed sheets are folded, bound and trimmed, the pages will appear in the correct order.  Pages are set-up for printing (not individual pages), (illustration B).



What do Printers Prefer?

Set up your files as individual pages, presented one after the other, in the order they will appear in the finished booklet, even blank pages. For example, if the file has 20 pages, set up one file with all 20 pages not 20 individual files even blank pages.

Should the Booklet's Cover be sent as a Separate File?

Most saddle-stitched books have a cover that is made from heavier weight paper than the interior pages.  If this is the case with your project, you have two choices. You can submit the cover layout as a separate file or you can include the cover in the same file as the pages. As long as the cover is clearly identified, either method will work.

Some saddle-stitched books are "self-cover" books, which means the paper for the cover is the exact same type and thickness as the paper used for the interior pages.  If this describes your booklet, it is better if you include the cover in the same file as the pages.

Also, whether your layout includes printing that will go on the inside of the booklet's cover or the inside cover will be left blank, be sure this is clearly communicated to those receiving your file(s).  Finally, be sure to extend any bleed areas l/8th inch past the finished page dimensions and to include crop marks.  As far as the type of file to submit, a high-resolution PDF is generally preferred by most printers.

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