My Job in 5: Lucy Melville, Publishing Director / Managing Director for Peter Lang UK

My Job in 5: Lucy Melville, Publishing Director / Managing Director for Peter Lang UK

Describe your role.

I am the publishing director/managing director for Peter Lang in the UK and Ireland. We are part of the Swiss academic publisher of the same name, an international outfit with offices in five countries. We went through a successful management buyout this year, so these are exciting times. We publish in the humanities and social sciences in all formats, including a new Open Access programme for monographs.

What do you like best about your role?

It is very broad and encompasses strategy, operational and directorial responsibilities, as well as managing the team in the UK and Ireland. I also enjoy the fact that I still get to actively commission in several humanities and social science areas. There is a strong international element to the job too, involving travel and liaison with my colleagues in the other offices.

Which new projects are you working on?

We are currently rolling out a new end-to-end software solution across the Peter Lang Group, and I am heading that up for the UK, Irish and Belgian teams. We are in the training and early testing phase, and it will mean a streamlined platform for the whole group to work on from 2016.

Which international markets are providing growth for you?

I undertook a tour of several Chinese cities 10 months ago, and delivered lectures at universities there. This is a strong growth area for us, as is the Middle East and North Africa region and new markets in Latin America. We will be attending the Guadalajara book fair for the first time this year. We have exciting plans for growth in the UK and Ireland, too.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

Be clear about what you are looking for, and which skills and potential you can bring. Tailor your applications to the company, and be clear on the sector that you are hoping to work in. I get too many speculative applications from people who just haven’t done their research, and do not really know what academic publishing is about.

Follow us #myjobin5. Questions by Maria Vassilopoulos. If you are working in the industry and would like to appear in this column, please email