Welcome all! With Canadian Independent Bookstore Day on the horizon, National Poetry Month ongoing, and online events and learning opportunities galore, let’s dive right in!

As always, we want to remind you that this is your association, and we love to hear from you. You are welcome to send your questions, comments, and feedback to info@cibabooks.ca.


Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is fast approaching! We can’t wait to celebrate the incredible work of local bookstores across the country next Saturday, April 24.

This year has brought many challenges for indie booksellers, but rest assured that CIBA has your back. We’ve designed our CIBD 2021 contest and campaign so that all indie bookstores will be celebrated. If you are struggling with time, resources, or pandemic restrictions, all you need to do is sell books and enjoy the spotlight.

If you find yourself with the energy for more:

  • Check out our resource bank for promotional assets. This year’s hashtags are #CIBD2021 and #IndieBookstoreDay. You can also add one of our custom Facebook frames to your profile photo to show the love!
  • Follow CIBA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and share our posts. We will ramp up promotion next week and offer live coverage of the big day.
  • Visit our public-facing web guide to see which booksellers have signed up. Booksellers can send any planned activities – like Name That Book on Twitter! – to kayla.calder@cibabooks.ca by this Friday, April 16 to be featured on the guide.
  • Our CIBD 2021 contest for book-buyers will officially open on April 24! Every book purchased online, by phone, or in-store on April 24-25 will represent one entry. BOOKSELLERS: you can review our contest FAQ here. We’ve also drafted this blurb that you can add to confirmation emails and/or receipts on April 24-25.
  • It’s not too late for bookstores to sign up! Click here to register your participation.

CIBA does not endorse in-person gathering this year. Our contest provides an accessible alternative to in-store celebrations. Please take advantage and encourage customers to purchase books online or by phone. If you offer in-store browsing, please proceed responsibly and follow all local health guidelines (e.g., physical distancing and mask use).

In the lead up to Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, we invited authors from across the country to share their appreciation for booksellers and bookstores. Their heartfelt words demonstrate the incredible impact your work has on writers, local communities, and Canadian culture.

Thank you, indie bookstores!

“Thank you to indie bookstores for being the strange, atypical, non-standardized, funky, off-centre, and idiosyncratic cultural hubs, both of the communities in which they’re located, and of the broader Canadian literary community. Their lack of a head office allows them to follow the whims and desires of the true shareholder: the reader.”
-Andrew Forbes


"What I love about independent bookstores is their passion for building knowledge, creativity, and meaningful connections in the community!"
-Sennah Yee

“Independent bookstores play a crucial role in keeping poetry thriving in Canada. They find emerging authors, essential publishers, and new voices to showcase and hand sell to their customers. The recommendations and sales that come from indie booksellers can amplify the success of a poet and poetry collection immeasurably.”

-Lesley Fletcher, Executive Director of the League of Canadian Poets

To celebrate and honour independent bookstores in a new way, the League of Canadian Poets will be awarding an honourary membership to an independent bookstore once again this year. The winner (to be announced in June 2021) will be celebrated with an event showcasing poets and community members who love and value the store. Learn more here.

Debut Poets

For Poetry Month, we’ve curated a selection of some of the incredible debut poetry collections being published this month. Use these books as an excuse to take a break from unpacking those boxes. Read, reflect, then make sure you spread the word to your customers! 

Check our our recommendations!


Media Savvy Lunch and Learn

Walk away with the confidence and tools to successfully pitch your local media outlets in the lead up to Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.
Presented by Megan Leahy Public Relations
Wednesday April 14

10am PST, 11am MST, 12pm CST, 1pm EST, 2pm AST, 2:30pm Newfoundland

Virtual event training part 1 – Setting up your Zoom event

Much of the work that goes into creating a successful virtual event happens in the days and week leading up to the big night. In our first session, you’ll learn the steps you should take to ensure things run smoothly.
Presented by Live Event Academy
Limited spaces available!

Tuesday April 20
4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST, 8 pm AST, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Virtual event training part 2 – Managing your live Zoom event

In part two of this Zoom event training series, we’ll focus on the steps you’ll take during your event to ensure it goes off without a hitch.
Presented by Live Event Academy
Limited spaces available!

Tuesday April 27
4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST, 8 pm AST, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Canadian book buying, reading and consumer habits for data-driven decisions

BookNet Canada CEO Noah Genner presents the latest statistics on Canadian book buying, reading, and consumer habits, answering the questions you didn’t know you had in this presentation with lots of visuals. 
Presented by BookNet Canada
Tuesday May 4

4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST, 8 pm AST, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Increase your sales: Improvements to the PRH supply fulfillment chain and rapid replenishment

Athmika Punja, Director, Operations at Penguin Random House Canada, takes you through the ways the business has adapted during the pandemic and discusses how recent improvements to PRH’s .biz website and overall supply chain fulfillment can increase your sales hand in hand with the best practices of rapid replenishment.
Presented by Penguin Random House Canada

Tuesday May 11
4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST, 8 pm AST, 8:30pm Newfoundland

This session is only for CIBA Bookseller members and will not be recorded.

