Bookshop Manager (full-time, permanent)

An opportunity for a driven, enthusiastic book-lover and experienced shopkeeper to run all aspects of Golden Hare Books, voted Independent Bookshop of the Year 2019 (UK and Ireland). The successful candidate will be responsible for all aspects of the business, from choosing and ordering books, to maintaining an exciting events programme, to financial administration and managing staff. They will also demonstrate a broad passion for reading and exemplary communication skills required for interacting with a wide variety of people, from visitors to the city to regular customers, from booksellers to industry professionals. This is a challenging and creative post, requiring a high level of organisation, flexibility and responsibility. It is a great opportunity to become immersed in Edinburgh’s thriving bookshop scene and as well as a demanding role is infinitely rewarding.

Job description

This role encapsulates all aspects of the bookshop, which must be looked after with diligence and consideration, in co-ordination with the Director of the business and the Assistant Manager. The successful applicant will be the lead bookseller and main point of contact for customers, publishers and staff. The role is five days per week but flexibility around working hours is key. There will be opportunities to attend conferences on bookselling, publisher showcases and other industry events, and to execute new ideas so Golden Hare continues to be an important part of Scotland’s literary scene.

Key responsibilities:

  • Keeping the bookshop well-stocked and curated, meeting with publisher sales reps and processing orders through them and wholesalers. Processing stock orders and returns.
  • Maintaining excellent customer service standards, including serving customers in the shop, taking customer orders in person, email and phone, processing online orders, subscriptions and communicating with members, keeping safe and secure records for subscription service and membership. 
  • Being responsible for all staff including training, rota, payroll, contracts, holidays and all other aspects of people management in the workplace.
  • Planning and executing a vibrant programme of events, from pitching to publishers and co-ordinating with publicists, authors, venues. Some evening work required.
  • Managing the social media profiles for the bookshop as well as creating engaging newsletters containing news about the bookshop and events.
  • Maintaining the bookshop website, making sure it is always updated and operational.
  • Keeping an accurate database of books currently in stock using bookshop-specific software Bertline, doing regular stock takes and making sure this reflects accurately the stock in-store.
  • Cash reconciliation and financial administration including managing cash flow, processing invoices in a timely fashion, corresponding with accounts departments with publishers and suppliers, and using online banking to manage the shop’s finances.
  • Working with third-party accountant to prepare quarterly VAT and annual business accounts using Xero, in co-ordination with the Assistant Manager and Director.
  • Keeping on top of all utilities including electricity, broadband and security as well as Booksellers Association membership, music licenses and insurance among others.
  • Making sure the bookshop is always clean, tidy and safe for staff and customers; co-ordinating the repair or replacement of any equipment.

Person specification (essential)

  • To be a lifelong and varied reader of books, with an interest and eye for book design
  • At least 2 years’ experience of working with books
  • At least 2 years’ experience in a customer-facing role (retail preferred)
  • Demonstrable knowledge of literary culture and the book market
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively both verbal and written
  • The ability to work well alone while communicating with small team of staff about priorities, tasks and responsibility
  • Extensive computer literacy and ability to learn new software quickly
  • Strong organisational skills, with the ability to plan, prioritise and work effectively
  • Demonstrable ability to deliver high quality work consistently
  • A commitment to communicating honestly, openly and consistenly
  • Flexible, pro-active and motivated with an understanding of how small businesses work
  • Able to cope with sorting, packing and unpacking boxes; some heavy lifting required when receiving and transporting boxes of books to external events
  • Ability to plan ahead and remain organised while being able to adapt and thrive in the face of new opportunities or challenges
  • The capacity to solve problems quickly and creatively
  • Strong attention to detail

Person specification (desirable)

  • Background in event programming or running literary events
  • Background in bookselling, ideally a manager or assistant manager level
  • Experience with OpenBravo POS software or bookshop management software such as Bertline 
  • Experience with accounting software (Xero, Quickbooks or similar) 
  • Experience with basic website management (WordPress or similar)
  • Experience with designing printed materials

£22,000-£25,000 pro rata (dependent on experience)
+ 5% pension contribution

How To Apply

Please send a CV and one-page cover letter to Julie Danskin at by the applications closing date. Applications sent after this deadline will not be taken into consideration. Please note that we expect to receive many applications for this role and we will not be able to contact unsuccessful applicants.
We will contact all applicants with an offer of interview by Sunday 16th February.

Applications Close: 10 February 2020, 5.00pm UK time

Interview Date: 20 February 2020

Ideal Start Date: Mon 23rd March 2020 (negotiable)

Jobs do occasionally come up at the Golden Hare!
Whilst we will advertise on this page when a specific vacancy becomes available, please feel free to submit your CV here and we’ll keep it on file for the next time we’re hiring.
These will all be part-time positions so please mention your ideal working hours and availability in your application.