Last night a whole load of us from emc design went along to celebrate a year of BookMachine events in Oxford. It was a great evening with lots of new and interesting people coming along, as well as some familiar faces.

Tim Oliver (Macmillan Education) gave an insightful talk into running a Digital Publishing Unit. The key theme from his talk is that Digital Units can no longer be stand-alone departments. Every department at a Publishers is going to be, and needs to be, digital. And, digital products need to be fully integrated in all publishing lists and programmes.

It is particularly important that educational publishers’ digital components sit along side the printed ones. Historically (and even today) publishers have given away the digital component in the back of a printed book. So there still needs to be a change in the perception of what digital means for the educational end user. And putting the end user at the heart of any product development is paramount.

The need for more collaboration between departments is clear. Everyone needs to keep skilling up and bringing in new people to match any skills shortages in-house. And Publishers need to find trustworthy, reliable and skilled out-of-house services to bolster their resources.

If you couldn’t come along to BookMachine this time look out for more events from September onwards.