Sad News from IngramSpark

A Sad Day for Children’s Book Authors

For years, picture book authors turned to IngramSpark for their saddle stitch binding. In a recent announcement, the company stated they would no longer offer the service.

On March 1, 2021, Ingram will no longer offer the saddle stitch format as the software and equipment required to print this product have become obsolete.

Saddle Stitch Explained

Chapter books, novels, and basically any book with 44 pages or more typically uses perfect binding. This involves glue holding the pages and cover together as one cohesive unit.

Saddle stitch binding, on the other hand, uses staples. Because of this, the pages can be spread open flat, allowing youngsters to have a full view of the illustrations on any given spread. 

Though we are heartbroken that Ingram will no longer provide saddle stitch binding, the company insists there is benefit to the move. According to Ingram, “Perfect bound books have an 18-page minimum, a spine, and also offer more interior color options at similar or less expensive print costs than saddle stitch.”

So for authors, the possibility of making more profit per book is nice, but for saddle stitch fans, the price was well worth it.

The Impact of the Loss

Authors who want to maintain a title’s distribution through Ingram must update the binding type and files before February 28, 2021. Otherwise, the title will no longer be printed or distributed.

What does this mean for Argyle Fox Publishing? Well, we’ve always been careful when designing picture books. You never want vital elements in the gutter of a page. With the swap to perfect-only binding, that just means we’ll have to be a little bit more careful when working on picture books.