Happy summer solstice to all. We have a lot to share this month, including book recommendations for Indigenous Peoples Day, an insider guide to #BookTok, updates about your association, and more.

So settle in and read on!


It has been an exciting month at CIBA!

First and foremost, we are delighted to share that the Department of Canadian Heritage has confirmed their continued support of CIBA for 2022-2024 through the Canada Book Fund (CBF). This funding is essential to our ongoing operations and service delivery. We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for their support. 

We have also been hard at work on preparing applications for new projects under the CBF’s Booksellers Initiative – Support for Organizations Fund. The proposed projects are designed to benefit the collective industry (including bookstores who have opened their doors since January 2019). We also look forward to supporting the many booksellers who applied for direct funding through the new Support for Booksellers program component of the CBF. We’re working on targeted professional development sessions and resources that will help booksellers invest strategically in their efforts to sell Canadian-authored books online. More info soon!

The CIBA Board has negotiated a discounted group membership fee with Canadian Federation of Independent Business to secure cost savings opportunities for Bookseller Members. Voting on this motion is open until Thursday, June 23. If you are a CIBA Bookseller Member and did not receive the link to submit your vote, please email Laura Carter today.

Finally, we’ll take this opportunity to remind our community that our 2022 AGM has been rescheduled to Tuesday, September 13. An official notice of meeting will be sent in August.

The Supplier Relations Committee has now completed another successful round of discussions with multinational publishers on behalf of members. Here are some of the key points discussed:

  • We are very happy with Scholastic's newly revised terms for indies. We encourage you to reach out to your sales rep if you haven’t yet been notified about this.
  • We discussed supply chain challenges and initiatives that could help us buy early and in larger numbers. Although indies have been encouraged to order smaller amounts more often over the years, weather events and supply chain issues have sparked necessary changes to this strategy. We've requested frequent updates on this over the next month as we are now into the fall buying season.
  • We stressed that communication from publishers will be critical moving forward. We've asked for more information from our sales reps in terms of hot titles and books that are waiting for reprints.
  • We are very happy with the new customer portal being created by UTP. Their team is still seeking feedback from bookstores but hope to have the system up and running by the end of July.  

Bookseller Members are encouraged to periodically check the CIBA website as we’ll be adding detailed information from publishers in the coming months. And don’t forget to keep an eye on our list of Publisher & Distributor Return Policies, which is updated as new information becomes available.

Please get in touch you have any questions.

Today is Indigenous Peoples Day! It is an opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

As CIBA’s active work toward reconciliation includes celebrating the work of Indigenous writers, we’ve curated a list of new or recently released books that we encourage readers to seek out today (or any other day of the year).

Check out the reading list hereYou can also share our posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter now.

Think Local: Independent Canadian Publishers and You
Tuesday, June 21 – TODAY!
12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, 4:30pm Newfoundland 

Independent publishers operate in communities across the country and offer an exciting mix of diverse titles that cut across genres. At the forefront of new Canadian writing and local storytelling, indie publishers produce books that can be a competitive advantage: local authors, unique stories, Canadian content.

Presented by the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), this panel discussion will introduce CIBA members to a few of the publishers working in Canada today and will explore how our respective sectors can work together to mutual benefit.  

Who should attend? CIBA Bookseller Members who want to engage with independent publishers in Canada. ACP members will also receive a special code to register.

Moderator: Kate Edwards, Executive Director, ACP

Publisher Picks: Summer Edition – Independent Publishers (Part 2)
Tuesday, June 28
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 summer 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. Publishers will present the highlights in a speed-dating format.

Who should attend? Bookstore owners, managers, and staff who want to find out upcoming publisher highlights and how to sell them.

Ask Us ANYTHING! – CIBA Summer Mentor Series

Do you have a burning question you’d like to ask a pro bookseller? Need help with your table displays? Want some reassurance about your ordering process? Can’t decide how to staff your store for the holidays? Here’s your chance!

