Hello all,

April is here and Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is right around the corner. We know it's a busy month, but we hope you'll read on for some important reminders, details on upcoming events, and more.


Counting Down to #CIBD2024


Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is fast approaching! We can’t wait to celebrate indie bookstores across the country next Saturday, April 27. Thank you to those promoting the campaign.

We’ve designed our CIBD 2024 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 2024 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. Be sure to tag @indiebookstoresCA in your Facebook and Instagram posts. This is the best way to ensure we can boost the signal.
  • Use the correct campaign hashtag (#CIBD2024). This hashtag will help us track engagement from bookstores and customers. It’s very important!

We encourage everyone to follow us on Facebook 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!

Recap: RISE Bookselling Conference 2024

In March, the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) hosted the RISE Bookselling Conference in Lisbon. This conference featured a packed programme of keynotes, panels, workshops, and networking opportunities. We are delighted that some CIBA members were able to attend, explore, and learn from their international peers.

Anjula Gogia, representing Another Story Bookshop in Toronto, was invited to participate in a panel discussion about inclusive children’s literature. Anjula shared a recap of her experience at the conference:

“As with most conferences, the real magic happened in the informal conversations occurring outside of the programmed events. Many of our struggles are mirrored by our colleagues overseas: the rise of the right and book bans, competition from online booksellers, challenging interactions with customers facing mental health issues, and issues around diversity and inclusion. It was informative and meaningful to discuss these shared challenges with other booksellers from around the world.”

To read more about Anjula’s experience, visit the Member Blog.

Another highlight of the conference was the EIBF’s release of their new study on sustainability in the bookselling sector. Based on research into 50 bookstores across 15 countries, the study identifies practical steps booksellers can take toward sustainability. The study can be downloaded here. 

Right before the conference, the EIBF also launched their new season of the Let’s Talk Bookselling podcast series, in partnership with the International Publishers Association, which is all about sustainability in bookselling and in the wider book trade.

Check out the new series here (or wherever you get your podcasts).

Register Now: Upcoming Events

Bookstore Events: Getting Creative and Building Community
Tuesday, April 23
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Events are a staple of any bookstore business. But in a post-pandemic world, tour plans for authors are not as robust as they used to be and if your store is outside of a major urban centre, you may be missing out entirely. Never fear—if you think outside the box, you can have your cake and eat it too! Get inspired by our panel of booksellers who are taking innovative approaches to curating bookstore events and building new communities of readers. 

Discussion Group: Get the Most Out of Your CFIB Add-On
Thursday, May 2
10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET, 2pm AT, 2:30pm Newfoundland

As a member of CIBA, you may have also opted into membership with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). This add-on provides booksellers with access to a range of benefits. Join this informal discussion where booksellers will share how they have made the most out of their CFIB membership and explore ways this add-on benefits your business. 

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Social Media Management for Booksellers 
Thursday, May 16
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Though social media is a critical business tool, it is also meant to be fun and organic. How do you develop a brand, stay on top of trends and important consumer dates, and share everything you need to share without getting overwhelmed or stuck in a rut? Online marketing specialist Ariel Hudnall joins us to discuss calendars, time management, content generation, engagement, and more in this workshop for booksellers who are ready to make their social media more effective and joyful.

Data Demystified Part II: How to Sell Books You Don't Read
Thursday, May 23
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

How do you stock and sell books you aren’t familiar with (or don’t particularly like)? Whether you’re stumped by sci-fi, a little rusty in Romantasy, or intimidated by Manga, market research can help you expand your knowledge and offerings. Led by SalesData expert Kalpna Patel, this session will show you how to identify top-selling titles in subjects you may not be familiar with, discover titles that are selling out at other indies, and build a starter collection of “must-haves” to respond to customer demand.

Event Recording

Email Marketing for Bookstores: Tips for Success!

In this beginner-friendly session, you will learn how to choose a platform, create an optimized mailing list, and devise a content plan that will drive engagement and sales for your business. Whether you're just starting out or want to revamp your current e-newsletter, this session takes you through all the steps required.

View the recording now in the Member Portal.

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

Meet Our Member: Coho Books

Coho Books is an exciting independent bookstore in the heart of Campbell River, BC. It is known for its community involvement, excellent browsability, and passionate staff. We spoke with owner-operator Leah Jesse about merging the existing store with Willow Point Books, making the move back downtown, and favourite titles that are always in stock. 

“I work for myself surrounded by books, I get to bring my dogs to work, and we have emergency chocolate in the backroom. What’s not to love?”

Read the profile here.

Micro Survey for Booksellers

We want to hear from you! We hope the indie booksellers in our community take a moment to weigh in on this question from the CIBA team. 

In order to support peer-to-peer communications, it was recently suggested that CIBA explore creating a Slack Workspace for Bookseller Members.

Booksellers: do you regularly use Slack in your day-to-day business?

Click here to let us know!

Apply to Attend RNL

The Syndicat de la librairie française (SLF) has granted EIBF a limited number of spots for booksellers to attend the 7th annual Rencontres nationales de la librairie (RNL), which takes place June 16-17 in Strasbourg, France.

The aim of the RNL is to allow booksellers to meet and exchange views with other professionals in the book trade, authors, publishers, librarians, distributors, and more. The event will feature research presentations, panel discussions, specialized workshops, and networking opportunities.

Booksellers who are comfortable following the programme in French can now apply on the RISE Bookselling website. Applications close on May 1 at 11:59pm ET. The program will cover the successful applicants’ transport to the conference as well as accommodation for the duration of the event.

Please note: The event is held in French. It is crucial that the attendees have a sufficient level of French to be able to follow the programme.


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