Who We Are
Octopus Books began in 1969 as a socialist newspaper which soon evolved into a small bookstore. The store operated as a collective for 27 years until it was bought by three faithful members, one of whom eventually assumed full responsibility. Although the store is now privately owned, it is still committed to its socialist roots and this is reflected in its stock, managerial style, and the faces of its happy workers. *huzzah!*
At Octopus Books it is our goal to provide a forum for radical and revolutionary voices, local authors, small presses, and writers from a variety of countries and cultures. We also feel that it is important to provide an alternative to large corporate bookstores and to celebrate our own independence and unconventional politics.
We carry books on a broad range of subjects, all motivated by our politics, including Canadian and International Literature, cookbooks, progressive childrens books, an excellent Indigenous studies section and so much more.Does this sound like the place for you? Do you love books and have a strong belief in social justice? Are you experienced in programming and coordinating events for small and large groups? Can you promote our events and the shop in a way that reflects our values and enriches our communities?
This position will include a mixture of event organizing and retail work (often the two will happen simultaneously). The responsibilities of this position include:
- Creating events on a regular basis that reflect our values and politics.
- Liaising between authors, book reps, agents, University departments, grassroots groups, and other organizations to make events a success.
- Promoting events - social media, occasional postering, media relations (with communications support), networking and general promotion
- Social media - promoting events, books and other cool things on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc; developing social media communities and campaigns
- Hosting most events (which requires regular evening work)
- Offering great customer service
- Keeping the store organized and clean
- Merchandising and creating displays
- Being familiar with the books we carry
- Working in a collaborative fashion with the other workers at the store.
What We're Looking For
The ideal candidate will have excellent written, verbal communication, and social media skills, love talking to people, be interested in and very knowledgeable about all things related to social justice and radical politics, and enjoy keeping the working environment organized and looking great. They will love to read, both fiction and non-fiction books. This job requires you to be extremely self-directed, and excited about the idea of developing a regular series of political and cultural events for the Octopus community (and expanding that community!). It also requires you to speak with a diverse group of people about a wide variety of topics, so strong interpersonal skills is an important trait.
Experience working in a book store is a strong asset.
This job is between 35 – 42 hours/wk, depending on the week's events. Must be flexible for evenings.
Compensation is $13/hour + benefits.
Application deadline, July 10th @ 4pm. Please send resume (max 2 pages),Octopus event proposals (see below). and cover letter (max 1 page) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not make phone inquiries. We will be calling applicants on the evening of July 10 (or earlier) to schedule interviews for July 11 and July 12. The job will begin July 22.
Octopus Books strives to operate according to anti-oppressive, anti-racist values and welcomes applications from those who identify as being from marginalized communities.
Octopus Event Proposals:
To help us get a sense of the types of events you would be interested in organizing, please propose two events that you would hope to organize at Octopus Books, each in a short paragraph. The first event should be a lunchtime event with an activist from a current social justice struggle. The second should be a book launch with with a Canadian author for a recently-released or upcoming book. For each example, please describe what the event would look like, why you would choose to organize it, and how you would promote it. Each event description should be one paragraph.