Discussion forum for children's booksellers

Children’s booksellers: are you interested in connecting with industry peers on a semi-regular basis to share ideas and discuss the issues that affect your business? For the first meeting of children’s booksellers, join Kelly McKinnon of Vancouver Kidsbooks for a practical and insightful conversation about the particularities of selling children's books during the pandemic and in the new normal. 

Presented by CIBA and Kelly McKinnon, Kidsbooks
Tuesday May 18
4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST, 8 pm AST, 8:30pm Newfoundland

The independent bookstore: consumer insights and analytics

Sarah Tutty, Director, Insights and Analytics at Penguin Random House Canada, walks through observed trends over the past 12 months as they relate to your customers' buying habits with a dive into who independent bookstore consumers are. 
Presented by Penguin Random House Canada
Thursday May 20
4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST, 8 pm AST, 8:30pm Newfoundland

This session is only for CIBA Bookseller members and will not be recorded.

Details and Registration

Past Event Recordings
Missed an event? Never fear, the recordings are available on our member portal. Log in with your member profile to view recordings and resources, or join CIBA to gain access.

“Amazon…. devalues the book in general; it devalues the book as an object, it devalues the work that goes into creating the book, it devalues the authors.”
-Danny Caine

On March 24 bookstore owner and author Danny Caine spoke with Paul MacKay of King's Co-op Bookstore to share his new book, How to Resist Amazon and Why. In the book, he shows how Amazon's ruthless discount strategies mean authors, publishers, and even Amazon themselves can lose money on every book sold. And he spells out a clear path to resistance, in a world where consumers are struggling to get by. In-depth research is interspersed with charming personal anecdotes from bookstore life, making this a readable, fascinating, essential book for the 2020s.

Visit our member blog to watch a recording of the event.

Further Reading:

“The fate of bookstores and many other small businesses depends on the willingness of consumers to agree with Caine’s broader argument: that cheap goods have higher costs than we realize, and that paying more is a better investment than we think.”
Read more in The New Yorker:
A Kansas Bookshop’s Fight with Amazon Is About More Than the Price of Books

"Nowhere is Amazon's conduct more of a threat to the competitive process than in the online bookselling submarket. Amazon has engaged exclusionary tactics, including predatory pricing, to gain market power and has leveraged its substantial market power against publishers unfairly."
The American Booksellers Association recently released a white paper outlining Amazon's anticompetitive behavior and urging the breakup of the company. Read more here.

It's been a hectic year for bookshops everywhere - and the associations that connect, support, and advocate for them have been just as busy.
Hear about their past year, aspirations for the future, and the tireless work of your booksellers associations with these brilliant guests:

  • Meryl Halls, the UK's Booksellers Association
  • Doug Minett, the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association
  • Julie Belgrado, the European Independent Booksellers Federation
  • Jessica Sänger, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels

Moderated by Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, co-owner of Solid State Books and member of the ABA Board. Presented by Books Across Borders.

Register here.

Help us learn more about the health and needs of independent booksellers across Canada by taking BookNet Canada’s State of Bookselling survey. We want to know what challenges you're facing as well as what's working in your stores — if you've ever wanted to have your retailer voice heard, here's your chance.

BookNet will aggregate and anonymize the results to create The State of Bookselling in Canada 2020 report which will:

  • enable and inform data-driven decisions across the industry
  • capture the reality of bookselling in 2020 (their 2018 report dispelled some common myths)
  • benchmark changes over time to show trends in the industry
  • benchmark your store against others
  • help BookNet, CIBA, and other industry organizations pinpoint initiatives that will support independent bookselling
  • support lobbying efforts
  • give media the information they need to write stories about the sector

Every response we get helps to create a clearer picture of Canadian independent bookselling. As a thank you for completing our survey, every respondent will receive an early copy of the final report, as well as a complementary copy of The Canadian Book Market 2020.

Complete the Survey

Thank you to BookNet Canada for sharing a selection of links tailored for CIBA members:

  • Mini-blog series sharing the results of the Canadian Book Consumer Survey
  • Blog post featuring sales data of Personal Finance and Investing books during tax season
  • Sneak peek at the results of the Canadian Leisure & Reading study
  • Blog post highlighting new ways of finding #OwnVoices titles in CataList
  • March's podcast episode - All about the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association

When you join CIBA, you’re able to access members-only content on our website, including CIBA’s Professional Forum

Not a member yet? Join CIBA today and contribute to building a stronger and more vibrant independent bookselling community in Canada.

REMINDER: You must log in to access the member portal.

This message was sent to you by the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe at any time

188 Dublin Street North, Guelph, ON N1H 4P2