My Job In 5: Susan Pacitti, Publishing, Commissioning and Licensing Manager

My Job In 5: Susan Pacitti, Publishing, Commissioning and Licensing Manager

Describe your role

I manage the publishing and image licensing programmes for Glasgow Museums. In addition to working on collection and exhibition catalogues, guidebooks and learning materials, the editorial team also work on the text for exhibitions across our nine museums and galleries. In a nutshell, anything containing words comes across our desks! In my licensing role, I’m focusing on our recently launched Photo Library website and how we can develop our image licensing programme, and I advise colleagues on copyright.

What do you like best about your role?

There is never a dull day, and I get to work across so many different projects and museums. Our curators’ breadth of knowledge is inspiring and I learn something new nearly every day—I think that’s one of the best things about working in museum publishing.

Which great new titles are you working on at the moment?

Our collections are world-class but often not that well known, so we’re increasing awareness by working on a series of collection catalogues. We are working on a catalogue of Sir William Burrell’s (one of Glasgow’s great benefactors) tapestries, and on a catalogue of our ship models.

Has self-publishing made commissioning more challenging?

We’re lucky in that most of our authors are our own curators, or other experts who are researching our collections, so this hasn’t really affected us.

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

Keep networking, follow up every contact you make, remember that there are many different types of publisher out there, and be prepared to move. I’ve worked in learned and professional publishing all my career, and though I’ve sometimes wondered what it’s like in the perhaps more glamorous world of fiction, I’ve had a fascinating time and so many opportunities and experiences I don’t think I would have had elsewhere.