Book Factory Tour

Wondering how Thomson-Shore puts your best book forward?

Are you ready to take the book factory tour? We can’t wait to show you around the place.

We’re working on a video tour, so we can really show you what happens when you choose to make a book with Thomson-Shore. In the meantime, here is a brief overview of the steps that we take to help you put your best book forward.


Step 1 – Sales: It starts with the decision to work together.sales team photo

When you call Thomson-Shore, you’ll talk with an experienced sales representative who knows how to ask the right questions, listen intently, and prescribe the most appropriate solutions to meet your specific needs.

If you’re wondering about “green” options for printing your book, your sales person will talk with you about our recycled papers and environmentally-friendly inks. If this is your first time printing a book, your sales person will help you understand the steps involved in the manufacturing process. He or she will also send you paper and cover samples, so you can envision how your new book will actually look and feel. Once you’re ready, your sales person will send you a price quote.

If you’d like to find your regional sales person, click here to view our interactive map. We’re looking forward to talking with you about your next book.

Step 2 – Customer Care: Planning makes perfect.customer care photo

Once your project arrives at Thomson-Shore, the Customer Care Team takes charge. A Customer Care Representative will be your main contact. He or she will share your ideas with others on the team including production planners and prepress specialists to ensure your book is properly planned, created, and delivered. Once the team has determined the exact specifications for your book, you will receive a letter confirming the project’s details, price and schedule.

A side note - You may find “Customer Care Representative” a rather sentimental title, but we think it’s fitting because these people work with the same customers over the years to produce many different books, and it’s not uncommon that they form long term friendships with our customers. In fact when you visit their offices, you’ll often see photos of customers with their kids and grandkids.

Step 3 – Electronic Prepress: Our experts prepare your book for print.prepress photo

As soon as we receive the contents of your book, our electronic prepress team begins to work its magic. It’s most efficient if you or your typesetter sends us a PDF file. We can also work with files from InDesign, Quark, Photoshop, and many other Mac and PC applications. If your book contains illustrations or photographs, we have the equipment and the talent necessary to ensure that they are accurately reproduced. Should you have questions about file preparation, just give us a call; we want to make the process easy for you.

Once your book’s pages are digitized, we’ll send them to an infrared laser digital plate setter which produces images of the pages on large aluminum printing plates. When your book is printed, these aluminum plates serve as the templates for the pages.

Step 4 – Manufacturing: Start the presses!book manufacturing photo

We are almost as proud of our presses as we are of our people. Like BMW automobiles and Leica cameras, our Heidelberg printing presses are unsurpassed in precision, quality, and efficiency. Roughly the size of a school bus, the perfecting press alone can print more than 13,000 sheets per hour!

Depending on your print specifications, we may choose to use the Timsons web press or our German-made KBA presses. Whatever your needs, you can count on us to choose the best equipment and technologies to produce the best possible book.

Once pages are printed and folded, the bindery department takes over. Thomson-Shore offers two main binding options: perfect binding, also known as paperback, and case binding, sometimes called hardbound. For libraries, case-bound books are the ideal choice.

Step 5 – Shipping: Handle with care (and make sure my books get here in time!) book shipping photo

Once your books are printed, bound and ready for readers, it’s important that they’re shipped on time. Since doing business with freight carriers to transport your finished books can be confusing and expensive, your Customer Care Representative will be there to help you make the best decisions.

Thomson-Shore has established pricing agreements with national LTL carriers to make sure our customers get highly competitive freight rates. If you’ve already chosen your carrier, just let us know. Otherwise, your Customer Care Representative can help you choose the best carrier to deliver your books.

We would like your shipping experience to be as straightforward and easy as possible. If you have any questions regarding shipping, please contact your Customer Care Representative.


If you'd like an actual tour of our facility, please contact us to arrange one.