Hello! And welcome to our Frequently Asked Question page! (Updated to take account of Covid-19 changes)
We are (luckily, woop!) a very busy bookshop and our booksellers try to focus on readers physically in the bookshop so this is a wee cheat sheet we’ve drawn up so you can get quick answers all in one place about JOBS, STOCK (books & zines), EVENTS, COLLABORATIONS & more general stuff. (Accessibility info is available HERE)
THANK YOU for taking the time to read, and if you have further questions do drop by the bookshop or give us a ring.
What are your opening hours?
We are CLOSED to the public in line with the Scottish lockdown regulations and only offer doorstep collections by appointment.
In normal times we are open 7 days a week, 10am -8pm, looking forward to those days again!
What sort of bookshop is Lighthouse?
We are a radical, intersectional feminist bookshop. This means that we aim to be a truly inclusive safe space for all who need it, and we stock a large selection of books on feminism, LBGT+ writing and politics. We also keep a terrific general selection of fiction, poetry and various non-fiction categories. We are also an activist space so we wear our politics and passions on our sleeves (and social media) - we’re always keen to hear about issues that affect our community and campaigns and initiatives within our community.
Can I buy a book to collect?
Yes you may, although we encourage you to choose delivery as much as possible (free in our local area, bike deliveries by Farr Out further afield in Edinburgh, Royal Mail beyond!).
In line with Government guidance we are offering a limited click & collect service. Our collection windows are 10am - 3pm Monday, Wednesday and Saturday ONLY. When you buy a book to collect, your confimation email will invite you to specify which day you would like to come by and we will then suggest a few collection times. This means that we can have your book(s) ready on the doorstep for you to pick up contact free.
How long will it take for my books to arrive?
Books ordered through the website are generally dropped at the post office within 2 working days of us receiving the order. We send our parcels second class (unless otherwise requested), so they should take 2-3 days to reach you from point of posting.
Please bear in mind that due to COVID-19 the Post Office is facing huge extra pressure as well as staff shortages and logistical challenges in keeping their staff safe. Royal Mail has stated that they are attempting to meet that 2-3day delivery window, though in our experience 4-5 days is more common, and most books take about 5-9 working days from order to delivery.
If your parcel takes any longer than a week please do reach out and we'll get you an update as soon as we can as well as pass on the royal mail tracking number so that you can chase up your local sorting office if that's the issue.
We so appreciate your patience & understanding as we all adjust to strange times.
Can you order me a book if you don’t have it?
Absolutely! Apart from the odd exception, we can order any book that’s in print in the UK (and some that aren’t) and get it within 1-10 days (depending on title availability).
We have a selection of our books on the website but if you can't find it when you search for it do pop in/email or call for any requests!
BOOKS & STOCK SELECTION
I’ve written a book, would you be interested in stocking it?
PLEASE NOTE: We are NOT taking in any new self-published titles until summer 2021 at the earliest. Our team is already stretched to the limits adapting to the new Covid-19 landscape and sadly this is something we have to put on hold for now. We’ll update this when we’re able to again.
We urge all authors to read the Booksellers Association’s guide to getting your books stocked in high street shops, available HERE. We simply do not have the time to walk every author through what we need to consider a book so if you email us incomplete information we will just send you right back to the BA guide!
Because of our limited shelf space, we have to be extremely selective when choosing which books to stock. If your book fits with Lighthouse’s particular stock profile (e.g. feminist, LBGT+, political and/or poetry) then we invite you to email us outlining the specifics of the title and the terms of supply and distribution (all detailed in the BA link above). Please do not send us Amazon links, as we have an active boycott of Amazon for their disgraceful business and employment practices. We will endeavour to reply to you swiftly but sadly we’re not always able to do this.
My book is published by Amaz*n, would you be interested in stocking it?
