About Us


The Professional Booksellers School, Inc.'s Certification Program launched in January 2021 with the Events Management course. Inventory Management launched in July 2021, followed by Store & Operations Management and Basic Bookselling in 2022. In 2023 we launched Bookstore Finances (for owners & general managers). In 2024 we'll be launching a mentorship program for new store owners called Bookstore Year One and Independent Study options for courses and individual classes/topics.  

Each course runs from 10 - 16 sessions. Students learn live in class via Zoom, then use Discord for questions, and conversations, and homework. Students who meet designated criteria can become Certified in their course. This status is shared on our website, with their Regional Trade Associations, and they are given an e-badge to use in e-mail and social media.

Booksellers who are certified in all four Core Courses - Basic Bookselling, Inventory Management, Event Management, and Store & Operations Management, receive the designation of Certified Professional Bookseller. All booksellers are encouraged to take the courses that will strengthen their career path in bookselling.

All members and students of the Professional Booksellers School must be employed at an Independent Bookstore and have a current membership in their Regional Trade Association. Potential store owners are allowed in some courses, but must also have joined their Regional Trade Association and/or  the American Booksellers Association.

PBS is supported by the ABA, Industry businesses, and the Regional Trade Associations. Each regional offers discount codes for their active members, and many offer full or partial refund of tuition costs. Explore what RTA's provide here.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Professional Bookseller Certification Program is to provide independent booksellers with an education, training, and accreditation process that will:

  1. Elevate the trade of independent bookselling to a standard approaching that of other professionals in similar industries related to education and public literary engagement.
  2. Offer a standardized baseline knowledge across all aspects of the independent bookselling industry, as well as professional development opportunities for career booksellers.
  3. Create an opportunity for mentorship, guidance, innovation, teaching, and information sharing among book industry members that will compensate people for their time and expertise.
Students in the Professional Booksellers School must be an individual member or work for a bookstore that is a member of either their regional booksellers' association and/or the American Booksellers Association.
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