Booklets are extremely effective and versatile products. They could be an annual report, a cookbook, a catalog listing your products, a service listing booklet, a coloring book, and so much more!
While custom booklets, when designed effectively, result in amazing response rates and ROI, you’ll need to gain a good understanding of each factor that influences the cost to print booklets so that you can take advantage of these powerful marketing tools while staying within your budget.
When printing booklets with a commercial printer, there are a handful of factors that have varying degrees of influence on the end price. By taking a look at these cost-affecting factors, you’ll be able to better understand how much printing booklets could cost you.
Below we’ve broken the various factors into a few categories to help you determine the end price of your own booklet printing project.
Quantity – How Many Booklets Do You Need?
Generally speaking, the more booklets you order, the more the price will go up. For example, 50 booklets will be cheaper than 100 booklets.
However, because the number of booklets you order will determine how your printer arranges jobs on press sheets, depending on the size and page count of your booklets, it could actually save you money by ordering a few extras. This is due to the fact that certain quantities take more time to fit on press sheets and require special treatment.
It’s also important to note that the more booklets you order, the lower the price per booklet will cost. For example, if you were to order 25 8-page 5.5” x 8.5” booklets, the cost per booklet would be around $3-$5. If you were to order 1000 of those same booklets, the price per booklet would only be around $0.40-$0.60. So, if you plan on printing more booklets in the future, it will save you a lot of money by ordering them all at once.
If you’re still not able to get the price you want, but you don’t want to produce any fewer booklets, the next best option would be to change the size of your booklets, or the quality of paper on which it is printed. We’ll talk about each of those details more below.
Paper – How Do You Want Your Booklets to Feel?
The type of paper you choose has a huge effect on the pricing of your booklet print project.
A heavy paper for your booklet cover will better protect your booklets as well as make them come across as more professional. While a heavier, thicker paper like a 100# or 80# cover stock is ideal, it’s important to consider that self-cover booklets—cover paper is the same as inside pages—will be the cheapest booklet printing option. This is because the inside pages of booklets typically use thinner, more affordable paper types that are easier to flip through like 100# or 80# text-weight paper, so when sticking with a lower-cost paper for your entire booklet, the overall cost to print booklets decreases.
Because using a heavy booklet cover stock will maximize the durability of your books, giving you more opportunities to communicate your message, it’s recommended that you use a thicker more protective cover paper especially if you’re mailing your booklets. If going with a self-cover is the only option that fits your budget, it’s a good idea to go with a slightly thicker paper like an 80# text weight paper rather than a 70# text weight paper which will increase the price by only a few dollars.
Most commercial printers will have a set of house stocks which will be the default paper options listed when configuring your booklet order on their product page. These paper types will always be the cheapest booklet printing option.
At Conquest Graphics, we offer our “Conquest Preferred” stock. Some of the default preferred stocks we carry include 100#, 80# and 70# gloss and velvet text, 100# and 80# gloss and velvet cover, and 14pt C2S cover paper. This is because the majority of our customers use these paper stocks when ordering so we order them in bulk, so they are readily available. Since they are more common, it’s also easier for us to print projects alongside each other which saves time and resources.
Choosing a paper that your printer does not offer in-house will result in an exponentially higher price since it’s harder for us to pair your job with other jobs when laying out our press sheets to print alongside other projects.
Some paper types require us to specially order them since they’re rarely used and if a special order is needed, it will cost us more, which translates to the final price for your custom booklets.
There may also be additional time required to order a special stock since it needs to reach us before we can begin printing your booklets. So, if you need to print on special stock, you should be prepared for higher prices and longer turnaround times.
If you have questions on the different papers we offer along with any questions regarding special paper types, feel free to reach out to our customer service team via email or phone at (800) 707-9903.
Turnaround Time – How Soon Do You Need Your Booklets?
Turnaround time refers to the time it takes to print your booklets. And depending on when you need your booklets, there will be different prices associated with different turnaround times.
Typically, like ordering anything online, the sooner you need your booklets, the higher the price will be.
The cost to print booklets increases when you give your printer less time to print your project since there are many benefits associated with longer turnaround times for commercial printers. This is because if you allow your printer a longer turnaround time, they will have more time to receive similar jobs that they can print alongside your project before cutting, folding, and binding your booklets which saves them paper, time, and resources.
For example, if you were looking to print 1000 booklets, and were to only give your printer 4 days to complete your order, then you would be paying around $25-$30 more than if you were to give them 7 days to complete your booklets.
So, to save money on printing your booklets, it’s important to plan ahead so you can avoid needing a rush order which will cause the price to increase.
Ink and Coating for Your Booklets
While some companies—typically international brands—require inks that use a certain Pantone Matching System (PSM) to get their booklets to perfectly match their digital renderings, ordering PMS colors becomes quite costly.
In most cases, the CMYK color system (cyan, magenta, yellow, key(black)) is the best for rendering precise colors which is the standard option when placing orders. And by taking advantage of the CMYK color system, the cost to print booklets will be significantly lower.
When it comes to durability and the appearance of your custom booklets, it’s recommended to also use a coating, like a gloss UV coating for at least your booklet cover. While this will increase the cost of your booklets, from anywhere between $20-$40, it will add a rich, classy look that will also increase the durability of your booklets. Velvet or matte coatings are also available which can give your booklets a muted, understated look.
When considering a coating for your booklet, it’s important to take note that UV coatings will be much cheaper than aqueous coatings since it takes a lot less time and resources to print using a UV coating.
While adding a coating to your booklet cover is a great idea to improve its appearance and strengthen its durability, if adding a coating is not within your budget, it’s important that you at least consider a thicker cover stock for the cover of your booklet.
