In possibly the largest custom publishing deal ever, all 400,000 active IBM employees, in countries ranging from Ghana and Qatar to Tanzania, will receive a commemorative book to mark the computer giant's 100th anniversary.

IBM is marking its Centennial with the release of Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company (IBM Press/Pearson), written by Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm and Jeffrey M. O’Brien. The book chronicles the ways the world has changed over a century in technology, business and the way progress happens, and the role IBM has played in these changes.

IBM paid for the printing of all books given to employees, but the book is published by Pearson under their standard publishing agreement and Pearson is handling sales and marketing to the book trade worldwide. IBM and Pearson already have a long-standing publishing relationship through the IBM Press imprint.

More than 500,000 copies will be printed in eight languages and Pearson plans to sell the book through bookstores and other outlets. The book is 350 pages and priced at $29.99. It will also be available as an e-book.