No thank you. As a business committed to paying fair wages and supporting social justice we have an active boycott of amazon and all their products so we would not be in a position to stock your book. Amaz*n business practices pose an existential threat to the high street, and to bookshops in particular
Can I stock my zine/pamphlet with you? We LOVE zines, though to be honest we never have enough space for zines. If you would like us to consider your zine please shoot us an email detailing what the zine is about, how much it sells to the public for & how much it would cost the bookshop (we usually take 30% of the retail price). If you have images of the insides of the zines you can add as an attachment that is particularly helpful.
The zines we do best with retail between £3 and £6, are A5 or smaller, and are feminist/queer/antiracist/personal/anticapitalist/green or some combination of those.
If we think we have an audience for your zine we usually take 3copies sale or return and try them on the shelf for 1-3months depending on our agreement. If they do not sell in that time you can collect them and find them a better home. If they do then we let you know, get you paid and order more!
PLEASE NOTE: We are NOT accepting any new zines until October 2020. Our team is already stretched to the limits adapting to the new Covid-19 landscape and sadly this is something we have to put on hold for now. we’ll update this when we’re able to again.
EMPLOYMENT / WORK PLACEMENTS
I’m looking for a job, are you hiring just now?
We don’t recruit very often, and we receive so many unsolicited but brilliant CVs & cover letters that when a spot does open up we usually go back through those applications first and, so far, have always found great booksellers that way.
So do feel free to send us your CV by email (we don’t accept paper CVs) and tell us why you’d like to work for Lighthouse, what hours you are looking for/general availability and what you like to read.
We are particularly interested in hearing from candidates who are habitually underrepresented in the book trade, notably book lovers who are working class and care experienced, Black, Asian or from an Ethnic Minority in the UK, Roma/Traveller and queer.
Unfortunately we can’t respond to all such emails, but we will keep them on file.
Do you offer holiday/ seasonal work?
We’re afraid not - it takes a wee while to get into the swing of things as a bookseller so we prefer all our booksellers to be with us for a few years at a time.
Shop Legalese/ General T&Cs
As a small independent we are not able to issue cash refunds unless a book is damaged or faulty at point of purchase.
If your purchase is faulty we ask that your bring the book(s) back with receipt or proof of purchase.
If you'd like to return a book for any other reason it must be intact and resellable, and if we accept it we will issue you with bookshop credit to the value of the book.
To start a return, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your return is accepted, we’ll send you a return shipping label, as well as instructions on how and where to send your package. Items sent back to us without first requesting a return will not be accepted.
You can always contact us for any return question at email@example.com.
Damages and issues
Please inspect your order upon reception and contact us immediately if the item is defective, damaged or if you receive the wrong item, so that we can evaluate the issue and make it right.
We will notify you once we’ve received and inspected your return, and let you know if the refund was approved or not. If approved, you’ll be automatically refunded on your original payment method. Please remember it can take some time for your bank or credit card company to process and post the refund too.
EVENTS, COLLABORATIONS & the Bookshop as a VENUE
Do you do events?
In pre-corona times, hosting events forms a big part of the shop’s mission, and we usually had at least two on every week. These range from author talks to discussion groups, lectures and workshops. For more information and tickets, please see our Eventbrite page or ask a bookseller in store. For now though these are on hiatus until it is safe to have gatherings in the bookhop again.
Can you tell me more about your book clubs?
Certainly. We host five regular book clubs, themed respectively around Women in STEM, LGBT+ writing, Women in Translation, Science Fiction and left-wing politics. If you would like more info about upcoming meetings and the books for discussion, please visit our Eventbrite page or ask a bookseller in store. We also offer a 10% discount on titles in the bookshop if they are being bought for book club.
I’d like to do an event with you, are you interested?
If you want us to host an event based around a particular book or theme that fits the shop’s ethos, feel free to send us an email outlining the specifics. (Author, Book, Possible dates)
Please also be aware that our events schedule usually fills up a couple of months in advance, so bear this in mind when contacting us. Our events are usually 1 hour long, from 7.30-8.30pm Tuesday-Friday, though some events suit a Saturday morning coffee-morning type format.
We cannot host additional events during August or from mid-December to mid-January.