Books as Sport

December 6th, 2010

We had our first basketball game of the season last night. Thomson-Shore has played in the local Ann Arbor league for years and although we play with all our heart, we often come up short on the score board. Everyone loves to win but to be honest we have a blast even when we loose. For me I take great enjoyment in playing a sport with the same people I work with day in and day out to get books done. We have press operators, sales people, accountants, and CSR’s on the team, all working together. Often we are faced with similar challenges at work as in a sports game; we are blessed to have customers who challenge us to complete their beautiful books faster than ever before. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort and some tricks but we get it done and we love every second just like we do on the Basket Ball court (regardless of the score).

What is a bookophile?

November 29th, 2010

We really are blessed to work in the book publishing industry. The people in this industry and to be specific in the book segment of printing and publishing are such fun. We work with amazing authors and publishers who are always so sincere and pleasant. We have the benefit of working with personalities so diverse but also connected by an amazing culture of bookophiles. At Thomson-Shore we absolutely love when our customers come to visit; whether it is for a press inspection, proof review, pick up a job, or just to stop in and say “hi”. Believe me, I have worked in education, finance, and other segments of printing and “books is where it’s at” for interesting, quirky and wonderfully intelligent people.

Rally to Restore Book Industry Sanity

November 10th, 2010

Thank God the elections are over and let’s pray that our leaders play well in the sandbox for the next couple years. In the meantime we will continue to make the best books we can. I recently attended a conference in which the pundits were describing the near-term reality of an e-book world. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it and I refuse to cower in a fetal position worrying about the potential impact. We will embrace e-books, develop the appropriate infrastructure for our customers to support e-books and recognize that they are a growing segment of our industry. We will however continue to invest in the good ol’ physical book. An example of our commitment is our recent change in UV ink to a higher quality, even and consistent covering ink. Believe it or not, we are spending more for this ink but the result is beautiful and we think our customers want the best.

Win! Bookless Library No More!

October 1st, 2010

I was delighted last night when I received an email from our local public school, who not 1-year ago was touting their “bookless” library. A year ago I was wringing my hands in despair at the thought of a bookless library. So when their email arrived yesterday asking for book donations I took a moment to enjoy the continued success of the good ‘ol printed book. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the merits of e-research in our nation’s libraries but as I have said in past Blog’s… “p” and “e” can live together in harmony. For the moment I am taking a box of books to our recently converted “bookless” library.

Print Making a Comeback?

September 15th, 2010

Is it just me or are you hearing people talk about print in a new way? I had to laugh to myself over the weekend when I was at a dinner party and overheard two “super hip” Marketing Managers talk about print as if it were the new “killer app”!

“Print is coming back in a big way…” they said. “People actually look at it versus the email from lands far away which promises to cure all of our business woes with 1-click of the button.”

I’m sure this is a not strong indicator of a return to the printing world of 1989 but could it be that the new generation of marketing professionals is getting more comfortable with the blend of new technology and old school print to hit their audience with the right message?

The e-book and the p-book, living in harmony.

September 3rd, 2010

Did you see this in Newsweek back in early August?

I absolutely love the message in this summary comparison. We are all seeing more and more e-readers in public but seems my local bookstores are as jammed as they always have been with people buying good old “p-books”. These methods to read are certainly not exclusive and in time will live in harmony. Most importantly, what are we all doing as individual companies to prepare for this new world of reading consumers? Is .XML the new .pdf? Remember when barley anyone knew what .pdf even meant? It took years for it to take a hold in page submission and prepress. Could we merely be repeating history… I think maybe we are….

Paper is paper is paper . . . or is it?

August 16th, 2010

Not long ago I walked into my neighborhood Borders to look for a new title about a young man who chronicled a life on the Great Lakes. I was really interested in this book and I wanted the case bound book so I could enjoy the read and then… place it on my shelf for future glances at the spine to remember the enjoyment of the content contained therein. I found the source of my search but was so disappointed in the book that I put it back on the shelf. The paper was essentially parchment (not by design) and there was no case bound book ever produced. The soft cover had glue squirts throughout and wasn’t close to being square. Sometimes I think we are hurting ourselves when we minimize the visual and tactile feel of a book especially by choosing the lowest cost papers to carry our stories to all the readers out there waiting to tear into them.

Google Books

August 10th, 2010

Google Books is such an interesting development. When I talk to colleagues or publishing partners about Google Books, my sense is that few of us really have an understanding for the significance of this program. Sergey Brin, co-founder & president of technology at Google recently said “We love books at Google, and our fondest dream is that Book Search will evolve into a service that ensures that books, along with their authors and publishers, will flourish for many years into the future”

To imagine the vast amounts of book content which will be available at the tip of your finger is inspiring. By 2008 Google had over 7 million books in the program. Current figures show that Google would have well over 12million in the program today. Is this a Monopoly in the making or just the newest form of a dynamic Dewey Decimal system? I suspect a little of both but clearly it will have a historic impact to our industry which we cannot fully comprehend today. Threat or Opportunity …