Bookseller Job Description

A Bookseller Is Involved In The Retail Of Books And Associated Products. They Combine A Strong Customer Focus With A Sound Knowledge Of Their Stock And Of The Wider Book Market In Order To Help Customers Locate Particular Books And To Offer Information And Advice About Different Books Available. Other Duties May Include Ordering And Displaying Stock And Working With Publishing Companies And Representatives.

Booksellers May Work In Specialist Book Retailers Or In Retailers Where Books Form Only Part Of The Stock. They Can Work For Large Retailers Or Small Independent Bookshops, And May Specialise In A Particular Kind Of Bookselling, Such As Children's Or Antiquarian Books.

Bookseller Duties/Functions/Responsibilities

  • dealing with mail order, email and web-based orders - although this applies only in certain businesses;
  • handling payments by cash, credit card and using book tokens - in many shops this will require the use of electronic point of sale (EPOS) technology;
  • stock-checking books and, depending on the shop, other merchandise;
  • creating in-store and window displays;
  • maintaining commercial awareness including identifying business and promotional opportunities;
  • serving a range of customers;
  • maintaining up-to-date knowledge of current titles and changes in the market;
  • undertaking bibliographic work using computer or print sources to identify and locate titles;
  • processing customer orders and book reservations;
  • helping with book events, including organising talks, signing sessions and reading groups;
  • liaising with teaching and library staff on set texts in academic shops;
  • liaising with other external account holders, for example schools, councils and companies;
  • reviewing sales performance and meeting sales targets;
  • undertaking general housekeeping duties, such as unpacking, stock replenishment and tidying.
  • dealing with enquiries and identifying customer needs;
  • offering advice and recommending books, where appropriate;
  • buying from catalogues and publishers' representatives - although the extent to which bookselling staff are involved in buying stock varies a great deal from shop to shop;
  • negotiating prices with sellers;
  • paying and processing invoices;
  • processing book deliveries and returns;

With increased responsibility, the role becomes more operations and business-orientated. For those at higher levels, the work also involves dealing with staffing and training, budget setting and reporting sales and budget figures.

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