Hello all!

Fall isn’t far away, but we have a few more weeks of summer still to enjoy. This month’s newsletter includes new resources, info about upcoming events, and some important updates and reminders.

Let’s get into it, shall we?


Last month, CIBA was invited to meet with the Department of Canadian Heritage to consult on the future of the Canada Book Fund (CBF). The CBF provides essential support to many independent bookstores through the Support for Booksellers program, which CIBA was instrumental in bringing to life.

As the CBF is undergoing a regular strategic review, the CIBA team took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of investing in independent bookstores. A healthy sector will benefit booksellers, of course, but also publishers, writers, and illustrators. In these meetings, we shared:

  • Our members' desire to see continued investment in the Support for Booksellers program beyond the initial two-year commitment
  • Concerns about high shipping costs and the ongoing need for a book rate through Canada Post
  • Information about the roadblocks our members face trying to sell French-language books. 

Did you apply for Support for Booksellers funding for 2023-2024? Join us on October 3, 2023 at 1pm ET for a brainstorming session with your bookselling peers on how to best invest your funding, increase your online presence, and grow your book sales.


CIBA Publisher Picks – Fall Edition
Thursday, August 24 with Multinational Publishers
Tuesday, August 29 with Canadian Independent Publishers
3:30pm PT, 4:30pm MT, 5:30pm CT, 6:30pm ET, 7:30pm AT, 8:00pm Newfoundland

CIBA's Publisher Picks series is back with its fall 2023 edition! We will bring you to the heart of publisher marketing discussions to discover the season's best bets­—the books you might not know you need to stock but will be glad you have on hand. Watch these events live or view the recording within two weeks for a chance to win publisher prizes.

CIBA Coffee Break: Connect with the CIBA Board and ED
Thursday, August 31
10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET, 2pm AT, 2:30pm Newfoundland 

Grab a coffee, pull up a chair, and join us for a virtual chat. Bring your questions, share concerns or experiences, and let us know where you need support. This session is an opportunity for Bookseller Members to talk directly with the CIBA board and team. There will be no formal presentation during these meetings. 

No-Cost and Low-Cost Ways to Improve Accessibility in Your Store TODAY!
Tuesday, September 19
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Advancing accessibility is about creating barrier-free communities, workplaces, and services for all Canadians. Plus, inclusive retail environments will attract better business! In advance of the 2023 holiday season, we invite CIBA Bookseller Members to audit their retail environments and discover no-cost and low-cost ways to improve their accessibility. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for their support of this event.

Presenter: Donna Herrington, Owner and Operator of The Herrington Group

Lunch & Learn: Get a Handle on Digital Advertising
Thursday, September 21
10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET, 2pm AT, 2:30pm Newfoundland

Are you busy refreshing your marketing strategy to ensure that your bookstore is a gift-buying destination this holiday season? Join our informal ask-and-answer session where you can ask your burning questions about digital advertising, such as: 

  • How much should you invest in social media ads?
  • What are the elements of an effective online ad?
  • How can you solve issues like being restricted from boosting posts?

Facilitator: Ariel Hudnall, Managing Director, ZG Stories

Ring in the Holiday Sales with the Four Rs: Re-Up, Revisit, Resurrect, and Refine
Tuesday, September 26
12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, 4:30pm Newfoundland

Join BookNet Canada’s SalesData experts (and expat retailers) as they share tips and tutorials on using sales data and reports to prepare yourselves—and your shelves—for the holiday season. Some of the questions we will answer:

  • Which sections and categories in your store lie dormant most of the year only to explode in those final weeks when it’s too late to re-stock?
  • Which backlist titles do you need to have in stock for the holidays and how far back do you have to go?
  • How do you keep your displays full and books flying out the door when you’re running low (or, gasp, out of stock!) on some of your top-sellers?

Presenters: Lily Dwyer, Product Manager, BookNet Canada and Kalpna Patel, Product Coordinator, BookNet Canada

How to Create a Welcoming, Inclusive, and Safe Retail Space for 2SLGBTQI+ Customers

Not only is having 2SLGBTQI+ friendly policies in your bookstore the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. During this session, Connor McKiggan, CGLCC’s Business Development Manager, provided useful tips you can apply to make your business more 2SLGBTQI+ friendly. Booksellers also learned how their business can become Rainbow Registered, joining a network of accredited safe spaces across Canada.

This recording is now available in the Member Portal.

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

An indie bookstore is a retail operation with its own unique atmosphere. This atmosphere is created by all the sights, sounds, and people within it. Keeping its customers at top of mind, a store needs to be strategic about their choice of background music. So, we asked some Bookseller Members to share their insights on the soundtrack to selling!

“A store’s soundtrack is super important. I’ve learned it’s good to have something playing or customers act like they’re in a library, which isn’t a comfortable experience for anyone. Music that’s pleasing in the background is ideal. Nothing discordant, nor cheesy elevator muzak; I also don’t want them to feel like they’re on hold.”

Erin Dalton, Huckleberry Books (BC)

Visit the Member Blog for more from Erin as well as Melissa Bourdon King (Once Upon a Bookstore, BC), Ellen Pickle (Tidewater Books, NB), and Scott Warris (Analog Books, AB).

Books4Brains in Comox, BC is a Canadian independent bookstore for the whole family. The store is known for its varied selection, stellar staff, and community engagement. We spoke with Melissa Agnew, store founder and owner, about how Books4Brains came to be, how she decides what to stock, and her vision for the store’s future.

“We believe in the power of books to enlighten, inspire, and transport readers to different worlds, and we strive to make sure that every customer finds their own treasure on our shelves.”

Read the article here.

Booksellers: If you haven’t yet done so, please submit to our Photo & Logo Bank by August 31.

We are looking for photos of storefronts, window and in-store displays, booksellers, events, pets, and more. Usage may include the Indie Web Hub, advertising, web/social content, media coverage, resources, and more.

A fulsome asset bank will allow us to jump on opportunities to promote our members amongst readers.

Click here to submit your logos and/or photos.


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