Join CIBA’s team of experienced bookseller mentors for a special summer program designed to help booksellers learn from their peers. There will be no formal presentations – simply log on and ask all your burning questions!

Our all-star lineup is below. Click the links to read about mentors and register:

Cathy Jesson, Black Bond Books and the Book Warehouse (BC)
Tuesday, July 12

Shelley Macbeth, Blue Heron Books (ON)
Tuesday, July 26

Susan Chamberlain, The Book Keeper (ON)
Tuesday, August 16

All events will take place at 12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, and 4:30pm Newfoundland.

Having trouble attending our live events? No problem! Members can access our event recordings in the CIBA Member Portal anytime.

Recent recordings include:

Publisher Picks: Summer Edition – Independent Publishers (Part 1)

Hear about some of the buzziest books from indie publishers that are due to arrive in the coming months and learn about special discounts from select presenters. Resources include a spreadsheet and CataList catalogue of titles.

Publisher Picks: Summer Edition – Multinational Publishers

Discover the don’t-miss titles from multinational publishers and access exclusive intel about publicity campaigns and other reasons why these books will fly off your shelves. Resources include a spreadsheet of all the featured titles.

Mythbusting with BookNet Canada: Canadian Book Sales at Your Store

Curious about your store’s sales of Canadian-authored books? In this session, BookNet Canada provided an overview of the SalesData tools you need to benchmark your store’s sales and compare them to the independents overall.

Use Your Voice: Booksellers Share Feedback with Publishers

This timely session saw booksellers provide input on a range of questions posed by publishers related to the future of events (both virtual and in-person) and general marketing initiatives.

Not a member? Join today to access event recordings and other benefits.

People are talking more and more about BookTok these days. But how and why does it work? We reached out to marketing expert Kristina Jagger (HarperCollins Canada) to help demystify this TikTok subcommunity for bookstore owners and staff.

“With so much information competing for their attention online, users want content that is meaningful and entertaining. This means they often seek out content that shows things like behind-the-scenes footage or a live reaction to reading a particularly emotional scene in a book – even a passionate review goes a long way!”

Read the interview now on our member blog.

Not a CIBA member? Join today to access a range of benefits including exclusive content on the member blog!

Woozles Bookstore in Halifax, NS opened its doors 1978. Since then, it has been a mainstay for generations of families. We spoke to Suzy MacLean, store manager, to learn more about Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore. 

“Worlds get opened because of books, for children and teens and adults. It feels like a very special thing, sometimes a deeply personal thing, to put books in the hands of people. There is a depth to it.”

Read the article here.

Indie bookstores saw a ton of coverage in traditional media outlets over the past few months – especially around Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.

Here are some highlights:

Canadian authors, booksellers say COVID-19 has both helped and hurt their industry (Toronto Star, May 2022)

Celebrating Canada’s Indie Bookstores (CTV Your Morning, April 2022)

Independent bookstores aren't just points of purchase but points of contact for communities (Vancouver Sun, April 2022)

The Importance of Small Bookstores (CTV Montreal, April 2022)

Celebrating Corner Bookstores Across Canada (Global TV, April 2022)

Shelley Macbeth from Blue Heron Books shares 3 books that are popular in her Uxbridge, Ont. Store (CBC’s The Next Chapter, April 2022)

Supporting local bookstores (Mornings with Simi, April 2022)

Indie Booksellers Have the *Best* Book Recos (The Kit, April 2022)

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day invites book lovers to shop local – both online and in-person (CBC Books, April 2022)

Independent Bookstore Day a great time to announce Beaumont's first bookstore (Edmonton Journal, April 2022)

Indie booksellers get ready to celebrate their special day across Canada (The Georgia Straight, April 2022)

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. 

We’ve heard anecdotally that graphic design for print, web, and social media can be a pain-point for many independent booksellers.

How can CIBA support your graphic design needs?

Click here to let us know!


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