Welcome back! 

We can't believe it has been a year since we sent our first newsletter to this wonderful community. We have so much to look forward to in 2022 and we're kicking off the year with a preview of our plans for Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, business resources, and more.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

The countdown is officially on! Canadian Independent Bookstore Day will take place on Saturday, April 30, 2022Building on our success in 2021, this year’s campaign will once again celebrate indie bookstores and their immeasurable contributions to Canadian culture. 

Here is a preview of what we have planned:

Contest for Book Lovers

Our wildly popular Contest for Book Lovers is back! This year, we will reward three lucky book buyers with generous gift cards to their favourite indies.

  • First Prize: $1,000 – sponsored by Annick Press & ECW Press
  • Second Prize: $500 – sponsored by HarperCollins Canada
  • Third Prize: $250 – sponsored by Thomas Allen & Son

Any book purchased from a Canadian indie bookstore on April 30 will be eligible for one entry into the contest. Books by Canadian writers and/or illustrators will be worth double the entries. 

Swag, Product Exclusives, and Publisher Specials

CIBA is working with publishers and partners on exciting initiatives that will help drive customers to indie bookstores on April 30. We will provide details about these opportunities to booksellers in the coming weeks. 

Customer giveaways include:

  • High quality sticker sheets from Penguin Random House Canada
  • “I Shop Local” sticky notepads from HarperCollins Canada
Exclusives for retail sale include:
  • A canvas "Shop Indie" tote bag from Raincoast Books, designed in collaboration with Galison Mudpuppy 
  • A limited-edition short story chapbook by Giller Prize-winning author André Alexis from Coach House Books and Publishers Group Canada

We will also collect information about publisher specials and shared markdowns available for booksellers in advance of CIBD 2022. Publishers can contact Kayla with relevant specials.

Resources for CIBA Members

Canadian artist and illustrator Kellen Hatanaka has created custom artwork for the 2022 campaign that celebrates the unique nature of indie bookstores. A comprehensive toolkit full of promotional graphics featuring this artwork – as well as sample social posts, activity ideas, and more – will be made available to CIBA members in mid-March. 

Watch this space for our artwork reveal in February!

Additional Promotion

CIBA will work with a public relations specialist to engage traditional media outlets again this year. We will also collaborate with partners to run a meaningful advertising campaign and work with publishers and dedicated industry supporters like Authors for Indies to engage Canadian creators.

Thank you to all our partners listed above as well as the Association of Canada Publishers and Orca Book Publishers who have joined us as campaign sponsors.

Not a member yet but want full access to the campaign? Join us today!

While all indies will benefit from this campaign and our contest, our promotional assets and additional resources will only be available to CIBA members. 

Publisher Picks: The season's best bets 

Coming up is the newest offering in the Lectures & Labs series: Publisher Picks! Discover the titles that publishers think will be this season’s surprise hits. 

Over the course of four dedicated sessions, you’ll hear from those who have fallen for or championed these books at the publisher's office. Booksellers will get an insider look at the seasonal releases they need to be aware of, why these books will have buzz, and how to sell them effectively.  

All events begin at 6:30 p.m. ET and are expected to last around 90 minutes. Please email Nicola if you have any questions.

Register here.

As part of CIBA’s Lectures & Labs program, we are creating resources to help booksellers manage specific aspects of their business.

We are delighted to launch our resource for building or updating a consignment policy for self-published books.

Many bookstores are facing increased demand for stocking and selling self-published titles by local authors or books related to local interest. This resource will provide booksellers with ideas and considerations as they work to create a policy that speaks to their unique needs and realities.

Members can log in to download and consult the resource here.

Not a member but want access to our business resources? Join today!

Thanks to all the booksellers, publishers, and industry partners who supported our “Go Beyond the Gift Guide” campaign over the holiday season!

Our campaign encouraged shoppers to rely on their local indies for personalized gift recommendations. Our playful messaging and eye-catching graphics promoted a positive message that celebrated bookseller expertise while also responding to anticipated supply chain disruptions.

Highlights of the campaign included: 

  • Our member toolkit full of digital assets for in-store and online promotion including social media messages and customizable graphics
  • A robust advertising campaign that resulted in more than 100,000 impressions in key markets across Canada
  • Unique, shareable social content including our weekly Ask the Booksellers posts and Instagram takeovers
  • Outreach to key media and other supporters
  • Promotion of a message that will resonate with shoppers year round!

As we plan for the 2022 holiday season, we’d love to hear from you. Please send feedback and questions to Kayla.

Up, up, up!

The market share of Canadian indies continues to grow. BookNet Canada recently provided us with updated stats on indies in relation to all markets.

All Independents – Market Share

  • 2021: 9.04%
  • 2020: 8.40%
  • 2019: 7.65%

Change in Independent Sales

  • 2021 over 2019: 19.16%
  • 2021 over 2020: 5.82% 
  • 2020 over 2019: 12.61%

“If it’s in stock, we either read it and loved it or we want to read it. We have a 600 square foot ‘to read’ pile.”

Georgian Bay Books in Midland, ON is the quintessential “small-but-mighty” local bookshop. We spoke to co-owners Sandy Dunsford and Sarah Kenney about their unique store and why they love the bookselling business.

Read the article here.

CIBA’s social channels are public facing and designed to raise the profile of indie bookstores while developing new audiences for Canadian books. This year, we will continue to run themed book features on our feeds and promote our members to our growing and engaged audience.

Here is the shareable content we have planned for the first quarter of the year:

Book Features

  • New Year, New Beginnings (January 5) – now available to share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
  • Black History Month (February 7)
  • Freedom to Read Week (February 22)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • Spring Preview for Adults (March 14)
  • Spring Preview for Young Readers (March 21)

We invite publishers, distributors, and creators to contact us with titles that may fit these themes.

Monthly Content


We are grateful to those who have helped us build this community and we hope you will continue to invest in CIBA in 2022. 

Annual members will receive an official notice from our system prior to their renewal date with instructions about how to renew. Depending on when you joined, you may have received this already. Once you’ve renewed, you can log in and download your member certificate here.

Not a member yet? Now is the time! When you join CIBA, you’ll be able to access member-only content including:

  • News, research, and industry reports
  • Professional development opportunities and business resources
  • Marketing campaign materials
  • Professional forums
  • Discounts and specials

And more! Your membership connects you with industry peers, ensures representation in CIBA’s advocacy activities, and contributes to a thriving indie bookseller community. Click here to learn more or join today. 

If you have any questions or wish to discuss CIBA membership, please contact Laura. We'd love to hear from you!


    BookNet Canada continues to provide helpful research and resources related to indie bookstores and the Canadian book industry. Right now, you can:

    These upcoming events may also be of interest to our community members: 

    Both events will take place virtually and registration is free.


    Our 2021-22 AGM will take place on Tuesday, June 14 via Zoom at 7pm ET. As per our bylaws, the AGM is only open to the administrators for each Bookseller Member account.

    We will record the meeting and save it to the Member Hub for all members to view. Likewise, our annual report will be accessible by our entire community.

    Please contact Laura with any questions.


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