Bookseller

Alternative titles for this job include

Booksellers buy books from publishers or wholesalers and sell them on to customers.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a bookseller

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

University

You may have an advantage when looking for work if you've completed a qualification at university, like a higher national diploma or a degree. Employers will accept any subject, although some may prefer English, humanities or the arts.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You can learn some of the skills you need for this job by doing a:

  • Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Retail Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Sales Professional

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a retailer intermediate apprenticeship or a retail team leader advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs. You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. Retail, customer service or publishing experience will also be helpful.

You'll need a broad range of reading interests and an enthusiasm for books.

You may need a particular qualification or understanding of a certain book type for some specialist bookshops. For example, an in-depth knowledge of comic art for a shop that sells graphic novels, or a background in classic literature for rare book sales.

More Information

Career tips

You'll need sound business skills and a good grasp of the publishing and bookselling industry, if you're looking to open your own bookshop.

Further information

You can find more advice about bookselling and setting up your own business through the Booksellers Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You might:

  • serve customers and take payments
  • give advice and answer enquiries
  • review books for in-store reviews or book clubs
  • organise in-store promotional events
  • monitor stock levels
  • work with publishing companies and order new stock
  • complete admin tasks like accounting, order distribution, arranging deliveries and returns

Working environment

You could work at a store.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With financial backing and a lot of experience, you could open your own bookshop.

You could work for a publishing house and sell books to retailers.

You could also work from home as a book dealer, or set up an online bookshop.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Retail Sales Assistant

  • Wage: £180.00 Weekly
  • Location: Abingdon

Courses In England

LEVEL 1 NCFE CUSTOMER SERVICE

  • Provider: LUMINATE EDUCATION GROUP
  • Start date: 12 September 2022
  • Location: Leeds

Customer Service Skills

  • Provider: WORKPAYS LIMITED
  • Start date: 12 January 2022
  • Location: DERBY

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