Store & Operations Management

Store & Operations Management is designed to cover all of the day-to-day and long-term operational and other business-related needs of an independent bookstore, considering both high-level management topics and the daily tasks assigned to individual booksellers. Registration is limited to 30 students, with one person per store in each course.

This course is the foundation of your operation. When you are done, you will have a workbook to cover your store operations and a staff manual. All of the work done in this class tends to be the tasks you know you should do but have put off doing. Plan on devoting 2-3 hours a week; 1 hour for the class and 2 hours for the work assigned each week. Keep in mind that will depend on the systems you've already created, and not all that work must be done by you but can be delegated to another bookseller on your team. For certification, the student must still demonstrate the understanding and knowledge of the work

2024 Course Instructors

Dean Anna Thorn, Independent Bookstore Consultant, Washington, D.C.

Dean Carol Price, Co-owner, BookPeople, Moscow, ID

Instructor Lisa Swayze, General Manager and Buyer, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

Instructor Candice Huber, Owner, Tubby & Coo’s, New Orleans, LA

Instructor Julia Davis, Owner, The Book Worm, Powder Springs, GA 

Guest Instructor Nathan Halter, Batch

Guest Instructor Lisa Freedman, Penn National Insurance, Harrisburg, PA 

Guest Instructor PK Sindwani, ABA/ABACUS

Meet the 2024 Course Instructors

 2024 Store & Operations Management Student Resource Page


Being an active member of the bookselling industry is a critical step in growing a bookstore and shows commitment to your chosen profession. Stores with students in all Professional Booksellers School courses are required to be current members of their regional trade association and/or the American Booksellers Association. Students must also be enrolled in PBS, which is free.

Course Objective
Store & Operations Management is designed to cover all of the day to day and long term operational and other business-related needs of an independent bookstore, considering both high level management topics and the daily tasks assigned to individual booksellers. The course is built to help managers and owners evaluate their stores and take steps to build and improve infrastructure such as budgets, staff handbooks, and emergency preparedness plans.
Course Components & Cost

This course consists of live classes via Zoom, office hours, and assignments that contribute to course takeaways.. Discord is used for course communication, office hours, and to upload homework. Homework is assigned for each class. Students are expected to attend the live classes and finish and pass all homework to be certified. The course is $375, with discounts available for members of NAIBA, CALIBA, GLIBA, NEIBA, MIPA, and MPIBA. To take advantage of these discounts, ask your Regional Trade Association for the code before registering for the course. Some regional trade associations provide grants or scholarships for certification courses; find out more here.

Major Project Deliverables

By the end of the course, students will have completed projects that help them create:

  • a store mission statement
  • a monthly budget folder with a cash flow analysis
  • P&L for the month, P&L for the year to date, and a balance Sheet;
  • a staff handbook
  • an emergency handbook
  • a marketing plan
Preview the 2024 Syllabus

Class 1 – Welcome to Class and Syllabus Overview

Class 2 –  Store Systems

Class 3 – Inventory Decisions, Store Layout, and Merchandising

First Round of Office Hours

Class 4 – Financial Systems & Batch

Class 5 – Budget & Abacus

Second Round of Office Hours

Class 6 – Staff Management

Class 7 – Staff and Human Resources

Class 8 – Staff Handbook

Third Round of Office Hours
Class 9 – Define Your Store

Class 10 – Marketing Overview

Class 11 - Create Your Own Marketing Plan

Fourth Round of Office Hours

Class 12 -  Websites and Digital Marketing

Class 13 - Emergency Preparedness

Class 14 - Leadership Discussion

Learning Outcomes

This course will provide a thorough overview of the systems, plans and processes for running an independent bookstore. At the end of this course, students will have relevant documents in place, including:

  • Store operations manual, including store systems and policies
  • Budget management systems
  • Staff handbook
  • Staff management systems
  • Emergency preparedness plan
  • Inventory and store layout plans
  • Merchandising plan
  • Supply ordering management plan                                                                           
  • Promotions and marketing plan
  • Leadership tools

If you have questions or need assistance, contact administration at

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