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Assistant General Manager & Buyer
Austin, TX
First Light is seeking an experienced and knowledgeable Assistant General Manager & Buyer. This person will assist in overseeing the day-to-day tasks of the bookselling team and with the book and sideline buying duties. Our ideal Assistant General Manager & Buyer must possess an entrepreneurial spirit with a talent for empowering and developing a team. You will lead the training of all store booksellers, assist with front and backlist orders and restock orders, Manage day-to-day business issues and opportunities, and assist in overall location management & support as needed. We are looking for someone who is a knowledgeable and active participant in the book business, with an understanding of the goings-on in the literary and publishing world across a diverse range of authors and genres.

Start date: 5/15/2023

Compensation: $55,000 + Benefits

Compelling candidates will demonstrate the following qualities:

● Curiosity: will actively and impulsively seek to understand, know more, solve problems

● Community Oriented: will look to foster camaraderie within a team and with the store’s customers through honesty and positively connecting with people on an individual level

● Excellent communicator: the ability to communicate clearly, kindly, and confidently with team members and customers

● Facilitator: solutions-oriented with the ability to identify and solve bottlenecks to achieve desired outcome and interpret and anticipate the needs of others

● Connector: will focus on figuring out how to better understand people and situations around them with a commitment to diversity, teamwork, and collaboration

Duties and Responsibilities:

1: Bookselling Team Leader

● Responsible for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, on-boarding, and training a team of booksellers, ensuring understanding and compliance to standards, organizational goals and direction; including conducting progressive counseling as necessary.

● Responsible for the creation of daily/monthly work plans to ensure that revenue, profit and operational goals of the Bookstore are met, utilizing staffing & resources appropriately.

● Create weekly staffing schedules for the bookselling team, making recommendations to General Manager & decisions as appropriate for scheduling and staffing levels to ensure operational & financial success in bookstores, book, & sideline related activities across the location.

● Demonstrate knowledge of the book business and bookselling. Participate in & encourage a bookselling culture locally – share book information & recommendations with booksellers & customers, write & solicit shelf-talkers, encourage employee discount or lending library, train handselling & book-specific customer service, etc.

2: Book and Sideline Buying

● Order, receive & return books and other bookstore merchandise (sidelines, gifts, magazines)

● Liaise with the General Manager on title selection and availability

● Manage the supply chain in conjunction with departments, ensuring delivery to deadlines

● Track and report on sales forecasts and performance data to relevant stakeholders

● Identify and source new markets and new suppliers

● Investigate publishers’ backlists for possible reprint candidates

● Negotiate run-ons with publishers, on both backlist and frontlist titles

● Develop mid- and long-term purchase strategies

3: Overall Location Management and Support

● Responsible for ensuring local compliance with all book & bookstore specific processes & brand standards, as well as achieving sales & profit goals, fostering a local bookselling culture, and exemplifying First Light’s core values through management & training, direct responsibility, leading by example, and coordination across the location.

● Assist with store merchandising to maximize sales potential of key titles.

● In collaboration with stakeholders, organize, order & create displays & sections for thematic, locally themed, and/or locally outperforming titles, categories & products as appropriate to maximize sales.

● Research and report on industry trends

● Manage and maintain budgets

● Undertake any further duties commensurate with the role

● Assist the General Manager in maximizing sales and profits by meeting and exceeding sales budgets while minimizing shrink.

● Manage or ensure completion of all administrative responsibilities of book related system tasks, such as receiving, returns, inventory, local associate access & training, in a timely & accurate basis.

● Manage day-to-day business issues and opportunities. Assist in overall location management & support as needed.


● High School diploma or the equivalent; Bachelor’s Degree preferred

● Commitment to excellent customer service and knowledge of the contemporary reading landscape

● Minimum 3-5 years book buying experience

● Booklog experience a plus

● Flexibility in schedule; weekends and holidays are required

● Robust negotiating skills

● A strong business acumen, ideally with experience in an e-commerce environment

● Excellent communication skills

● A professional attitude in dealing with confidential and commercially sensitive information

● Acute attention to detail

● Strong Excel and Microsoft Office knowledge

● Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines


● Full time employees are eligible for medical, dental, vision for you and eligible dependents after 90 day probationary period

● Holidays and PTO

● Access to lots of ARCs

● Employee discount in store and cafe

To apply submit the following by email to Breezy Mayo, breezy@firstlightaustin.com

● Resume or CV

● 3 industry-related professional references

● A cover note which includes the following information:

           1. Why is this role a good next step for your career journey?

            2. Your favorite titles from 3 bookstore sections (for example: poetry, YA, cookbooks).

Apply Here
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