Courier Improves Creative Homeowner and Dover Publications' Workflows with WebNative System

Founded in 1824, Courier Corporation is the nation’s third-largest book manufacturer and provides a full range of book production, manufacturing and distribution services to publishers.


Mitchell Turner
Manager of Publishing Production Systems


Starting in 2000, Courier expanded its business with the acquisition of several specialized publishers. Courier’s Dover Publications publishes more than 9,000 titles ranging from works by Nobel-Prize-winning authors to arts, crafts, history and children’s titles. Research & Education Association (REA) publishes well-regarded test preparation and study guide titles. Creative Homeowner, the third publisher in the Courier family, publishes some of the most sought-after home design, remodeling, landscaping, and gardening books in the United States. When Courier brought prepress services in-house they decided to install the Xinet® digital asset management (DAM) system in order to enable Dover and Creative Homeowner to better track and manage their vast quantity of assets.

Before installing the WebNative® system, it was difficult to search for and find files, especially once they were archived. For files archived to tape or CD, log files needed to be reviewed to find an image. With no visual search method, the wrong image file was often pulled. With the WebNative solution, documents can be viewed along with the names of all images linked to them; any job can be pulled from the archives and placed on the server within minutes.

“One of the key benefits in using Xinet products is the improvement in our process for finding an image. In the past, it would have taken hours or even days to search for an image, but now we can typically find an image and restore that image, even if it’s on tape, in minutes,” said Mitchell Turner, manager of publishing production systems at Courier. “Instead of having to acquire new images, we’re saving money because we’re able to repurpose images that we otherwise might not have realized we had in our library.”

Creative Homeowner uses WebNative Venture® to set up metadata fields that make searching for images faster and to easily determine which images can or cannot be re-used. All the images are stored on the WebNative server and tagged with XMP metadata so images can be found using key words or numbers. For example, Creative Homeowner created a field that contains the last four digits of a

“Instead of having to acquire new images, we’re saving money because we’re able to repurpose images that we otherwise might not have realized we had in our library.” Mitchell Turner, Manager of Publishing Production Systems
book’s ISBN, which is the unique code that identifies that particular book; each new edition is given a new ISBN. With this system in place, any image that was used in a particular edition of a book can be found using the ISBN.

Now that Courier has WebNative, their goal is to implement a complete soft proofing solution for their publishing houses. In the past, Courier would output proofs, send them through an approval process, and then ship them to the various Courier printing plants. This cost the company shipping charges from sending the proofs and disks back and forth. With WebNative, Courier has drastically cut down on expenses by being able to upload and download files directly to and from each location.

Courier has been pleased with how WebNative has improved their current workflow. They are benefiting from a more efficient system that saves time and eliminates errors.

Turner also appreciates WebNative’s transparency. “I’ve worked with other solutions and the thing I really love about the WebNative system is the fact that it’s so transparent; you have this powerful database that underlies the system but you don’t ever really see it. With a lot of the other systems, you’re very aware that you are dealing with a database because it doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s on the server, but that’s not the case with WebNative. It mirrors our existing server in real time–the files are ingested into the system, they’re copied onto the server and everyone can see them immediately. That’s just awesome.”