Hello all,

April is here and Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is right around the corner!

It’s a busy month so we’ll keep it short and sweet. Read on for some important reminders, details on upcoming events, and more.



Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is fast approaching! We can’t wait to celebrate indie bookstores across the country next Saturday, April 29. Thank you to those promoting the campaign.

We’ve designed our CIBD 2023 initiatives so that all indies will be celebrated. Our Contest for Book Lovers will drive sales to indies, our advertising and public relations efforts will help raise awareness across the country, and our reader-facing promotion will reinforce our key message that indie bookstores are integral to Canadian culture.

Below are a few reminders as we ramp up campaign promotion.

  • Check out the member toolkit. It contains digital assets, social media messages, and more to help you promote. You must be logged in to access these resources.

  • Brush up on our 2023 contest. Contest rules can be found here. The entry form will go live on this page on April 29. We also created an FAQ document to help you field any questions.

  • Tell us what you’re planning! We will promote unique bookseller activities throughout the week. Email Kayla, post on the Bookseller Forum, or tag @CIBAbooks in your posts so we can boost the signal.

  • Use the correct campaign hashtag (#CIBD2023). This hashtag will help us track engagement from bookstores and customers.

We encourage everyone to follow CIBA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We'll share info about activities, contest details, and special messages every day next week. On the big day, we’ll be live on our social channels to share the love and answer any contest questions. 

Here we go!


The Support for Booksellers program component of the Canada Book Fund stems from the government’s decision to invest $32.1 million, over two years, to help Canadian booksellers increase their online sales. 2023 is the second and final year of this funding initiative.

REMINDER: Applications are due on April 24 by 11:59pm (local time).

  • Application guidelines can be found here
  • You can request an application form by contacting sal-sfb@pch.gc.ca

We strongly encourage all eligible bookstores to apply including newer bookstores that have been operating since January 1, 2022. By utilizing this program, you are bolstering CIBA’s future advocacy work and shoring up resources for your business. It’s win-win!

Please note: Recipients of funding in year one must apply again this year to be considered.

Please email Laura Carter if you have any questions about this funding opportunity or CIBA’s ongoing advocacy work.

Ask the Bookseller: Hiring, Training, and Retaining Staff
Thursday, April 20
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland 

Your friendly, knowledgeable staff are the key to leaving a lasting impression on your customers. Where do bookstores advertise for staff? What skills should you look for in a new team member? How do you work out when you need (and can afford) to increase the size of your team? Join our panel of experienced booksellers to discuss the ins and outs of successful staffing strategies!

Who should attend? Bookseller Members

Simple Strategies for Increasing Profits Using Sales Data
Tuesday, May 2
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland 

Kelly McKinnon from Kidsbooks (Vancouver, BC) has been selling books for more than 30 years. Her superpower? Actively using sales data to fuel decision-making and drive profitability. Join us for an interview and demonstration to learn how creating and analysing simple reports can boost your sales and efficiency by at least 10%!

Who should attend? Bookseller Members

Publishers: Maximize Your Success in the Indie Market
Tuesday, May 9
12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, 4:30pm Newfoundland 

Did you know that 327 bookstores across Canada use Bookmanager as their POS and ordering system? Publishers: here’s your chance to get a peek behind the curtain! Learn how an experienced independent bookseller uses publisher data to inform ordering, what prompts a bookstore to order from an independent press, and roadblocks that can prevent them from placing an order. 

Who should attend? CIBA Associates, ACP Members, LPG Members 

Ask the Bookseller: Demystifying Co-op
Thursday, May 18
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

You asked, we listened! In a recent survey, Bookseller Members shared a need to talk about co-op. What is it? Who offers it? What should you ask for? What frameworks can help keep you organized? Join our panel of experienced booksellers to learn all this and more.

Who should attend? Bookseller Members

Last month, CIBA Bookseller Members joined Jamie Broadhurst, VP of Marketing for Raincoast Books, for tips on looking and sounding good when being interviewed by the media. This session provided practical suggestions to give booksellers confidence in the lead up to Canadian Independent Bookstore Day and beyond.

The recording is now available in the CIBA Member Portal.

Not a CIBA member? Join now to access a range of benefits including access to live events, recordings, and other business resources. 

It's a hot button topic for indie booksellers: how can we find treasures in a sea of self-published books? How can you save time when it comes to answering queries from authors? What policies can you put in place to help your decisions make good business sense? 

Never fear: CIBA has your back! We’ve developed a range of resources to save you time and streamline your consignment process.

Event Recording: Ask the Bookseller: A Crash Course in Consignment

Bookseller Resource: Create a Consignment Policy for Selling Self-Published Books

Author Resource: How to Approach an Indie Bookstore About Consignment

River Bookshop, in Amherstburg, ON, opened in August 2020. The stylish and warm shop carries a selection of books for all ages and is guided by four values: educate, entertain, inspire, and engage. We spoke to lead bookseller, Meghan Desjardins, about the store’s history, its approach to curation, and its goal to be a “third place” for community members.

“The idea of the ‘third place’ is foundational to Richard and Colleen’s vision. Our core values—educate, entertain, inspire, engage—impact everything we do. We aim to make the store itself a community space (Come talk to us! Hang out for a while!).”

Read the article here.


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