Summer is officially here! Although we're still facing challenging times, we are also gratefully looking ahead with positivity and hope.

We have some exciting articles and resources in store for you this month, including updates on our work, summer reading recommendations, interesting interviews, and a brand new member forum.

Grab yourself an iced coffee and read on!

CIBA is working hard to advance the interests of Canadian independent booksellers. Here are some highlights of what we’ve been working on lately:

  • In April, we announced that the Government of Canada has committed to providing $32.1 million in funding, over two years, to help Canadian booksellers sustain and increase their online sales. Since then, CIBA – along with our allies in Quebec (ALQ and LIQ) – has been at the table with the Department of Canadian Heritage, championing the needs of indie booksellers. Details are still forthcoming, but CIBA is working hard to ensure the program will have a meaningful impact on your business.
  • We’ve been meeting with publishers to discuss plans for Canadian Independent Bookstore Day 2022, including the creation of product exclusives that could be sold by indie booksellers.
  • CIBA has been developing plans for a fall/winter marketing campaign to drive sales to independent bookstores in the lead up to the holidays.
  • CIBA has been meeting with the organizers of key Canadian book prizes (including the Governor General’s Awards and the Scotiabank Giller Prize) to advocate for use of the Shop Local API to drive sales to indie booksellers and discuss coordinated cross-marketing efforts.
  • The CIBA Supplier Relations Committee has developed a survey that will act as a “temperature check” for the relationships between indie booksellers and key suppliers. This forthcoming survey will help CIBA assess where advocacy is needed.
  • CIBA has developed a suite of indie bookseller logos that are now available for member use. You might add the logos to your website, use them on social media, print them as stickers for your titles, or use them for in-store displays. The possibilities are endless!

CIBA is a membership-driven association, and we keep your interests at the forefront of our work. If there’s something we can do to support indie booksellers, please let us know!

Is there anything better than a summer afternoon spent reading? Whether you gravitate towards page-turners, introspective drama, or exploratory nonfiction, summer is the perfect time to lose yourself in a book.

With support from a range of publishers, we’ve curated two collections of recently released books to help fill out your customers’ “to read” lists. Authors and illustrators featured include Eddy Boudel Tan, Ivan Coyote, Ian Hamilton, Uzma Jalaluddin, Leslie Gentile, Zacharias Kunuk, Elly MacKay, Etta Kaner, Tara Audibert, and Carmen Mok.

Check out the reading list for adults here.

Click here to see our list for young readers.

On June 28 and July 5, we published our lists for adults and young readers, respectively, on our social media channels. We encourage you check out those posts and share them with your community.

Discussion forum for booksellers: Tips for managing online orders

As we look towards the busy fall and holiday season, this informal session will allow booksellers to crowdsource answers to your questions and exchange tips for tackling logistical challenges from fulfilling large orders, to coordinating curbside pickups, to finding efficient and cost-effective shipping solutions. We will begin with a short presentation by a bookseller who will share tips and tricks they've picked up throughout the pandemic for efficiently handling online orders without running yourself or your team into the ground.

Tuesday, July 20
12pm PST, 1pm MST, 2pm CST, 3pm EST, 4pm AST, 4:30pm Newfoundland

Discussion forum for children’s booksellers: The right book at the right time

The discussion forum for children's booksellers is a semi-regular opportunity to connect with industry peers, share ideas, and discuss the issues that affect your business. Join Eleanor LeFave, owner of Mabel's Fables Bookstore, for a short, informal presentation on children's development as it pertains to reading levels, the importance of recommending the right book at the right time, and expert tips for handselling children's books. The presentation will be followed by a group discussion for questions and idea-sharing with peers.

Tuesday, July 27
12pm PST, 1pm MST, 2pm CST, 3pm EST, 4pm AST, 4:30pm Newfoundland

Increasing revenue through gifts and sidelines

Join Raincoast to learn the best ways to leverage gifts and sidelines to increase sales, and get their top product picks for the holiday season. Using examples from how stores across North America are selling non-book products, Raincoast will cover the best retail practices as well as provide an overview of trends. All registrants who join us for the session (or watch the recording by August 20 and submit their info to CIBA) will be entered to win a credit of $200 retail for gift items of their choosing from Raincoast.

