Smithsonian Enterprises

Book Specialist

600 Maryland Ave, SW , Washington, DC, United States, 20024

Position: Full-Time
Starts: 04/01/2017

Smithsonian Enterprises Retail Group is seeking a Book Specialist for the Washington, DC area.

The Book Specialist is the primary link between the Book Buyer and the museum stores. Works closely with store staff and managers at the Museums on the National Mall. This position is responsible for keeping abreast of Smithsonian’s current and upcoming exhibits and related book titles. Also, responsible for ensuring the right stock is in the right place at the right time to maximize sales and margin performance. The Book Specialist must work closely with Buyers, Store Operations and Visual Design teams to make sure the stock is properly monitored and available.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Maintains relationships with store managers, area managers and staff; answers their questions; responds to special requests.
  • Liaises with museum staff to support ongoing and temporary exhibits. Handles curator requests in coordination with Buyer.
  • Maintains release schedule of upcoming titles. Presents major titles to store staff; trains sales staff through development of product knowledge and engagement.
  • In consultation with Buyer, develops new themes as appropriate to individual museums and exhibits, expands space allocation for hot selling areas to maximize sales.
  • Maintains and rotates book feature displays in the stores to be relevant and on point with what is going on in the museums.
  • Ensures stock replenishment and maintains visual standards. Observes inventory levels; prompts Buyer to reorder when levels appear low.
  • Observes customer reaction to selection and displays; communicates observations with Buyer.
  • Works with Buyer’s Assistant to resolve inventory issues and stock discrepancies.
  • Cognizant of price changes and notifies Buyer of any inconsistencies.
  • Ensures markdowns are taken and product is displayed appropriately.
  • Maintains quality results by following and enforcing standards.
  • Works closely with visual-display staff on proper display of merchandise to maximize sales. Requests appropriate signage when necessary.
  • Assists with author events and book signings.


Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from four-year college or university; and/or two to four years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Previous bookselling or publishing experience required. 

  • 2-3+ years of Retail experience is preferred
  • Knowledge of retail market, and industry
  • Strong problem solving skills, service orientation, excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work well with diverse range of people.
  • Good skill in Microsoft programs such as Excel, Word, and Power Point. Able to produce spreadsheets.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in order to successfully promote an idea and negotiate sensitive issues with both internal and external partners.
  • Strong time management skills, ability to prioritize multiple requests from people
  • Demonstrated ability to meet multiple deadlines and manage conflicting priorities
  • Highly organized and ability to adapt to quickly changing priorities.

Applicants, who wish to qualify based on education completed outside the United States, must be deemed equivalent to higher education programs of U.S. Institutions by an organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. This documentation is the responsibility of the applicant and should be included as part of your application package.

Relocation expenses are not paid.

We offer an excellent benefits package including: Health, Dental & Vision Insurance, Life Insurance, Transit/Commuter Benefits, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Annual and Sick Leave, Family Friendly Leave, 403b Retirement Plan, Discounts for Smithsonian Memberships, Museum Stores and Restaurants, Credit Union, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (Child Care), Flexible Spending Account (Health & Dependent Care)

To view the vacancy announcement please visit us at:

Please forward a resume, salary requirements and cover letter to: and include the position title in the subject line. Application materials submitted without salary information will not be considered. Any false statement in your application may result in your application being rejected and may also result in termination after employment begins.

No phone calls please.

Final candidate selection will be contingent on the successful completion of a pre-employment background check and subsequent background investigation. Selectee will be required to serve a one-year probationary period and participate in Direct Deposit for salary payment.



About Smithsonian Enterprises:

Smithsonian Enterprises is a division of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research organization. Established in 1846 with a bequest from English Scientist James Smithson, the Institution currently encompasses 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoo and 9 research centers. The Smithsonian has facilities in 7 states, the District of Columbia and the Republic of Panama supporting over 6,200 employees.

Smithsonian Enterprises encompasses Smithsonian and Air & Space magazines, Museum stores, Restaurants, IMAX theaters and the Smithsonian Catalog, Consumer products, Educational travel, e-commerce, and commercial media enterprises in book publishing and the Smithsonian TV Channel.

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in "Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery."

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