Size – How Large or Small Will Your Booklets Be?
The size of your printed booklets influences how much paper is required and therefore heavily influences the cost of printing booklets.
Depending on how large or small your booklets will be, it will determine how many press sheets your project will need.
Generally speaking, the larger each individual booklet ends up being, the more paper or press sheets it will require, which will result in higher costs to print your booklets.
Sticking with smaller sizes like 5.5” x 8.5” or 6” x 9” booklets is the most economical choice when printing your project. It’s also important to note that depending on how much information and details you need to include within your booklet, it may need more room so that your booklet design doesn’t come across as cramped and overwhelming. If this is the case, adding a few more pages will typically be cheaper than increasing the size of your booklet depending on how many extra pages you will need.
For example, if you were looking to print 500 8-page 8.5” x 11” booklets, it would cost you around $100 more to add 4 more pages while if you were to increase the size to 9” x 12” it would cost you around $200 more.
If your booklet must be larger, the price will increase, so if you’re trying to save money on larger pieces, selecting a different paper type, page count, or quantity will help you get closer to the price to print booklets you’re looking for.
Page Count for Your Booklets
The cost of printing booklets will also be determined by the number of pages each booklet will have.
Page count ultimately influences how much paper and ink your booklets use and the more paper and ink used, the higher the price will be.
For example, if you were looking to print 100 6” x 9” books, and decided that 16 pages was not enough, the price would jump to around $40 more to add just 4 more pages.
At Conquest Graphics, we offer booklets between 8 and 96 pages, so there is a wide range of possibilities for lengths of booklets that you can print. If you want to print longer or shorter booklets, you can easily contact one of our customer service team members via email or phone at (800) 707-9903.
Similar to the influence the page count has on the final cost to print booklets, is binding, which we will go into more detail about below.
Booklet Binding Options and Their Influence on Price
There are several booklet binding options to choose from and each method will impact the final booklet printing costs differently.
The cheapest and most common binding method is saddle stitching. Saddle-stitched booklets are created when pages are laid on top of each other and then folded in nested order. Staples are then punctured or stitched on the “spine” of the folded booklet pages. Saddle stitching is not only the cheapest method for printing booklets, but it is also the cheapest when it comes to mailing your booklets.
Perfect binding is the more expensive booklet binding option. This method uses glue to bind the inside pages to the spine of the booklet cover creating a flat or squared-off spine which you can print details on.
There are 2 other book binding options to choose from including spiral binding and wire-o binding.
Spiral binding uses a plastic spring like coil that is weaved through uniformly placed holes on the edge of stacked booklet pages. For wire-o binding, the booklet pages and punched out holes along the spine are set up like spiral binding. However, instead of a plastic coil, it uses a metal c-shaped comb that is placed into the hole openings and then clamped shut. Because of the extra materials used and time spent to create spiral and wire-o bound booklets, it is more expensive compared to saddle stitching.
So, to get the lowest price possible for your booklets, it’s advised to stick with saddle stitching. However, if you’re interested in the benefits of the other binding methods listed above, feel free to contact us by email or phone at (800) 707-9903.
Mailing Your Booklets
Including your booklets in a direct mail campaign can result in amazing revenue. However, you will need to consider the cost of mailing your booklets.
The first factor that will influence the price is the postage costs. For example, if you were to mail your booklets using Standard Mail, the postage rates will be much cheaper than if you were to mail using First-Class Mail. But First-Class Mail will be delivered the fastest and is still cheaper than single-piece postage rates.
Another thing to consider is your mailing list. Typically, if you’re looking to mail to a list of addresses you already have, then you wouldn’t need to factor in any mailing list costs. However, if you are looking to target a new audience and need to purchase a list, then you need to factor in the mailing list costs which could cost anywhere from $0.05-$0.35 per address.
You also need to choose whether you will mail your booklets out yourself or have your printer mail them out for you. In most cases, most printers, like Conquest Graphics, will not charge you any more than the postage would cost you already.
However, by having your printer mail them out for you, your booklets will arrive faster since they will be mailed as soon as they are printed, and it will save you time and money by not having to figure out the best way to mail your booklets.
Not all commercial printers offer mailing services since they don’t all have their own mail centers like Conquest Graphics. So, be sure to ask before placing your booklet order if they will be able to mail your booklets to a list of your choosing.
If you’d like to mail with Conquest Graphics, all you need to worry about is uploading your mailing list on time and we’ll be sure to mail your booklets as soon as you need them to mail. For more information on mailing your booklets, check out our mailing services page, and feel free to contact our mailing experts by calling (800) 707-9903 at any time for further questions or for help getting started on your direct mail booklet project.
The cost to print booklets will be determined by all factors listed above including the quantity, paper, turnaround time, ink, coating, size, page count, binding method, and mailing of your booklets.
Custom booklets require slightly longer turnaround times since they require more steps during the printing process including folding, binding, etc. So, it’s important that when preparing your booklets for printing, you plan ahead so you don’t need to pay more by placing a rush order.
Depending on the varying specifications listed above, when it comes to the cost of printing booklets, it could cost you anywhere from $50 to $10,000 and beyond, or anywhere from $30 dollars per booklet to $0.15 per booklet depending on your quantity. Additional shipping costs can slightly increase the cost, but in the end, the best way to save on your booklet printing project is to follow the tips outlined above. Choosing a commercial printer who can print and mail your booklets will also save you money in the long run. They’ll even be able to work with you on ways to bring your booklet printing costs down to meet your exact budget.