Thursday, August 12
12pm PST, 1pm MST, 2pm CST, 3pm EST, 4pm AST, 4:30pm Newfoundland

Effective and timely ordering and reordering strategies for the fall and holiday seasons

With continued printing difficulties and other uncertainties in parts of the book supply chain, planning effective and appropriate orders has become more important than ever. Join Penguin Random House Canada's Mary Giuliano to learn how to harness your business savvy to get around these delays and be ready and well-stocked come the busy season. In addition to sharing strategies for ordering correct quantities and thinking smarter when it comes to orders, Mary will also preview a handful of key titles from PRHC's fall catalogue that you should be paying particular attention to.

Tuesday, August 24
12pm PST, 1pm MST, 2pm CST, 3pm EST, 4pm AST, 4:30pm Newfoundland

CIBA wants to get to know your handselling superstars!

CIBA is planning a fall Lectures & Labs session that will bring together bookstore staff who are especially good at making personal recommendations and finding the perfect, unexpected book to add to customers' "to read" piles. Let us know which of your team members would be a fit for this informal session which will allow us to crowdsource the best tips and tricks and help other booksellers and new staff hone their skills.

Do you have a handselling superstar working in your store? Please let Laura Carter know!


On June 22, our Lectures & Labs series welcomed HarperCollins Canada's Ashley Posluns for a presentation on the benefits and business opportunities of Instagram for independent booksellers. The talk covered the basics as well as tricks for optimizing and increasing your existing presence.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Have an active Instagram presence. As of October 2020, Instagram had 1.2 billion users and the hashtag #Bookstagram has been used on more than 60 million photos. It's not only a good way to promote your business, but also to gain insights about your target audience.
  • Map out a strategy. Your posts should support your specific promotional and marketing goals and not try to be everything to everyone.
  • Show personality. Instagram is great for showing the human side of your bookstore, as well as an insider's look at the business. Get employees involved by making recommendations, taking shelfies, or sharing behind-the-scenes moments.
  • Take advantage of partners' assets. Many publishers and authors have ready-to-use social media assets (photos, posts, etc.) that you can re-use to generate more content on your feed without having to create from scratch.
  • Have fun! Hold contests, create memes, or find other ways to show off who you are as a store and engage with existing and potential customers.

Did you miss this session? Never fear – you can access past event recordings and supplementary resources in CIBA’s member portal.

Not a CIBA member and feel you’re missing out? Sign up now!

“When I saw how things could be generated from the ground up… it made a world of difference for me. It was such a joy to have that control in our own stores but also have a sounding board in one another.”

Bookmark I and Bookmark II have been beloved fixtures in their communities for decades. Although the stores share some characteristics, they are entirely unique in other ways. Lori Cheverie and Mike Hamm spoke with us about working together across provincial lines.

Read the interview in our member blog. 


“Nothing beats that feeling of putting a book in someone's hands and knowing the incredible journey you have set them on.”

Brome Lake Books is a picturesque English-language bookstore in Knowlton, QC, and the inspiration for the bookstore in bestselling author Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series. We spoke to owners Danny McAuley and Lucy Hoblyn about the store, their relationship with Louise, and what they love most about independent bookselling.

Read the article here.


Do you have a burning bookselling question? Need to crowdsource an answer from your peers? The new Member Support - Ask and Answer Forum is the place to receive support and mentorship from fellow CIBA members. Topics could range from business planning to merchandising or from administration challenges to events. The floor is yours!

Members: access the forum here. Not a member yet? Join CIBA today and receive access the member portal as a benefit of your membership.

Subscribe to the forum today so you never miss a chance to help your peers!


When you join CIBA, you’re able to access member-only content on our website, including CIBA’s Professional Forum. This forum is the place to share ideas, initiatives, and opportunities with peers. Make sure to subscribe so that you don't miss a post!

Here is a recent opportunity posted to the forum:

Clare Mackintosh x Canadian Indies and Libraries
Tuesday, August 10 at 10am PST/1pm EST via YouTube Live
Register via Eventbrite

Join Raincoast Books and Library Bound for this exclusive, indies and libraries-only interview with bestselling author Clare Mackintosh as she discusses her career and her new book. Featuring special guest interviewers:

  • John Toews, McNally Robinson Booksellers
  • Jennifer Green, Oshawa Public Libraries

Members: access more information about the above opportunity here. Not a member yet? Join CIBA today and access the member portal (including the Professional Forum) as a benefit of your membership.


The CIBA 2021 AGM will take place on Tuesday, September 21 via Zoom. Two new Board Directors will be voted in at the AGM. The membership will receive a Call for Nominations in the coming weeks.

As per our bylaws, the AGM is only open to the administrator for each Canadian Bookseller Member.

We will distribute our Annual Report to all Bookseller, Associate, and Affiliate members following the AGM.

Please contact Kayla Calder if you have any questions.

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