Search the best UK Job vacancies online at Redgoldfish® Jobs
 

Bookseller Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Bookseller. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Bookseller
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Bookseller Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

Click here to View all the latest Bookseller jobs online today

 

We feature many Bookseller Jobs live online at this site and these posts are updated daily. Please book mark this page and return here on a regular basis or register with our site for Jobs by email so that you don't miss out on the latest work opportunities.

Working Duties Expected

Booksellers may work for a small independent bookshop, a shop that specialises in a certain area such as secondhand books or children's books, or one of the big high street chains. Tasks and responsibilities are likely to include:

• Serving customers: as well as operating a till and dealing with various methods of payment, booksellers may give advice and order books.
• Stock control: stock levels need to be closely monitored as ordering too many books can be as harmful to a business as not having enough. Booksellers normally check stocks using a computerised system.

Buying: they need to buy books by assessing what their customers are likely to want. They will also need to read catalogues, evaluate new books and meet with publishers' representatives.

A full-time bookseller normally works a 37 or 38-hour week, typically from 9am to 5pm, often including Saturdays. Larger chains of bookshops will often be spacious and modern, while independent shops may be much smaller.

A bookseller should:

• be able to talk knowledgeably and enthusiastically about books
• be able to listen to and advise customers
• have some selling skills.

Bookselling is a very popular career and about 16,000 people are employed in the profession.

There are no set academic requirements for working as a bookseller, but about 80 per cent are graduates. Some experience of working in either a bookshop or another retail environment is an advantage. A number of institutions offer courses in retailing, which may include learning about specialist retailing such as bookselling.

There are no age limits for work in bookselling, and many employers prefer to recruit older people because of their broader experience and maturity.

Most training is carried out while working, and trainees are likely to receive instruction from experienced colleagues. Some of the larger stores run more formal training programmes, including induction and management courses.

Larger bookstore chains may offer management opportunities. Fewer promotion opportunities exist if they choose to work in a small, independent bookshop.

Self-employment as the owner/manager of an independent bookshop is possible.

What does the role encounter?

Bookselling is a form of retail, and involves selling books to members of the public, often helping them find a particular book and giving advice.

Booksellers may work for a small independent bookshop, a shop that specialises in a certain area such as secondhand books or children's books, or one of the big high street chains. Tasks and responsibilities are likely to include:

Serving customers: as well as operating a till and dealing with various methods of payment, booksellers may give advice and order books. This may involve using computers and trade directories to find out whether or not a particular book is still in print.

Stock control: stock levels need to be closely monitored as ordering too many books can be as harmful to a business as not having enough. Booksellers normally check stocks using a computerised system. They need to order stock at the right time and check stock when it arrives.

Buying: they need to buy books by assessing what their customers are likely to want. For example, in academic bookshops they need to liaise with teaching staff from local schools and colleges to find out which textbooks certain courses require, before placing orders with wholesalers and publishers. They will also need to read catalogues, evaluate new books and meet with publishers' representatives, whose aim is to sell they their companies' books.

Administration: this may involve some accounting, distributing orders, arranging deliveries and dealing with any returns.

Displaying: booksellers help with unpacking and shelving books as they arrive, as well as creating in-store and window displays.

In some larger stores, they may also be expected to help organise book signings and special readings by authors.

The work varies among the different kinds of bookselling and bookshops. For example, in the antiquarian, secondhand, rare and collectable book trade, booksellers need to judge what they think is the right price for the book they are buying or selling, based on factors such as how rare it is and its condition. Also, they are more likely to work from home and make more use of the internet to buy and sell books.

If they work for a specialist subject bookshop in an area such as travel, education, religion, transport, foreign languages, art or children's books, they will be expected to give more detailed information and advice about particular books, so specialist knowledge may be required before entering the work.

What type of hours will I have to work?

A full-time bookseller normally works a 37 or 38-hour week, typically from 9am to 5pm, often including Saturdays. Many bookshops now open for longer hours, so Sunday and evening work is likely. Part-time work may be available, particularly before Christmas.

Larger chains of bookshops will often be spacious and modern, while independent shops may be much smaller. They may also work from home as a bookseller or bookdealer.

The work can be physically demanding and involves lifting heavy books and spending most of the day on their feet.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

Their starting salary will be between £8,000 and £10,000.
With experience they may earn around £10,000 to £12,000.
Their maximum salary is likely to be around £30,000.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• be able to talk knowledgeably and enthusiastically about books
• be able to listen to and advise customers
• have some selling skills
• be able to exercise tact and patience when dealing with customers
• be confident using computers and databases
• have energy and initiative
• have the ability to work unsupervised or as part of a team
• have good planning and organisational skills
• be able to manage time effectively and work under pressure.

What type of training will I receive?

Most training is carried out while working, and trainees are likely to receive instruction from experienced colleagues. Some of the larger stores run more formal training programmes, including induction and management courses.

Career Progression:

Larger bookstore chains may offer management opportunities. It is possible to start as a sales assistant and be managing a branch within three years. In some stores, booksellers could be head of their own department, section or floor within the bookshop, and be responsible for their own sales and stock.

Large chains may also give them the chance to move into other areas of the book trade, such as book marketing.

Fewer promotion opportunities exist if they choose to work in a small, independent bookshop.

Self-employment as the owner/manager of an independent bookshop is possible, although this requires both capital and considerable experience of books. Normally, such a move involves antiquarian, secondhand or specialist books.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Archivist
Editor: Publishing
Librarian
Library Assistant
Sales Assistant
Sales Representative
Store Manager
Technical Author.

Where can I find further information?

Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited, Minster House, 272-274 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1BA. 020 7802 0802. Website: www.booksellers.org.uk.

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

The Bookseller and Publishing News.


Other Useful Bookseller Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Bookseller job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Bookseller Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

Return to job profile listing

 
Register your CV