If your search for paper dolls from the Byzantine era has been a bust, try Dover Publications. The company publishes more than 9,000 titles (including a wide variety of paper dolls) in about 30 special interest categories such as philosophy, art, and history. It also produces related items such as children's activity books, music scores, and clip art. Dover sells its products to bookstores and mass merchandisers, as well as specialty retailers such as gift and craft stores. In addition, the company sells books directly to customers through catalogs and its retail Web site. Now owned by book manufacturer Courier Corporation, Dover Publications was originally founded in 1941 by Hayward and Blanche Cirker.
In 2008 the company suffered as a result of the economic recession causing an overall decrease in consumer spending; all total sales were down some 10% for the year. Despite this setback, Dover released the first titles in its new Calla Editions line, a premium series of hardcover reproductions. Also in 2008 it launched a new crafts line, Dover DesignWorks.
Dover mails its proprietary catalogs to nearly 400,000 consumers and sends more than 100 million e-mails a year to electing customers.