March is here which means warm weather and Canadian Independent Bookstore Day are right around the corner! This month, we’re pleased to bring you several new resources, upcoming events, member profiles, and more.

Let’s get into it.


Canadian Independent Bookstore Day will be here before we know it!

Our campaign toolkit is now live for CIBA members. It includes activity ideas, sample social posts, digital assets for promotion in-store and online, resources for outreach to local media and government officials, and much more. Members can log in to access the toolkit here.

We will publicly launch the campaign on Monday, April 3. We'll ramp up promotion throughout the month until April 29. With support from our publishing partners, you will also see significant promotion from Canadian authors and illustrators in the lead up to the big day.

Don't forget to keep us in the loop about your plans! We are keen to boost the signal on bookstore activities. Please tag @CIBAbooks in your posts so we can share them on our channels.

Publishers: Want to share the campaign with your authors and illustrators? We’ve created a dedicated resource hub for creators who want to get involved! Please email Kayla Calder for access.


The Bookseller Forum is the place to talk shop with your fellow members. 

This month, we asked: “What are you planning for CIBD 2023?” Danny McAuley from Brome Lake Books got the ball rolling:

“Last year we had a great time with authors writing in our window. It was a bit of a zoo outside the store with people watching. The authors also chatted with shoppers inside the store. This year we thought of having readers reading in the window. We are not sure what will happen on the day but the ideas bouncing around now include people to come in their comfortable reading attire like pajamas, robe, and fuzzy slippers.”

Check out Danny’s full response and other responses here and add your voice to the mix. Peer-to-peer sharing helps strengthen the industry as a whole. Bonus: it allows the CIBA team to keep your store at top of mind when we begin promoting bookseller activities in April!

ACP & CIBA Knowledge Exchange: Exploring the Evolving Role of Sales Reps
Tuesday, March 28
11:30am PT, 12:30pm MT, 1:30pm CT, 2:30pm ET, 3:30pm AT, 4:00pm Newfoundland

As a primary link between booksellers and publishers, sales reps offer a unique perspective on the supply chain and getting books into stores and into the hands of readers. Join ACP and CIBA for our first joint professional development session that will explore the evolving role of the sales rep in today’s marketplace.

Who should attend? Bookseller Members, Associates, and Affiliates 

New Bookstore Owners: Ask Us ANYTHING!
Tuesday, April 4
12pm PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET, 4pm AT, 4:30pm Newfoundland

Are you the owner or manager of a new(ish) bookstore business? Do you have a list of questions you’d like to ask a pro bookseller? Here’s your chance to connect with a mentor and ask anything! There will be no formal presentation at this event – simply log on and ask all your burning questions.

Mentor: Hilary Atleo, co-owner of Iron Dog Books and CIBA Board Director

Who should attend? Bookstore owners with young businesses (less than five years old), members planning to open a bookstore 

Ask the Bookseller: Hiring, Training, and Retaining Staff
Thursday, April 20
4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET, 8pm AT, 8:30pm Newfoundland

Books may be your business, but your friendly, knowledgeable staff are the key to leaving a lasting impression on your customers. Where do bookstores advertise for staff? What skills should you look for in a new team member? How do you work out when you need (and can afford) to increase the size of your team? What can your store do to encourage long-term staff loyalty? Join our panel of experienced booksellers to discuss the ins and outs of successful staffing strategies!

Who should attend? Bookseller Members

Schools in your local community could be an untapped income stream for your store. But what does the bookstore-school relationship look like?

Susan Chamberlain, owner of The Book Keeper (Sarnia, ON), hosted a fascinating panel discussion in February to get to the heart of that question. Panelists shared tips for ensuring that school orders are a profitable venture, how to run a successful book fair, and important things to know before you put a school-sales plan into action. 

The recording of this event is now available in the Member Portal.

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

In advance of CIBD 2023, the CIBA team created a primer on using Canva, our favourite online graphic design tool.

We use Canva for almost all of our graphic design and create campaign resources with this platform in mind. It’s a powerful, intuitive, and free tool that should be in every store’s toolbox. This information guide is for those who are new to Canva, although it contains a few tips and tricks and links to additional resources that may be helpful for all users.

Members can access the guide here.

All Canadians have the right to take part fully in society. Advancing accessibility is about creating barrier-free communities, workplaces, and services for all Canadians. 

Each province has its own accessibility regulations to which your business must adhere. And in the absence of a mandated regulation in your province or territory, all businesses should be asking “what can I do to create a barrier-free experience for my customers, employees, and other stakeholders?”

It can be a lot to navigate, but the CIBA team has you covered!

Click here to see if your business is compliant with regulations and for additional accessibility resources. You must be logged in.

Not a member yet but want access to our resources? Join us today. 

In January, we launched the Notable Public Dates Calendar. This living document features key dates like public holidays, themed occasions, awards announcements, and more. The full resource is accessible as a list-by-date and as a traditional calendar. Additionally, our printable overview for the next three months is now available.

Members can access the calendar here.

Have a key date that may be of interest to all members? Email Kayla Calder. 

Lunenburg Bound has been serving readers for almost eight years. With its varied selection of books, cozy atmosphere, and dedicated team, it is a destination for both locals and visitors to Lunenburg, NS. We spoke to Michael Higgins and Madelaine Higgins about the history of the store, how they choose their inventory, and what it means to operate in their picturesque community.

“Being a small part of our community, giving space to a diverse and interesting selection of authors, and exploring the larger world while honoring our home is deeply rewarding.”

Read the article here.

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


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