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Posted on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 8:30 a.m.

Dexter's Thomson-Shore book manufacturer scores win with Mark Twain autobiography

By Paula Gardner

Thomson-Shore Inc. specializes in short-run printing jobs, so taking on a job that called for 1,500 copies of The Autobiography of Mark Twain Vol. 1 sounded like a natural for the company.

But that initial order climbed to more than 250,000 copies of the book, and the company is projecting it will produce about a half-million by the end of the contract, according to an article in Crain's Detroit Business.

The popularity of the book - it's number 3 on the New York Times best seller list - means the staff at Thomson-Shore are working overtime to keep up with demand and its other business, the Crain's article says.

The news about Thomson-Shore's success comes after Ann Arbor-based Edwards Brothers Inc. received tax abatements from Ann Arbor to invest $5.48 million in upgrades to its book manufacturing facility.



Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 1:42 p.m.

Thomson-Shore's good fortune with this publishing project is well worthy of note, and it will undoubtedly benefit the business and their employees. Yet I'm even more heartened by the strong, continued interest in Twain exactly a century after his passing. This makes one feel a bit more hopeful. One might say that Mark Twain was the George Carlin of the late 19th and very early 20th centuries. The former was primarily a very, very good writer, while the latter relied more on finely-honed live performances to express acerbic satire, although Twain also did speaking engagements and Carlin penned a few successful humor books. Both were at or near the top of their field at what they did best. Their content, often based on social themes, grew less moderate and more radical in message and tone as they grew older. Also, their dates of birth and death were close to one hundred years apart. When Carlin died, he had just been announced as the 2008 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.


Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 12:29 p.m.

It's a great story for T-S. When I was a journal editor and later on, involved with book publishing, the people at Thompson-Shore were very approachable and used to dealing people needing only 500 copies, in contrast to some other printers that only wanted your business if the run was 1K or more.