Welcome back!

We have so much to look forward to this year. We're kicking off 2024 with a preview of our Canadian Independent Bookstore Day plans, interviews, and more.

Let’s jump in, shall we?


The countdown is officially on! Canadian Independent Bookstore Day will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Building on our success in 2023, 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 FIVE lucky book buyers with generous gift cards to their favourite indies, with the grand prize worth $1,000! Any book purchased from a Canadian indie bookstore on April 27 will be eligible for one entry into the contest. Books by Canadian writers and/or illustrators will be worth double the entries.

Giveaways & Exclusives

CIBA is working with publishers and partners on exciting initiatives that will help drive customers to indie bookstores on April 27. 

Customer giveaways include:

  • Poetry notebooks from Penguin Random House Canada
  • Tea blend packets from Dundurn Press
  • Readerly door hangers from Scholastic Canada
  • Broadsides from Coach House Books
  • “Shop Local” chocolate bars and notepads from HarperCollins Canada
  • Enamel pins from Second Story Press
  • Signed Rupi Kaur poem prints from Simon & Schuster Canada
  • Bookmarks from University of Calgary Press
  • Stickers, notepads, and activity booklets from Canadian Manda Group and its partner publishers
  • A curated chapbook on handselling from Biblioasis
  • Book plates and posters from Thistledown Press

And more to come!

Exclusives for retail sale include:

  • An affordable, reusable shopping bag designed by Michael Storrings featuring local bookstore imagery (Raincoast Books)
  • Signed special edition of The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America including a bound letter from Matt Kracht (Raincoast Books)
  • Exclusive early release of Shashi Bhat's Death By a Thousand Cuts and Metis Like Me by Tasha Hilderman and Risa Hugo (Penguin Random House Canada)

We’ll provide details about these opportunities to booksellers in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Additional Promotion

We also have a number of promotional initiatives in the works this year.

  • You asked, we answered! Friesens Corporation will again provide CIBD 2024 promotional bookmarks to Bookseller Members in advance of the big day—this year with a much larger print run
  • We are working with Zg Stories to engage media and new audiences
  • We'll work with publishers and industry partners to engage Canadian creators in promotion of the campaign to their readers

Thank you to our partners and campaign sponsors for their integral support. We look forward to celebrating indie bookstores with everyone this year!

Not a member yet but want full access to CIBD? Join us today.

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


Publisher Picks: Spring Edition
Tuesday, January 23 –
 Multinational Publishers
 February 20  Independent Publishers
3:30pm PT, 4:30pm MT, 5:30pm CT, 6:30pm ET, 7:30pm AT, 8:00pm Newfoundland

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

Ask the Bookseller: Organizing and Categorizing Your Stock
Tuesday, February 6
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

History, Science Fiction, Mystery, Cooking, Romance—there are many ways to organize, categorize, and display the books in your store. Whether you’re new to bookselling or a seasoned professional, it pays to take a step back and analyze the status quo. In this session, our panel of booksellers will share their insights, discoveries, successes, and failures on this important topic. 

Ask the Bookseller: Browser Friendly Children’s Sections
Tuesday, February 27
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Children’s books can bring joy (and eager customers) into any generalized bookstore, but designing a children’s section can be a lot of work. Unlike a specialized store, you may not have the shelf space to showcase all the books that a customer might want to buy. So how do you decide which books to stock? What are some creative ways you can display books when you don’t have a lot of space? Join our panel as they discuss this and more!

Receiving and returning procedures vary from store to store—each business develops its own routine and rhythm. CIBA spoke with three experienced booksellers about the setup of their receiving/return spaces and their tips for effective operation.

Think hard about the cost of returning books—especially shipping, but also your time, etc. Would it be cheaper to just mark them down? If you only have a few books for a particular publisher, then yes is probably the right answer. Just mark them down significantly to get them sold quickly (returning books costs at least 10% of the cover price in many cases, so marking down 50% in store is equivalent—you’re making the same amount back!).”

– Jessica Walker, Munro’s Books

Visit the Member Blog for insights from Jessica as well as Jo Treggiari at Block Shop Books and Alicia Neill at Mosaic Books!

Booksellers: we hope your holiday season went well!

Our Supplier Relations Committee is gearing up for their next round of meetings and they want to hear how suppliers did this holiday season.

If you would like to share any challenges you faced or improvements in the supply chain, please email Lori Cheverie, Committee Chair, at lori@bookmarkreads.ca.

Raven’s End Books is a brand-new horror bookshop in Winnipeg, MB. Whether readers are looking for body horror, Indigenous folklore, or queer stories, the team at Raven’s End Books has them covered.

We spoke to owner, Chelsea McKee-Trenchard, about achieving this long-held dream and the joy of being an indie bookseller.

“As people often do, we started fantasizing about a bookstore, specifically a horror one. In a quick moment of awareness, I realized that I could do it. There was no need to wait until I retired. I could realize my dream now.”

Read the article here.

Calling all publishers and booksellers attending Winter Institute in Cincinnati next month! Laura Carter, CIBA’s Executive Director, will be joined by board members Chris Hall and Heather Kuipers on Tuesday, February 13 from 10-11am ET in room 233 at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Stop by and say hello—we’d love to see you.

Overstock Returns, Dead Stock, and Inventory Reconciliation: Housekeeping Worth Your Time

It may not be as exciting as event planning, frontlist buying, or web design, but regular intervals set aside to deal with overstock returns, dead stock, and inventory reconciliation are well worth your time. The trick is turning these tasks into well-organized processes. It's like brushing your store's teeth... bad metaphor, but they truly help to polish your operations and customer experience!

The recording of this event—hosted by Bookmanager’s Trevor Neill—is available 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. 

We are grateful to those who have helped us build this community and we hope you will continue to invest in CIBA in 2024! 

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 updated member certificate.

Not a member yet? Now is the time! When you join CIBA, you’ll have access to a range of benefits including:

  • Professional development opportunities and business resources
  • Marketing campaign materials
  • Participation in advocacy and supplier relations activities
  • Community, connection, and shared learning
  • News, research, and industry reports

Bookseller Members may also opt into a group rate with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) which includes a wide range of cost savings opportunities, business resources, and more.

Click here to learn more or join today

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

Our colleagues at BookNet Canada continue to provide unique content and helpful resources related to the Canadian book industry.

Right now, you can:


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