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Posted on Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

Dexter book manufacturer Thomson-Shore reinvents itself to thrive

By Sven Gustafson

Huge upheavals in technology, the way publishers order books and revenues sparked big changes at Dexter-based Thomson-Shore that have put the book manufacturer on much more solid ground, the Detroit Free Press reports in a Sunday story.

Thomson-Shore has spent $14 million to install a digital print center and make other digital upgrades to capitalize on the shift to print-on-demand orders and the transition to e-readers. It also has enhanced offerings in short- and medium-size print runs, its bread and butter.

The company has also had to adapt its business model, taking on nearly 1,500 jobs each month compared to 400 to 500 years ago to maintain similar revenue.

Thomson-Shore in 2010 acquired book bindery Bessenberg Binding of Ann Arbor, and last month it announced a deal with U.K.-based publisher Bloomsbury Publishing Plc to be its preferred U.S. book manufacturer.

Today, annual revenues of around $35.5 million are nearly what they were before the recession in 2008, while staffing — at nearly 200 employees — is still below what it was but is steadily growing.

Thomson-Shore has also emerged as a favorite book manufacturer among publishers. It printed Volume 1 of Mark Twain's autobiography as well as "A Hologram for the King," the latest novel by acclaimed author Dave Eggers, the founder of McSweeney's publishing house.

"Their attention to detail is off the charts it's so good," Eggers told the Freep. "I've been to a lot of printing plants, and we've never worked with a better printer than Thomson-Shore."

For more, read the Free Press story.


Seasoned Cit

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

Another example of high quality printing done by an Ann Arbor Area Printer. All of the local printers make up a very important part of the local economy. There are few places in the country that can match what occurs locally in the printing business.